2014 Acura MDX Prototype is exactly what we expectedTue, 15 Jan 2013 MDX. And despite being totally redone, it looks exactly like we expected. That is, it's an up-sized version of the RDX crossover with fancy LED lights stolen from the RLX sedan. And while that might not sound too exciting, we have to say, it is handsome – certainly a more cohesive, refined design than the angular, beak-tastic model that's currently on sale.
Acura is calling this 2014 MDX a prototype, but that's only because it isn't 100-percent finished. Everything you see here will likely carry over to production, maybe with a couple small tweaks. Under the hood is the same 3.5-liter V6 that we know and love from the Honda group, and while we don't have power figures just yet, Acura says it will deliver more torque while improving efficiency. In redesigning the MDX, the Japanese automaker has managed to lighten and stiffen the chassis, improving driving dynamics. More interestingly, for the first time Acura will offer a front-wheel-drive version of the MDX, but don't worry, the automaker's SH-AWD all-wheel drive will be available.
Inside, the usual smattering of tech goodies will be on hand, including the next-generation AcuraLink system, satellite radio, tons of comfort amenities and every single alphabetic safety device known to man (okay, maybe not all of them).
This MDX may be a prototype, but we'll see the production version very, very soon. Scroll down for the full details in Acura's release.
Acura 2014 MDX Prototype Makes World Debut at North American International Auto Show
2014 MDX Prototype provides glimpse at luxurious third-generation MDX
01/15/2013 - DETROIT, Mich
The 2014 Acura MDX Prototype made its world debut today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, offering a strong indication of the styling and design direction for the third generation of the popular, 7-passenger Acura MDX performance luxury SUV, launching by mid-2013 in both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive layouts.
"Our goal is to advance on MDX's already great dynamic performance while improving fuel economy and luxury comfort," said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations. "Building on the great momentum we established in 2012 with the launch this year of our flagship RLX, followed later this year by a terrific new luxury SUV in MDX we are very excited about the direction of the Acura brand. And we are truly looking forward to a great 2013."
The "Aero Sculpture" styling of the 2014 MDX Prototype pursues the direction of a smart, compact and premium appearance with low, wide and sleek proportions; a clean, efficient and uncluttered design; and elegant, premium detailing, including the signature Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights. This "aero" image also reflects significant gains in aerodynamic efficiency, up 16 percent compared to the outgoing 2013 MDX, achieved through extensive testing in Honda R&D Americas' new wind-tunnel laboratory in Raymond, Ohio – where the vehicle is being created.
The 2014 MDX Prototype's sculpted exterior and arcing roofline (1.5-inches lower than the outgoing model) encase what will be an even more spacious and versatile cabin compared to the outgoing 2013 MDX. The 2014 MDX Prototype features a longer wheelbase that enhances ride quality, increases second-row legroom, and improves third-row seat access.
"While we aren't showcasing the interior today, I can assure you it will further improve the already great functionality in the cabin and cargo area while really amping up luxury, comfort and quiet," added Jon Ikeda, chief designer, Acura Design Studio. "And that's really the focus of this new MDX, delivering outstanding luxury performance and family capability in a more refined and alluring package."
In response to strong demand from consumers in warm weather markets Acura also will, for the first time, offer a front-wheel drive version of MDX in addition to the all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) model that has earned MDX a reputation as a leader in dynamic handling and all-weather performance for a luxury SUV.
The 2014 MDX will also feature an all-new, more rigid and lightweight chassis, including new front and rear suspension designs that deliver a more refined, confidence-inspiring, and sporty driving character. An all-new, direct-injected 3.5-liter i-VTEC SOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) will deliver improved torque and more spirited performance while realizing a significant increase in fuel efficiency to class-leading levels. Special attention was also paid to improving cabin quietness, which is greatly enhanced by the vehicle's all-new chassis and body design and new sound-deadening techniques.
The 2014 MDX also will be equipped with a broad array of advanced safety technologies, including the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and the available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems, as well as visibility technologies such as the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and the available Blind Spot Information (BSI), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), and Active Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. Further, the 2014 MDX is designed to achieve top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the IIHS. All 2013 Acura models other than the outgoing ZDX achieved at least a TOP SAFETY PICK safety rating, while the TL sedan was one of the first two vehicles in the industry to achieve TOP SAFETY Pick+ status.
The new MDX will also feature a full array of advanced information technologies, including the next-generation AcuraLink cloud-based connected car system featuring Pandora® connectivity, SiriusXM™ radio, SMS text messaging, and cloud-based Aha™ by Harman connectivity that brings thousands of personalized news, information and media feeds into the vehicle via the customer's compatible smartphone and data plan. A premium Acura/ELS® audio system will be available on the new MDX. Next-generation AcuraLink will also be available with a host of fee-based convenience, assistive and security features, such as automated crash notification, remote locking/unlocking, emergency "SOS" call feature, and live-operator concierge services.
With the introduction of the all-new 2014 Acura MDX production will move from Alliston, Ontario, to the company's vehicle and V-6 engine manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Alabama. Using domestic and globally sourced parts, the MDX is built exclusively in North America.
By Steven J. Ewing
See also: Acura NSX Concept is pretty on the inside, too [w/video], IIHS says these are the safest cars of 2013, Acura TL bursts into flames moments before being traded in at Ontario dealership [UPDATE].