Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Representing a fundamental step toward fulfilling Acura's return to Precision Crafted Performance, which started with the debut of the second-generation NSX, the Type S Concept sets the stage for re-introducing Type S performance variants to the Acura line-up after a decade hiatus, and will heavily influence the character of the upcoming, second-generation TLX Type S.
The Acura design team set out to express the essence of Precision Crafted Performance through stance and proportion, crafting a silhouette that is powerful and expressive, yet clean and cohesive. Building on the foundational beauty and style of the Acura Precision Concept, the Type S Concept's powerful form is characterized by a wide track and low stance, with an expansive hood that stretches forward from the A-pillars.
"The return of Type S is instrumental in our mission to return Acura to its performance roots," said Jon Ikeda, Vice President and Acura Brand Officer. "From bringing back the NSX to winning at the highest level of North American sports car racing and ushering-in a new generation starting with the RDX, we are revitalizing Acura on the foundation of our original and authentic brand values, piece by piece."
Performance at the Core
"We've been dreaming about a new performance-focused Acura concept car since the Precision Concept debuted," said Dave Marek, Acura's Executive Creative Director. "The Type S Concept speaks unambiguously to performance and to the essence of Acura design."
The Type S Concept showcases new elements of Acura design including next-generation, four-lamp Jewel Eye® LED headlights, an open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille, and "Chicane" daytime running lights and taillights, both drawing inspiration from the Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype race car.
Refined Style Meets Raw Emotion
Building off its powerful stance, the Type S Concept's front fascia reflects both form and function. Large center and side intakes are capable of supplying required airflow to a high-performance engine and brake package, with fascia detailing evolved from the NSX and Acura Precision Concept. The headlights are underscored, literally, by translucent white "Chicane" LEDs that serve double duty as running lights and turn signals.
The front fascia transitions to a side profile that communicates both power and elegance. Sheer surfaces and continually shifting angles are balanced by sharp, intersecting lines that create the impression that every surface is changing shape as it flows front to rear. Sheer side surfaces gradually open-up to muscular rear wheel arches, emphasizing the concept's wide track.
A sharp and distinctive tail features an upswept decklid with a sharply creased centerline (drawn from the hood) and integrated forged carbon spoiler. "Chicane" LED taillights, a large rear diffuser and quad chrome exhaust outlets complete the look.
In addition to the rear decklid spoiler, forged carbon – created by bonding layers of carbon on top of one another to exceed the strength of traditional interwoven carbon – is applied to the front and rear splitters, side sills, rear decklid spoiler and multi-spoke 21-inch wheels.
A "square" 285-series summer tire setup ensures high levels of grip in the most dynamic of driving situations. All four corners feature drilled Brembo™ high-performance brakes with four-piston calipers, providing ample stopping power and an aggressive appearance.
The Concept's bespoke "Double Apex Blue Pearl" paint reflects a liquid and electric hue that pays homage to blue Type S heritage models, including the acclaimed 2007-2008 TL Type S. "Double Apex Blue Pearl" employs Nano pigments and a color-infused clear coat that impart a sense of fluidity and motion, and enhance the paint's luster and brilliance.
The Acura Type S Concept was conceived by the Acura Design Studio in California, led by executive creative director, Dave Marek, and chief designer, Ben Davidson and will be showcased throughout Monterey Car Week. After its private debut at an Acura hosted event Aug. 15, it will make its public debut at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering on Aug. 16, with a press conference scheduled for 9:30 a.m. The Type S Concept will also be on display at the historic Concept Lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on Aug. 18.
Acura Type S Heritage
A fundamental step in fulfilling the promise of Precision Crafted Performance, Acura will debut two Type S performance variants in the next two years, starting with the second-generation TLX Type S. Type S models will deliver a high performance driving experience with quicker acceleration, nimbler handling and stronger braking performance than conventional Acura models. From 2001 through 2008, four Type S models set the standard for Acura performance in North America:
2001-2003 Acura 3.2CL Type S: The Type S performance line debuted with the 2001 Acura 3.2CL Type S. It featured a 3.2-liter V6 engine with 260 horsepower (upgraded from 225 hp), a 5-speed automatic with a manual shift function, quicker steering, 17-inch wheels and tires and a sport-tuned suspension. In its final model year, a 6-speed manual transmission was available.
2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL Type S: Debuting a year after the 3.2CL Type S, the 3.2TL Type S featured the same performance-tuned engine and transmission, and similar suspension, wheel and tire upgrades. Unlike the 3.2CL Type S, the 3.2TL Type S was not available with a manual transmission.
2002-2006 Acura RSX Type S: The RSX Type S joined the family in 2002, powered by a new 2.0-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder with 200 horsepower (upgraded from 160 hp) connected exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission. In 2005, the RSX Type S received a power increase to 210 horsepower, along with styling changes that included an eye-catching larger rear wing.
2007-2008 Acura TL Type S: The third-generation Acura TL rejoined the Type S lineup in 2007 and was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 making 286 horsepower (upgraded from 3.2-liter V6 with 258 hp), a 6-speed manual transmission, 4-piston Brembo brakes, sport suspension, upgraded wheels and tires and distinctive quad exhaust.
Precision Crafted Performance: Reborn
Coinciding with its 30th anniversary in 2016, Acura set a new course for its future, turning its focus back to its original and authentic roots as a performance-focused luxury brand. The second-generation Acura NSX launched as the pinnacle expression of Precision Crafted Performance kicking off the brand's determined focus on a future that was first and foremost about performance.
In 2016, the foundations for a new design language were set with the debut of the Acura Precision Concept. Drawing inspiration from NSX, the Precision Concept adopted a supercar stance and sheer, alluring surfaces that pointed to a bolder more distinctive future for Acura design. The Concept also showcased key new production styling cues, including edgier lines and Acura's signature new Diamond Pentagon grille, which were quickly adopted across the entire lineup, most recently on the 2019 ILX compact sports sedan.
Acura also expanded its sporty A-Spec package to all core models, attracting younger, more enthusiast-oriented customers in the process. In early 2018, the brand announced its intention to re-establish Type S performance variants in its line-up, and the development of a new, Acura-exclusive, turbocharged V6 engine. In June of last year, Acura launched the 2019 RDX as the first in a new generation of Acura models designed from the ground up around Precision Crafted Performance. In its first year, the third-generation RDX has become the retail best-selling model in luxury's largest segment, setting multiple consecutive all-time monthly sales records.
The brand has also seen a highly successful return to sports car racing in North America. Acura teams and drivers fielding the NSX GT3 Evo and ARX-05 Daytona Prototype currently lead both Manufacturers' and Drivers' Championships in the GTD and DPi classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.