Acura Gives SUV MDX Prototype Preview

The new SUV MDX will be on sale next year. Photo: Acura

On sale early next year, Acura MDX Prototype previews the fourth-generation of the class-defining Acura MDX.

Exterior Design

Enveloped in striking matte finish, the MDX Prototype is offered in both Liquid Carbon and Performance Red. The upright grille and long, sculpted hood enable a 6-inch increase in dash-to-axle dimension.

Signature elements of Acura’s next-generation design language are integrated with the new form of MDX, including a three-dimensional Diamond Pentagon grille flanked by four-element JewelEye LED headlights, underscored by Chicane LED daytime running lights, inspired by the Acura ARX-05 race car. The front fascia has been sculpted to highlight the wide grille, integrating fog light housings under side vents that further emphasize the new MDX’s wider track.

In profile view, the 21-inch wheels have been pushed to the corners, giving the MDX Prototype a nearly 3-inch longer wheelbase, as well as a larger and more versatile cargo hold. A sharply sculpted beltline connects the front and rear, where the wide-set Chicane LED taillights echo the headlight treatment in front.


Authentic materials trim the interior including open-pore wood with infused metallic flake, polished aluminum and soft-touch Milano leather. A mix of Ebony and Light Orchid leather graces the instrument panel and steering wheel with French stitched detailing. Next-generation Acura sport seats offer a more sculpted form with curvilinear quilting in all three rows, gradient perforation, and high-contrast stitching and piping.

The MDX’s wider body design enables first-class seating with more legroom in all three rows, and notably more headroom for front and third-row occupants. An ultra-wide panoramic moonroof opens the cabin up to provide natural light to all three rows.

The Acura sport seats offer 16-way power adjustment and integrated massage functionality with a class-leading nine massage modes to relax the driver and front passenger. Acura’s Iconic Drive LED illuminates the entire MDX cabin with 27 different lighting schemes tied to driving modes.

Advanced Technology

The MDX Prototype debuts Acura’s all-digital Precision Cockpit, replacing physical gauges with a customizable 12.3-inch driver’s meter. The new MDX also gains the latest generation of Acura’s intuitive and driver-focused True Touchpad Interface, featuring an ultra-wide, 12.3-inch, full-HD center display, Acura-exclusive touchpad with “absolute positioning” and a new CPU.

The “Signature Edition” ELS STUDIO 3D premium audio system in the MDX Prototype has more than 1000 watts of power, 22 discrete channels and 25 speakers.

Safety technologies include the latest generation of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure, with enhanced occupant and pedestrian collision protection capabilities, bolstered by an expanded suite of AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistive technologies, including enhanced Road Departure Mitigation, new Traffic Jam Assist and new Low Speed Braking Control.

Performance at its Core

Anchored to the ultra-rigid new body is a new chassis featuring MDX’s first-ever double wishbone front suspension. It includes fourth-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). Stopping performance is enabled with Brembo four-piston brake calipers, finished in a striking Ivory paint, at all four corners.

Drivers can customize the ride, handling, steering, suspension and powertrain performance characteristics using the MDX’s Intelligent Dynamics System (IDS).

Powering the fourth-generation MDX will be one of two new powertrains. Standard power will come from Acura’s 3.5-litre DOHC V6 with VTEC valvetrain, connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The upcoming MDX Type S will feature a Type S-exclusive 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 producing an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque.


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