Acura Unveils 'Ambitious' Sedan Redesign

June 15, 2020

Learn more about the design and materials of these new Acura models, as well as what ADAS features will be onboard (and ultimately in your shop).

June 11, 2020—Acura’s newly unveiled 2021 TLX model features a body-in-white that, “is anchored to an advanced new body structure—NSX aside, the most rigid ever offered on an Acura vehicle,” according to an Acura press release.

The new body structure delivers a 50 percent increase in global torsional stiffness and up to a 100 percent improvement in localized rigidity where the suspension is mounted to the body, and uses 56 percent (by weight) advanced, lightweight materials, including aluminum and press-hardened steel, more than any previous Acura sedan.

Honda called the prior-generation 2015 Acura TLX “52 percent Advanced High Strength Materials,”, but in comparing the two models, the 2021 TLX has significant material change, meaning the structures are far more advanced for repairers.

“An ultra-rigid new center tunnel serves as the backbone of the TLX’s higher structural rigidity, complemented by triangulated front shock tower bars, front and rear underfloor braces, a one-piece rear bulkhead stiffener and new cast-aluminum front shock tower mounts, the press release said. “The new TLX also delivers advanced levels of passive safety (collision protection) performance through the use of Acura’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which has been further refined to provide additional occupant protection in a wider range of collision scenarios,” Acura wrote. “Additional structural safety features include ultra-high-strength-steel one-piece door rings and an ultra-stiff center tunnel that helps optimize the absorption and direction of collision forces around the cabin.”

Acura also said it built the 2021 TLX’s hood, front bumper beam, fenders and front damper mounts out of aluminum. The 2021 TLX carries a “model-exclusive body structure and chassis architecture” and was “built on a new dedicated Acura sedan platform designed for Type S-levels of performance.”

“This is unquestionably our most ambitious redesign of an Acura sedan,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura brand officer and vice president.

Honda’s three-chamber passenger airbag will debut on the 2021 TLX. 

“This new proprietary airbag uses a three-chamber design that functions much like a baseball catcher’s mitt, designed to more effectively cradle, and helping to protect the front seat occupant’s head to help mitigate potential injury in more steeply angled frontal collisions,” Acura wrote.

Finally, the AcuraWatch advanced driver assistance comes standard. Those features include traffic sign recognition, driver awareness monitor, and traffic jam assist.

The 2021 TLX will go on sale in early fall with an MSRP “starting in the mid $30,000 range.”

Images: Acura