Japanese automaker Honda's luxury vehicle segment - Acura, revealed its latest luxury SUV prototype - the fourth-generation MDX on Wednesday this week. This SUV is set to be the flagship model of Acura for the coming year.
Since its launch in 2000, Acura has brought about new features for each generation of the MDX. The latest prototype comes with the latest Acura technologies and is a blend of class and performance. For the first time, the MDX has been equipped with a double-wishbone front suspension and Type S high-performance moniker.
The MDX prototype gets a much dynamic and muscular design. The upright grille and long, sculpted hood are anchored to a much lower and wider body with bulging shoulders, resulting in a 6-inch increase in the dash-to-axle dimension.
Some key elements of Acura's next-generation design have been integrated with the latest MDX which includes a 3D diamond pentagon grille flanked by four-element "Jewel Eye" LED headlights, backed by "Chicane" LED daytime running lights - a form of inspiration taken from the Acura ARX-05. Its front side of the SUV has been carved to highlight its wide grille, integrating fog light housings under the side ventilators that also highlight the new MDX's wider track.
The prototype is fitted with 21-inch wheels that have been pushed to the corners, giving the SUV a nearly 3-inch longer wheelbase. This aids in delivering a smoother riding experience while making more room for passengers in all three rows. This extension also brings in much wider cargo space.
On the inside, the MDX prototype sports a futuristic cabin design with a cleaner, more upright instrument panel taking on a wide structural motif. High-grade, authentic materials trim the interior including open-pore wood with infused metallic flake, polished aluminum, and soft-touch Milano leather.
An elegant mix of ebony and light orchid leather distinguishes the instrument panel and steering wheel with French-stitched detailing. The SUV also comes with next-generation Acura sport seats which 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 facilitates more legroom in all three rows and more headroom for front and third-row passengers. The cabin also sports an ultra-wide panoramic moon roof.
Like all Acura cars, the MDX's sport seats offer 16-way power adjustment and integrated massage functionality with nine different massage modes.
Acura's "Iconic Drive" LED illuminates the entire MDX cabin with 27 different lighting schemes tied to driving modes and representatives of various locations, such as iconic roads, and race circuits around the world.
Featuring many leading-edge Acura technologies, the MDX Prototype debuts Acura's all-digital "Precision Cockpit", replacing physical gauges with a customisable 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's largest implementation yet), Acura-exclusive touchpad with, and a new CPU for improved performance.
To further meet one's infotainment needs, the MDX sports a "Signature Edition ELS Studio 3D" premium audio system that carries more than 1,000 watts of power, 22 discrete channels, and 25 speakers.
This elevated tier of ELS system features six ceiling-mounted Highline speakers and six carbon fiber coned mid-range woofers including two positioned innovatively in the front console to create a "centre of the studio" experience with a perfect left to the right balance.
Tuned and perfected by eight-time Grammy award-winning music producer and sound engineer - Elliot Scheiner, this is the most advanced and powerful audio system ever offered in an Acura vehicle as of now.
In terms of safety, the MDX model comes with Acura's "Advanced Compatibility Engineering" (ACE) body structure that features enhanced occupant and pedestrian collision protection capabilities, supported by an expanded suite of "AcuraWatch" safety and driver-assistive technologies, including enhanced "road departure mitigation", "traffic jam assist", and "low-speed braking control".
The new MDX is engineered to support Type S-levels of performance as well as advanced collision and pedestrian safety. Anchored to the new body is a new performance-focused chassis featuring MDX's first-ever double-wishbone front suspension, delivering sharp, and sporty handling with improved road holding and ride comfort.
Acura's fourth-generation "super handling all-wheel drive", a dynamic torque vectoring technology, extracts maximum grip and cornering precision from the chassis of the new MDX. To further enhance handling, the SUV sports Brembo four-piston brake calipers on all four corners.
Drivers can customise the ride, handling, steering, suspension, and powertrain performance characteristics using the MDX's "Intelligent Dynamics System" (IDS). The IDS unlocks a wider range of personalised driving experiences through pre-set modes as well as giving drivers the ability to customise an individual dynamic driving mode via the NSX-inspired "drive mode dial", positioned prominently on the center console.
The new fourth-generation MDX will be available in two powertrains. The standard variant will come with Acura's 3.5-liter V6 with i-VTEC valve train and the Type S will feature a Type S- 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that will be able to produce an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, the most powerful engine ever offered in an Acura SUV as of now.
All MDX Type S models will put power to the ground through Acura's fourth-generation SH-AWD system. The SUV will be available in two colours; liquid carbon and performance red.