The second-generation Acura TLX welcomed the return of the Type S brand after a long hiatus, and the performance sedan is set to go on sale in the United States from June 23. However, the TLX Type S will be offered in limited quantities, with only 2,000 units planned for the 2021 model year, each with a retail price of USD52,300 (RM216,496).

With the TLX Type S, Honda’s luxury division is looking to compete against the BMW M340i xDrive as well as the Audi S4 and Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic, all of which are priced much higher. That’s not to say that its creation is lacking in terms of performance, as the company looked to its heritage to develop its competitor.

Visually, the model looks the part, with an aggressive front bumper featuring a splitter, large air intakes and a unique Acura grille. The sharp headlamps with “Chicane” daytime running lights are a good touch too, as are the quad exhausts, boot lid spoiler and prominent diffuser element at the rear. The increased dash-to-axle length of 198 mm also results in an elongated bonnet that lends a sportier profile to complement the wider stance.

Beneath the metal skin, the TLX Type S boasts double wishbones at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, paired with adaptive dampers. The front also gets larger brake discs that are grabbed by four-piston Brembo calipers, and for an additional USD800 (RM3,312), buyers can specify NSX-inspired 20-inch five-spoke wheels paired with Pirelli P Zero tyres – the former trims unsprung mass by 9.5 kg.

Of course, the main highlight is the 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine that serves up a health 355 hp and 480 Nm of torque. The mill is mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission that shifts faster than a regular TLX, and there’s also a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system with torque vectoring technology.

The powertrain allows for a 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) time of around five seconds, which is about 25% quicker than a standard TLX, while the top speed is up from 209 km/h (130 mph) to 249 km/h (155 mph). These figures put the TLX Type S close to its competitors, with less than a second off in terms of acceleration.

Standard features include Milano leather upholstery with Ultrasuede inserts, 16-way powered front seats with adjustable bolsters, a 17-speaker ELS Studio sound system, a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, AcuraWatch suite and Integrated Dynamics System.