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The Acura CL Type-S Is a Forgotten Special Acura

When you think of exciting, special Acura models, you surely think of the NSX first and foremost — and then maybe some high-performance versions of the Integra. What you almost certainly don’t think of is the CL Type-S — although this was a special car, aimed at enthusiasts, that’s been largely forgotten.

Here’s the general overview of the CL Type-S. Essentially, the CL was the coupe version of Acura’s TL sedan, meaning it was front-wheel drive — a demerit, sure, but not a fatal one. The CL was sold for two generations, and it always looked a bit nicer than its sedan counterpart.

But the especially exciting model in the CL range was the “Type-S” version, which was sold from 2000 to 2003. While the regular CL used a 225-horsepower 3.2-liter V6, the Type-S saw a boost to 260 hp — and an increase in torque from 216 to 232. More important, however, was the transmission choice: while the CL Type-S was only offered with a 5-speed automatic — a transmission known to be failure-prone as it gets on in years — Acura decided to add a 6-speed manual option for 2003. The car was canceled after that, meaning the 6-speed manual was offered with the Type-S for just one year — meaning cars that have the transmission are exceptionally rare.

Right now on Autotrader, there are only about a dozen CL Type-S models listed for sale from all four of the car’s model years — and just two are the extremely rare 2003 models with the 6-speed manual transmission. Both are listed for well under $10,000, providing an easy point of entry to a shockingly rare enthusiast-focused car.

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  1. I have a 2004 accord exl coupe 6 speed manual j30a4 6-cylinder engine that initially was introduced in 2003. Honda had their engineering stuff together when they made this car. Loaded with options fast dependable good looking and a few technical designs unique to this engine. Sohc vtech with a 3-lobe profile, exhaust manifold and the head are cast as a single unit. A sweet shifting 6 speed second only to a Porsche 911. 240 HP 212 Torque but designed to output 250/260 on 93 octane from the factory. Torque is how well you know how to shift. It’s not a 911 but a helluva nice little sportscar except in the snow. `Buy a winter beater!

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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