Acura has unveiled the restyled 2017 MDX at the New York Auto Show, showing off the new face of the brand. The improved three-row crossover also gets more standard features and a hybrid version.
From the front, the 2017 MDX sports the diamond pentagon grille that was first showcased on Acura’s wild Precision Concept, Jewel Eye headlights, LED fog lights and a re-sculpted hood with pronounced creases.
The rear end features a revised bumper and two more tailpipes to deliver a sportier look. A fresh new 20-inch wheel design is also part of the update.
The MDX can now be ordered with Acura’s very capable Sport Hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which uses electric motors to drive the rear wheels and improves vehicle control. SH-AWD also adds 35 horsepower and an estimated 7 mpg in city driving over the regular MDX, bringing total output to 325 horsepower and fuel economy to 25/26 mpg city/highway.
Buyers benefit from a longer list of standard equipment, including an electric parking brake, auto high-beams and 2.5-amp USB charging ports. Those looking for even more features have the option of a new Advanced package that adds second-row captain’s chairs in place of the typical three-person bench and a complimentary center console.
The updated, 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid commands a premium over the regular, SH-AWD model.
High-Performance Acura NSX Type-R Coming In 2020
There have been rumors of a hotter Type-R version of the Acura NSX ever since the the second-generation model hit the market in 2016.
Acura’s vice president and general manager Jon Ikeda previously hinted at the idea of an NSX Type-R, and now a new report claims it could arrive in 2020.
In an interview with , he expressed a strong desire to see the car but stopped short of confirming anything:
“I’m a car guy, so always faster performance vehicles… yeah we like that, we talk about it. We’ll see… anything can happen. “There’s always proposals.”
There are speculations that NSX Type-R could have up to 641 horsepower, which is a nice bump over the standard NSX’s 573-hp.
The Australia outlet claims it has been approved for development and that it will debut sometime in 2019 before arriving in 2020, but because we haven’t heard it from Acura’s own mouth, we’ll have to wait and see what’s speeding our way, if anything.
All-New, 2019 Acura RDX Ups The Aggression And Tech
A top-seller for Honda’s luxury brand for a several years now, the Acura RDX adopts a more aggressive styling, as well as the latest in tech and luxury, for its third-generation in the near-luxury compact SUV-crossover segment, a segment it has dominated.
The redesigned RDX signals a new era for the Acura brand, which has struggled to gain traction against its European, Asian and even American luxury rivals. It adopts Acura’s latest design language, becoming the first to fully integrate the diamond pentagon grille and new seven-element Jewel Eye LED headlights. A lower and wider stance gives it a sportier appearance.
Just as edgy as the exterior, the interior is loaded with modern tech and convenience features, including a touchpad interface for the 10.2-inch display, a new ELS Studio audio system, and a new head up display, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay connectivity, and a wide panoramic sunroof. A 2.6-inche longer wheelbase also means more room for passengers and cargo than before.
Buyers looking for an even sportier appearance have the option of an A-Spec package that gives the RDX unique bodywork and 20-inch wheels, as well as a similarly-themed interior that’s configurable in black or red leather with contrast stitching and features a leather sport steering wheel.
All RDX models are powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque, sent to the front wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. Acura’s Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system is available.
The all-new, 2019 Acura RDX goes on sale in the middle of 2018.
Honda CEO Disappointed With Acura’s Performance
It’s been hard times for Acura. While Honda Motor Co.’s Honda brand managed to outpace the overall U.S. auto industry in much of 2016, it’s luxury division continues to struggle. Company CEO Takahiro Hachigo isn’t happy.
Sales at Acura fell 9.3 percent in the first nine months of the year, with its cars plunging 17 percent and light trucks declining by 4.5 percent. In an interview with , Hachigo said “Of course, I am not satisfied with the current results.”
According to the executive, Acura needs to reinforce its strength in utility vehicles while improving the appeal of its sedans by spicing up their design and driving performance. The primary goal is to solidify the brand’s foothold in the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest car markets, before even thinking about going all-out global.
In Hachigo’s exact words:
“Globally, we think the U.S. and China are the only regions where it is possible for us to cap the two pillars [of regional and global vehicles] with a luxury brand. For other regions, we want to build a solid business using the region-specific models and global models first.”
With “lowly” Honda encroaching on its near-luxury territory by offering an increasing number of premium features, many auto critics have written Acura off as a redundancy. Do you think the brand has a shot in today’s automotive landscape? If so, what must it do to make a name for itself?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.