Acura shows sleeker look of its next MDX

8 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Acura shows sleeker look of its next MDX
Honda MDX

Acura shows sleeker look of its next MDX

Story Highlights

Prototype previews coming next-generation MDX Desogn is more aerodynamic, offers more third-row room and access Will be offered with two-wheel as well as all-wheel drive for first time

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Acura showed off the future of its popular MDX mid-size, three-row crossover SUV today at the North American International Auto Show today.

In unveiling the MDX Prototype, Jon Ikeda, head of the Acura Design Studio, said that it is a strong indication of the redesign for the SUV, which will roll out in 2014. Acura and parent Honda are known for showing concept vehicles that are very close to the production models that follow.

The MDX Prototype borrows some styling cues from Acura’s new flagship RLX sedan — which is due on sale in March — including jewel-eye multi-beam headlamps, flowing lines and a toned-down version of Acura signature, but controversial, grille design.

And it is sleeker than the current model. We wanted a body that could cut through the wind, Ikeda said of the new exterior, which he said offers a 16% reduction in drag, while giving the luxury SUV a more athletic stance.

In fact, its lines also borrow some cues from other upscale, sporty SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne and Infiniti FX.

The MDX Prototype is 1.5 inches lower than the current MDX and is on an unspecified slightly longer wheelbase for more second-row legroom and easier third-row access.

Honda MDX

Under the hood is a new 3.5 liter direct-injection V6 that Acura promises will have class leading fuel economy. Some of that will be due to the engine’s cylinder deactivation technology that lets it run on fewer cylinders under light load.

And for the first time, the MDX will be offered with two-wheel as well as all-wheel drive. That could offer a model with slightly better gas mileage (and perhaps a slightly lower price?) than the all-wheel version.

The interior of the concept remained blacked out and off-limits. While we aren’t showcasing the interior today, I can assure you it will further improve the already great functionality in the cabin and cargo area while really amping up luxury, comfort and quiet, said Ikeda.

Another first: though the MDX has been built in Ontario, Canada since the model’s 2001 debut, production of the next generation will move to Honda’s light truck plant in Lincoln, Alabama.

Ikeda said the new MDX would bring to the crossover the same high-tech electronics and safety features offered on the new RLX, such as the AcuraLink cloud-based connectivity system, active lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot and forward collision systems and a multi-angle rear camera.

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