Acura pretty much nailed it with the latest iterations of the RDX crossover and TLX sedan. Both cars have been thoroughly redesigned and re-engineered to meet the growing needs of the luxury consumer. Now the three-row MDX is getting the same treatment, and our first glimpse at the forthcoming production version comes in the form of the MDX Prototype pictured here.
What you see should be pretty close to the final product, its official name notwithstanding. Design cues like a larger diamond-shaped grille and an even longer hood – both borrowed from the RDX and TLX – carry over to the MDX, as do the brand’s now-signature four-element JewelEye LED headlights. And it all looks very sharp.
The body of the MDX Prototype is lower, longer, and wider, with the wheelbase growing by 3.0 inches over the previous model. It’s all perched atop a set of sizeable 21-inch wheels. Details like bulging shoulders and a larger greenhouse set further back onto the axle give the SUV a more aggressive profile, and to top it off, the two MDX prototypes pictured here wear unique Liquid Carbon and Performance Red matte exterior finishes. We’re hopeful those two hues carry over to production.
As with the exterior, the inside of the MDX also takes cues from its two siblings. The totally redesigned cabin features brand-new tech like the Acura digital cockpit, which consists of two 12.3-inch screens (a digital cluster and a central touchscreen) managed via the brand’s True Touchpad Interface. Plus there are swathes of modern, high-quality materials throughout, including metallic flake accents, polished aluminum trim pieces, and Milano leather seating surfaces.
Acura also notes improvements to cabin space, citing more headroom for first and third-row occupants and an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof that extends to all three rows, giving the space an open and airy feel. The front seats also boast 16-way power adjustability and nine-way massage functionality.
The base Acura MDX will get a new 3.5-liter V6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, though we don’t know exactly how much power it will produce yet. The current MDX pumps out 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet from its V6. The MDX Type S, meanwhile, will get the brand’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine capable of 355 horsepower (265 kilowatts) and 354 pound-feet (480 newton-meters), with power sent to all four wheels via the brand’s fourth-generation SH-AWD system and Brembo stoppers at each corner.
The 2021 Acura MDX should appear in its final production form later this year before going on sale early in 2021.