HPS Performance Air Intake Development | Acura TLX Type S 3.0L Turbo
February 16, 20233 min read
Acura's Type-S model line is back after a near decade long hiatus. Bringing back the spirit of performance from the RSX and the TL, the second generation Acura TLX Type S stirred up a commotion when the new model was announced. With 355 horsepower delivered by a turbocharged 3 liter V6, it is the most powerful Acura sedan produced to date. Excited as most automotive enthusiasts are, we were thrilled to bring this vehicle in to learn more about it.
Driving this car completely stock felt a bit more refined than our 2.0L Turbo Honda Accord. Everything was "more" with the TLX. Two more cylinders and 1 liter more displacement, the TLX is impressively quick.
Although the car was fast, we felt that the TLX Type S was lacking in excitement when we got on the gas pedal. Understandably for an Acura, noise had to kept to a whisper to meet NVH requirements. So our first project with this vehicle was to develop an air intake kit. Our goals were to open up the intake to let the engine breathe more freely and to improve the way the car sounds.
After the first look under the hood, we could already tell it would be difficult to produce an intake system as the space was limited. Looking at the stock intake, we can see that there is very little distance before the MAF housing. This could be a concern as it would limit us on the choice of air filter we could use.
Once we saw the space we had to work with, we took some measurements with our 3D scanner and began mocking up an intake. We chose a 3.5" mandrel bend and reduced the bend angle to keep any restrictions in the intake tract to a minimum and to keep the intake pipe short in order to have more air filter options.
We used an all wheel drive Mustang dyno to perform our testing. The intake produced impressive results with an increase of 19 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque after testing a few different variations. We felt that this was a good number to be at so we left it at that and continued with the remainder of the development.
Developing the heat shield was a difficult task as we were trying to find the balance between user friendly and functionality without muffling the sound too much. With the turbo sitting up high and such a short path between the air filter and intake pipe, managing heat needed to take priority. We took a slightly different approach and started with a multi piece design that required assembling the heat shield in sections whilst on the vehicle. This allowed for us to design a heat shield with features to maximize the use of the space.
After testing the intake for a couple of months, we revised the design slightly to further address the heat in the engine bay by adding more heat shielding and introducing a multi-layered aluminum and fiberglass heat shielding which helped bring the temperature down significantly.
After nearly an entire year of testing and revisions, it was a matter of figuring out the best method to manufacture this intake kit in house. A minor logo placement change was made in the final production pieces but the overall design remained unchanged. Just like the Acura TLX Type S itself, we are truly excited to say that this intake is proudly Made in the USA.
The time has finally come!
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Back for our first year since 2019, we sought out the latest projects that the ever innovative aftermarket automotive industry brought to share at the 2022 Las Vegas SEMA Show. From off-road customs and performance builds to EV conversions, this trade convention was a sight to see.