Acura has done that weird thing of revealing what it would like us to believe is a concept vehicle but is actually a nearly production-ready version of the next-generation MDX three-row crossover. With the RLX luxury sedan now in its final year, the MDX becomes Acura’s flagship, and it promises to pivot on the brand’s hot new sportier approach.
The fourth-generation MDX sits on an “all-new light truck platform” refined for rigidity, cabin quietness and comfort, Acura’s press materials say. This new structure will be the basis of the imminent, first-ever Type S-branded MDX crossover, expected next summer.
This “concept” MDX is about three inches longer than the current model it’s set to replace, and it’s sitting on 21-inch wheels. Inside, there’s a 12.3-inch driver’s display and another 12.3-inch display in the center of the dashboard; they are linked up to Acura’s funky touchpad interface.
Acura claims its “most rigid SUV body to date” will sit on a new double-wishbone front suspension for improved handling performance. The MDX in production form will also be available with Acura’s fourth-gen SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) technology to take advantage of all of that, you know, rigidness. The SH-AWD is confirmed to be standard on the upcoming Type S, and I’m guessing that’s where the teased ivory-painted Brembo brake calipers are going, too.
The MDX Type S is also promised to be the “most powerful engine ever offered in an Acura SUV” with its new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 making 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The only other power available on the standard MDX will be a 3.5-liter V6 with freaking VTEC, expected to make somwhere around the current-gen MDX’s 290 HP and 267 lb-ft of torque. Both models get a 10-speed automatic, assembled in Georgia, and the engines, body and everything else will be assembled in Ohio with the NSX.
I’m not going to dare complain about a 350-horsepower Type S crossover from Acura. That sounds nice, and I’m eager to drive it. That said, I am kind of hoping Acura is saving room in its performance plans, or at least the MDX’s lineup, for a hybrid model with some of that new electricity the kids are all excited about.