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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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