Acura Debuts 2019 RDX Prototype at North American International Auto Show


Japan-based Acura has introduced the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Detroit’s Cobo Center. The five-passenger SUV is slated to launch mid-2018. Previous RDX models have seen five consecutive years of record sales and seven straight years of year-over-year sales growth.

The 2019 Acura RDX is a top-to-bottom remake and the first to embody the automaker’s new design language as envisioned with the Acura Precision Concept. The vehicle features updated interior design and technology, including the Aura Precision Cockpit. Designed, developed, and manufactured in the U.S., the vehicle will be the first Acura SUV offered with an A-Spec trim. All core Acura models going forward will receive A-Spec treatment.

This third generation RDX has been reengineered on a proprietary platform featuring a lighter and stiffened body, and a new chassis and powertrain. It will also feature the Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive and Acura True Touchpad Interface.

“The all-new RDX delivers a powerful statement about who we are and where we are headed as a brand,” says Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. “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.”

The car has a 2.0 liter, 16-valve DOHC direct-injected engine, which delivers 40 percent more low-end torque than the outgoing RDX. The engine is mated up to a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission.

Additionally, the new design features all-wheel-drive variants and has four distance drive modes: Sport, Sport +, Comfort, and Snow. A drive mode dial is located high in the center console. The car also has a floating center console, power sport seats, a sports steering wheel, and detailing using materials including Napa leather, brushed aluminum, and open-pore Olive Ash wood.

The front sport seats, supported by 16-way power adjustment, are heated and ventilated, in addition to a new ultra-wide panoramic sliding moonroof.

The RDX’s True Touchpad Interface features an Android-based operating system and is projected onto a dual-zone, 10.2-inch full-HD display located atop the center console. In addition, the car has a new natural language voice recognition system.

All 2019 RDX models will come equipped with the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Additional available connected-car and driver-assistive features include next-generation AcuraLink with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Hill Start Assist, Surround-View Camera System, front and rear parking sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and Blind Spot Information system.

“Absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive, and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines,” says 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.”

Four ultra-thin, ceiling-mounted speakers are also located in the car. The 16-channel, 710-watt Acura ELS Studio 3D system was developed by Panasonic and tuned by Grammy-winning music producer and Acura partner Elliott Scheiner.

Development on the 2019 Acura RDX was led for the first time by a U.S. research and development team, with styling by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, and development by an engineering team in Ohio. The company’s East Liberty, Ohio plant will continue to build all RDX models for the North American market.

Acura also announced today new details on the future performance strategy of its core model lineup. Plans include the launch of a new turbocharged V6 powerplant exclusive to future Acura products, the return of its Type-S performance brand in the coming years, and expansion of A-Spec sports variants to include all core models in the future.

“We have made a major commitment to Acura to bring each element of Precision Crafted Performance to life through a new generation of products,” says Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co. Inc. “Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand’s rightful place as the performance division of Honda.”

A new V6 turbo powerplant will be introduced and will be exclusive to the Acura lineup, paired with the latest generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.

The Type-S performance variant will also be brought back in the coming years, after having last appeared on the 2008 Acura TL.

A-Spec variants for every new core model in development will also be introduced.

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