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Acura readies new-generation RDX, shows prototype

Luxury compact 5-seat crossover to be built on Acura exclusive platform

Joe Duarte
Published: January 17, 2018, 9:30 PM
Updated: January 20, 2018, 4:54 AM

Acura RDX Prototype

Honda has unveiled a prototype of its third generation Acura RDX compact crossover, in the most extensive redesign (borrowing direction from the Acura Precision Concept introduced in 2016 at Pebble Beach) of one of its products in a decade.

Acura RDX badge

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Acura showed off its 5-passenger 2019 RDX Prototype, promising the production model would be the quickest and best handling version of the RDX ever produced. Designed, developed and produced in North America on an Acura-exclusive platform (previous RDXs shared architecture with Honda Civic and CR-V), it’s due in showrooms in mid 2018.

“The all-new RDX delivers a powerful statement about who we are and where we are headed as a brand,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager. “For our customers, the new RDX is a quantum leap forward in design, style and performance, with luxury features and technology that will elevate their ownership experience.”

Acura RDX Prototype

Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, using a 10-speed automatic transmission and torque vectoring to channel power for the Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. Production power and torque figures will be released closer to launch.

The new compact crossover will also have an available new adaptive damper system, developed from the new NSX’s system, with Sport, Sport Plus, Comfort and Snow modes available through a dial on the centre console. Driving aids include hill-start assist, vehicle surround camera system, front and rear parking sensors, blind sport information and rear cross-traffic alert.

Acura RDX Prototype

Available at launch and for the first time on an Acura utility, an A-Spec variant, with Honda announcing that all future Acura models would receive A-Spec treatments.

The interior not only features premium materials (such as Nappa leather and Olive Ash wood trim), new-design power front seats, an intuitive new touchpad interface and voice recognition, it also features class-leading passenger and cargo space with natural light streaming in via a panoramic roof (the largest in class).

Acura RDX Prototype interior

“Absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines,” said Ross Miller, senior engineer of user interface research. “It’s also designed to be adopted quickly and easily, as drivers become acclimated and comfortable in minutes.”

Also on board is a 16-channel, 710-watt Acura ELD Studio 3D sound system from Panasonic, with four ultra-thin speakers in the headliner.