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A closeup of the Type S badging on an 2008 Acura TL

The Acura Type S Revival

Acura made its debut as a brand in 1986 as Honda’s luxury sub-brand. For over 30 years, the brand’s standard of excellence has been a standout in the automotive industry. It’s a standard that continues to command the attention of customers and automotive-industry competitors. Visit any Acura dealership and you can see this principle in action.

The Acura brand was built on a four-prong concept that focuses on technology, design, safety and performance.

Acura uses technology to bring state-of-the-art innovations to fruition in every vehicle that leaves its assembly line. The luxury brand believes it’s important to use technology to create a driving experience where drivers are confident about the integrity of their vehicle. Acura also believes technology is a useful tool to ensure owners enjoy a comfortable ride accented by convenient access to features and options they both need and want, every time they grace the highway with the with the presence of their Acura.

Every design aspect of an Acura vehicle has a purpose far beyond just being a creative tool to enhance the vehicle’s physical appearance. With every feature, engineers also enhance the physics of the vehicle such as how airflow is directed around and over the vehicle as it moves to achieve peak performance.

Acura’s approach to designing safety features is developing features that not only keep Acura owners safe but also keep their fellow drivers safe. Acura believes approaching safety from a collective-of-drivers standpoint will eventually lead to a reduction in accidents. Simply stated, the automaker prioritizes highway safety. As such, Acura was the first luxury brand to receive a 5-star NHTSA rating for every vehicle in its collection.

Performance is the fourth component of Acura’s design platform. For the automobile brand, performance means the major mechanical parts of Acura vehicles, such as the powertrain, body, and chassis, are designed to withstand road wear and tear. As a result, Acura vehicles are able to perform at their maximum level regardless of the terrain. To prove this concept prior to the vehicle leaving the manufacturer, Acura vehicles are put through a series of detailed and rigorous tests that mimic several of the roughest terrains imaginable, such as desert sands and extreme wind conditions.

As part of Acura’s commitment to performance, the luxury brand is reintroducing the Type S moniker to its vehicle lineup. The Type S is a sporty, high-performance trim.

Let’s take a nostalgic moment to review what the Type S trim level offered a little over a decade ago.

Last sighting of the Type S trim level

The 2008 TL was the last vehicle to offer the Type S trim level. Here’s a snapshot of its key features and options:


  • Engine: The standard engine is a 3.5L V-6 with variable valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC) with a single overhead cam (SOHC). If VTEC looks familiar, it’s the engine that Honda initially built and brought to the automobile industry. Today, other carmakers, such as BMW and Toyota, use a variant of it for their vehicles.
  • Transmission: The Type S trim came standard with a 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission with a 6-speed manual transmission available as an option.
  • Drive Type: Front-wheel drive is standard.
  • Fuel efficiency: Fuel efficiency for the 2008 TL base model is estimated to be 17/26/20 (city/hwy/combined)*. For the next-level option of the TL Type S trim, the fuel efficiency is 18/27/21. *
  • Horsepower/Torque: The 2008 TL’s maximum power is 286 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. Its maximum torque was 256 foot-pounds at 5,000 rpm.

A blue 2008 Acura TL Type S driving


  • Dual front side-mounted airbags protect the driver and passenger in the event of a side collision.
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring keeps drivers abreast of the air pressure in all four tires. If at any point the air pressure falls below the manufacturer’s recommended level, the driver is alerted.
  • Dusk-sensing headlamps eliminate the need for drivers to have to remember to turn on their headlights at dusk or in low-light situations. A built-in sensor is designed to detect the level of available natural light.
  • Ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes as the name implies, this description indicates the front and rear brake designs. The ventilated front disk brakes are designed to release heat that builds up when they are depressed. The rear brakes are solid with no ventilation design which increases the time heat moves over and away from the brakes.
  • Front-seat pretensioners are designed to equally distribute the seatbelt force in proportion to necessary restraint to secure a person with minimal to no injury in case the vehicle is involved in an accident.


  • Bluetooth phone interface allows drivers to access compatible Bluetooth-enabled smartphone features, such as making and receiving calls, as well as streaming music, hands-free via the vehicle’s audio system.
  • Eight speakers are strategically placed throughout the TL’s cabin to maximize sound quality. Surround sound audio allows drivers to experience enhanced sound quality as music is introduced in a circular-like motion into the cabin space.


  • Speed-proportional power steering reduces and increases the effort drivers need to exert to steer the vehicle according to the vehicle’s speed properly. Low-speed situations such as parking require less steering effort in comparison to high-speed situations such as driving on an interstate highway.
  • Climate Control allows drivers to set a comfortable temperature that the vehicle stores. The temperature is reset to that temperature for each trip.
  • Rearview Camera: This feature affords drivers the ability to see the area immediately behind the TL to avoid any objects or pedestrians directly in the vehicle’s line of movement as it’s moving backward.
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls provide drivers with the convenience of accessing transmission, audio and cruise controls right on the steering wheel as they are driving. Depending on the Type S trim, this may be an available option.
  • Driver seat with power adjustable lumbar support provide drivers with the added comfort of adjusting their seats to their desired driving position and for the best position for proper support for their lumbar vertebrae.
  • Interior air filtration filters harmful particles out of the air that enters the TL’s cabin via the air conditioning and heating systems as well as ventilation.

In 2008, per the previous list, Acura was ahead of most automakers in not only the types of features and options that were offered but also the fact that these features and options came standard on the Type S trim.

Type S 2.0

Acura has not released much information regarding what the revival version of the Type S trim will offer. However, industry insiders provide their analysis of what drivers, and the automotive industry in general, could see:

  • A trademark filing for “TLX Type S” could mean the luxury midsize sedan may be one of the first Acura vehicles to receive the Type S nameplate in the future.
  • Acura has announced it will also be introducing a new turbocharged V-6 engine that exclusively offers all-wheel drive (AWD). Insiders believe this is a nod to Acura’s supercar, the NDX.
  • Industry analysts are leaning toward the possibility that the Type S trim and the turbocharged V-6 engine will debut at the same time on the Acura TLX.
  • Though available details are limited at the time, most industry insiders are projecting the Type S 2.0 version will debut within the next 10 years.

If you’re an avid Acura fan in the market for a new sports car then we’re sure that you’re just as excited about the possibility of a new Type S as we are. We’ll keep you posted on Acura news and where to find them in the coming years.


* Based on EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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