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2021 Acura TLX Type S And Audi S4: Specs Compared

The all-new Acura TLX / TLX Type S has received its world debut and it has brought along with it the resurrected Type S badge. The sharp sedan from Honda’s premium brand has a much more aggressive look than its predecessor after lowering the roof by 0.6 inches and making the body wider by 2.2 inches. The front and rear tracks are also wider than before, while the wheelbase has been stretched by 3.7 inches. Overall, it’s 7.1 inches longer than the Audi A4 and has just about the same height while being a few inches narrower.

Step up to the TLX Type S version and you get beefy air intakes, quad exhausts, 20-inch wheels, and a different design for what Acura refers to as the Diamond Pentagon front grille. Underneath the skin, it’s Acura’s second most rigid vehicle it has ever developed, after the NSX supercar. Torsional stiffness is up by 50% over its predecessor, while the electric-servo brake system is inherited from the aforementioned NSX.

The standard Acura TLX competes with the upper-spec Audi A4 by offering a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine producing 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. These are some healthy numbers compared to the A4 45 TFSI Quattro available in the US with a turbo four-pot rated at 248 hp and 273 lb-ft. While this version of the A4 comes exclusively with all-wheel drive, Acura will sell the TLX with a standard FWD layout and an optional rear-biased AWD system.

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The Audi has a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission whereas the Acura sends power to the front or both axles through a ten-speed auto. Step up to the Type S version and you get AWD as standard along with beefier Brembo brakes, while the gearbox is carried over from the regular TLX.

The hotter TLX Type S uses a newly developed turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine offering “dramatic gains in peak horsepower and, more critically, in torque, across the engine’s full operating range” compared the old naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6. Acura goes on to mention it boasts 50% more low-end torque, but the company isn’t willing to reveal the juicy output numbers just yet.

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Considering the previous naturally aspirated V6 had 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, we’re expecting somewhere healthy numbers from the TLX Type S. It should be a worthy adversary for the Audi S4 and its 3.0-liter TFSI V6 producing 349 hp and 369 lb-ft channeled to the Quattro system via an eight-speed auto.

While there’s no word on pricing, the new Acura TLX / TLX Type S will likely undercut the A4 / S4 when it goes on sale this fall. For the time being, all we know is that the entry-level version will start in the mid-$30,000 range. The A4 Sedan kicks off at $37,400, but that’s for the base front-wheel-drive 40 TFSI version with just 188 hp and 236 lb-ft, with the 45 TFSI Quattro beginning at $40,900. The S4 starts at $49,900.

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Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.