Next-Gen Acura MDX to Focus on Luxury and Performance, Adds Type S ModelPosted on: October 27, 2020, by : Rakesh Sashmal
Looks like: The MDX gets meaner, more muscular
Competes with: Audi Q7, Buick Enclave, Infiniti QX60
Powertrain: A 3.5-liter V-6 is standard and a 355-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 is optional; 10-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
On sale date: A production version of the new MDX will arrive at dealerships in early 2021; the MDX Type S will follow in summer.
Acura’s MDX people mover was last redesigned for model-year 2014 with a light update for 2017 — and now it’s time for some significant changes, and Acura is almost ready to show them to us. The automaker today revealed the next-generation MDX — albeit in “prototype” form, however assembly-line ready it may really be.
The new version of the three-row SUV rides on a new platform, and gets upgraded interior materials and additional technology. The Honda luxury brand calls it “the most premium and performance-focused MDX in Acura history.”
As Honda is known to do, the MDX Prototype is likely a very thinly disguised version of the fourth-generation MDX. It wears more muscular styling thanks to a wider, more upright grille with integrated foglights and a 3D diamond pentagon pattern. It also gets a more sculpted hood and chiseled bodyside design. The next MDX is lower and wider, and new wide Chicane-style LED taillights, which match the LED daytime running lights around front, emphasize its extra width in the back.
The prototype was unveiled in a very concept-car-like Liquid Carbon matte paint and wears large 21-inch wheels. No word yet whether either of those will make it to the production model.
The MDX Prototype’s new cockpit design features a focus on screens. The model debuts Acura’s new all-digital Precision Cockpit feature, which replaces regular gauges with a customizable 12.3-inch screen.
It also gets Acura’s new True Touchpad Interface multimedia system, which uses two touch-sensitive pads to control a touchless widescreen mounted high atop the dash. In the MDX, the screen is 12.3 inches; Acura says it’s its largest screen yet. We haven’t tested the system yet, but found it fairly unintuitive in Acura’s RDX and no better in the TLX, though the larger screen could help.
Other cabin highlights include a focus on luxury with more premium materials lining the cabin such as open-pore wood, polished aluminum trim, French stitching and Milano leather. Acura also says it redesigned the seats with more sculpting, curvilinear quilting in all three rows, gradient perforation, and high-contrast stitching and piping.
Other available luxury features include massaging seats with nine modes, 27 different interior lighting schemes and an ELS Studio-brand premium audio system with more than 1,000 watts of power, 22 discrete channels and 25 speakers.
Engine and Transmission
Acura says the next MDX rides on an all-new light truck platform that uses a double-wishbone front suspension, a first for the MDX. The automaker calls it the most rigid Acura SUV body to date.
Its engines are also new. The standard powertrain is a 3.5-liter V-6 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. No word yet on hosepower; the current MDX’s 3.5-liter V-6 makes 290-horsepower and uses a nine-speed automatic transmission.
MDX Type S models, which will go on sale after the regular model, will use a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 good for an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 pounds-feet of torque. Acura’s Super Handling All-wheel Drive system is available on regular V-6 models and standard on Type S versions.
No word yet on if the hybrid model will rejoin the lineup.