“Car Week” 2019 in Monterey, CA: Type S Concept, Japanese Automotive Invitational

Odometer (ILX):  217,821

Every week for me is a “car week,” right?  As I motored along Highway 101 near San Jose, California last Thursday afternoon in my rental Dodge Caravan, I spotted this beauty:

It was meant to be.  That Alabaster Silver 2007-08 TL Type-S (and my formerly-owned blue one) was the last of its kind.  When the TL was redesigned for the 2009 model year (its “fourth generation”), the Type-S nameplate was retired.  Now a decade later in 2019, it’s about to make a comeback.  And the event I was headed to was specifically to celebrate the rebirth and to showcase what the Type-S of the future will look like.

The Carmel Valley Lodge just outside Monterey is an exquisite country club that hosted a private reception for Acura senior leaders, designers, and invited guests for the unveil of the “Type S Concept” – a highly talked about model that reflects the brand’s return to an emphasis on sportiness and performance.

Matt Sloustcher, Public Relations, and Jon Ikeda, Vice President, kicked off the commentary from the podium next to the concept car which had a sheet over it at the time.  At 7:00, the dramatic unveil was carried out and the crowd responded with a hearty applause.

Ikeda described this type of reveal being “Like having a designer’s pants pulled off; all of a sudden everyone sees everything and it causes anxiety about what kind of reaction they’ll have.”  I liked that analogy.  Ben Davidson, lead designer for the Type S, shared a few insights over the mic about what inspired him during the development process.  (Ben is pictured at far left below).

I was honored to be among the attendees to get a first in-person glimpse of the car which had been revealed in electronic media form just a day prior.  It had a nice presence – new signature “chicane” headlamp and taillamp design, a grille inspired from the Precision concept car, and of course the Type S badging on both front and rear.  I’ll be anxious to see when and how the Type S concept is transformed into a production car in the coming months and years.

This was our group from the NSXCA along with some of the Acura leadership team.

The Type S was on display the following day at the Quail.  I didn’t make it out for that, but it looked like an impressive display!

Another highlight of my weekend was getting to attend the second-annual “Japanese Automotive Invitational” in Pebble Beach.  The Infiniti and Lexus brands are turning 30 years old this year, and Motor Trend partnered with Infiniti to celebrate and recognize the milestone by bringing together a carefully curated field of vehicles for spectator enjoyment.  Last year my Integra GS-R was there.  One of the vehicles on display this year was my 1994 Legend GS sedan that I’ve had for 11 years now.  It looked good out there.

On the final day of my Monterey visit, I made my first visit to the WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca.  I’d heard of Laguna Seca many times before, but this time – thanks to an “alumni” event sponsored by Bring a Trailer – I had a reason to pay a visit.  My minivan was definitely the lamest vehicle in the spectator parking lot, but that was okay.  I got to see & shake hands with some of my heroes from the BaT community including Zac Beatty who has been with the site since its early days.

All too soon, it was time to work my way to the San Jose airport but before boarding my flight, I made one more visit.  I stopped by the home of my friend Kevin who’s a die-hard 2G Integra fan.  Kevin currently has two of them.  He and his wife (and pets!) were extremely hospitable for my drop-in.

The “Car Week” festivities never seem to disappoint.  It was rewarding to get to reconnect with old friends, make a few new ones, and witness firsthand what the future holds for automotive design.  Thanks for coming along for the adventure!

Acura-themed bevvies!

Hanging with Andrew from Acura Public Relations, and his wife Katie

Type S looking mean and muscular

My coworker said the headlights reminded her of Knight Rider

With Marcus from HeelToe Automotive

Marcus, and Jon Ikeda

Visiting with friends who were about to send their 1979 Mercury Bobcat (named “Bob”) to auction

Infiniti display at Pebble Beach for the Japanese Automotive Invitational

My friend Greg’s Datsun

Coffee named “Q45”!

Classic Car Forum at the Inn at Spanish Bay, with remarks from leaders from Mazda, Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti

Night out in Monterey with Jay and Chris

Type-R sighting at Laguna Seca

19 Responses to ““Car Week” 2019 in Monterey, CA: Type S Concept, Japanese Automotive Invitational”

  1. You always seem to be having fun no matter how grueling the event… I want to be like you when I grow up… 😉

    So do you think the next gen TLX will still be called the TLX or will the Type-S become a new replacement model?

    If so I wonder if Acura will just offer it às a high performance version and skip the low line versions? It’s not like passenger cars are big sellers anymore so why not offer it as proper sport sedan and leave the CUVs and ILX to the masses… just a thought

    • It will be interesting to see how the model offerings and timing play out. I was curious, too, as to the logic behind having the “Type S” concept as opposed to the “TLX Type S” concept, etc. Type S seems to be a representation of how styling direction may / will go across several of the brand’s models. So maybe it’s just a generalization for now. No news yet on when future announcements will be made or timing / specifications rolled out.

  2. That Type S concept looks terrific. I’m hoping that this isn’t simply a “design cue” concept but rather, something very similar to a production model, in the same way that the concept car for the 8th generation Honda Accord coupe ended up looking almost identical to the production version. If it is… well, I’m on board.

    That was a very cool trip – I especially enjoyed the JAI car show at Pebble Beach. So cool to see the Legend sedan there. How is it holding up?

    • The sedan is due back in Phoenix tomorrow morning via the transport truck again so hopefully it’s 100% in as nice of shape as when I sent it out there! Seems to have represented well, so I was glad to participate. Unfortunately I noticed recently it’s burning quite a bit of oil. When I let it idle for several minutes and then take off, it’ll leave a bit of blue smoke. Valve stem seal maintenance is common among the C32A Legend motors. So it’s probably time to start looking into that for this one.

  3. Type S looks pretty pretty pretty good! When can I order one? 🙂

    • Hold yer horses, Mr. Brad! Haha. I know, I’m sure there a lot of people anxious to know more about the timing for the official production model. I suspect we are still a ways out. When the ILX concept debuted in Jan 2012, the production car manufacturing started in April of that same year. This concept seems a little further out.

  4. Did you ask Jon Ikeda if he had a ‘vibe’ as to whether Honda will stay in F1 as an engine supplier after 2020?

    • Thanks for reaching out. No – that specific topic didn’t come up but I suppose we can follow up with him and have a little Q&A. Based on Jon’s consistent theme of bringing the Acura brand back to motorsports / racing / performance, I’d bet they’ll take any opportunity they can get to remain a part of F1.

  5. Your GS looks good on display, it sounds like a great idea for a show.

    That’s a nice looking concept car – very nice lines. do you think it’ll actuality make it into production in some form, or is it going to be one of those that gets everybody interested and is then never seen again?

    (Talking of car launches – I remembered the other day that I was at the Motorshow when the prototype XJ220 was revealed in 91/92.. Man I feel old!)

    And nice suit btw 😀

    • Haha, the one time a year I bust out my suit! (And, luckily it still fits ok!) Wow, I would love to see pics from the motorshow you attended 28 years ago. You’re really dating yourself now!! 😉

      • lol! I have a suit like that – only comes out about three times a year at most!

        I wish I’d taken some at the time – it would be great to see. It does make me feel old that the car I saw is now in museum!

  6. The new Type-S concept looks great! Sounds like a fun week or so of adventures. I walk past a red TL-S (automatic…) in my neighborhood quite often, and I think one of the nearby restaurant/bar employees drives a black 6MT version, I occasionally see it parked on a side street. The styling is still very sharp. Here’s hoping this concept stays fairly true to designs as it makes its way to production!

    • Same here, here’s to hoping! Also, looked like you all had an amazing time at the Gambler event! I saw Mercedes’ write-up recently. What a muddy / fun day. Haha

  7. You never stop! Haha. We’ve all been waiting far too long for the return of the Type-S. Maybe a good thing though to make it more exclusive and special. I hope the final production version doesn’t lose a lot of those striking lines. Your Legend sedan is looking great in the show. Now you have a show stand to match the Teg’s? Love it.

  8. Looks like another EPIC trip in the books!

  9. Wesley Adams Says:

    A little late here but that post was awesome!

    How did it look in person? That new TypeS is stunning! All it needs os door handles and would be golden!

    Can’t wait to see it in Performance Red Pearl, but that blue is awesome! Was that Apex Blue Pearl from the RDX, by chance?

    I think it’s so cool they picked blue for the demo. It really feels like the KBP 3G TypeS days a little bit!

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