Automotive

Acura MDX gets sport hybrid system, gets a new beak

Acura MDX gets sport hybrid sy...
Acura is trying to give itself a new identity with this car
Acura is trying to give itself a new identity with this car
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The Acura MDX debuts a new face for the brand
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The Acura MDX debuts a new face for the brand
The brand's new grille design was previewed on the Precision Concept
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The brand's new grille design was previewed on the Precision Concept
Acura has a wide range of trim options available inside
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Acura has a wide range of trim options available inside
The MDX Sport Hybrid is more powerful and economical than the petrol model
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The MDX Sport Hybrid is more powerful and economical than the petrol model
The MDX has an all-wheel drive system similar to the NSX's
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The MDX has an all-wheel drive system similar to the NSX's
If you kids like feeling like kings, there are individual rear seats available
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If you kids like feeling like kings, there are individual rear seats available
The MDX's interior on show in New York
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The MDX's interior on show in New York
We're not sold on the car's new nose
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We're not sold on the car's new nose
Acura is trying to give itself a new identity with this car
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Acura is trying to give itself a new identity with this car
View gallery - 9 images

Honda's luxury offshoot looking to sharpen its identity amidst the huge number of luxury brands out there with the new Acura MDX. Setting the MDX apart from the crowd is a new sport hybrid powertrain and a new grille, which was previewed on the Precision Concept in Detroit and is expected to slowly work its way across the rest of Acura's range.

The Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) model has 325 hp (242 kW) on tap - 35 hp (26 kW) more than the non-hybrid version thanks to three electric motors, one mounted on the front axle and two on the rear. As well as providing a handy power boost in a straight line, the electric motors are used for torque vectoring in the car's NSX-style all-wheel drive system.

While EPA ratings are not yet out, the hybrid system is expected to deliver an extra 7 mpg (3 l/100km) over the non-hybrid, AWD MDX model, which would put it at around 26 mpg on the combined cycle.

Acura has a wide range of trim options available inside
Acura has a wide range of trim options available inside

If it's to steal buyers away from Lexus, Acura's new SUV will need to be safe, so there's a full suite of active safety features fitted to the MDX as standard. Auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control are all fitted under the umbrella of AcuraWatch, which uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera to detect other cars and lane markings on the road.

The system sounds similar to Subaru's fantastic EyeSight system, although we'll have to try Acura's setup before passing judgement.

Even though the full safety suite is standard, there's still some options slipped onto the SUV's spec sheet that are worth looking at. For example, if you're not worried about using the MDX's full seven-seat capacity, the rear bench can be replaced with individual "Captain's Chairs" and a unique center console with extra USB ports for power-hungry rear-seat, er, captains.

The MDX launched at this year's New York Auto Show, but there's no word on pricing just yet.

Source: Honda

View gallery - 9 images
2 comments
Jeff Goldstein
I have been considering getting an MDX to replace my Honda Pilot but I guess I will have to hurry to get an old one or just get a German Luxury SUV. This new MDX is just plain ugly. First Lexus gave their nice looking RX an ugly grill and now MDX. The Japanese designers seem to be on drugs. Too bad.
Michael Wilson
still ugly, but its an improvement over the previous designs. I've always appreciated the assist honda hybrid systems. They seem to make more power, more torque and increase in fuel economy. All the good with no compromises. I like.