.

Acura restyles popular MDX luxury SUV, adds AWD option

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 25 March 2016

HONDA’S American outfit Acura has shown the restyled and refreshed 2017 MDX luxury SUV at the ongoing New York International Auto Show.

It gets Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) powertrain technology as a model option.

Acura expects the MDX Sport Hybrid will receive EPA fuel economy ratings of city/highway/combined economy figures of 9.4/9.04/9.04 l/100 km, an estimated 10l/km fuel economy rating increase over the (non-hybrid) MDX with SH-AWD.

The 2017 Acura MDX will be equipped with AcuraWatch on all grades, making MDX the first luxury SUV in its class to offer these advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including automatic emergency braking, as standard features.

“Upping the performance pedigree of the MDX with bold styling, our exclusive Sport Hybrid powertrain and the standard application of AcuraWatch technologies that many in the industry refer to as semi-autonomous, represents a major injection of Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA. These changes will continue to advance MDX’s competitiveness and its legacy as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time,” says John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor.

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is the third model to feature Acura’s three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, joining the Acura NSX supercar (earlier post) and RLX flagship sedan.

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter SOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT) with an integrated electric motor powering the front wheels, and a Twin Motor Unit with two electric motors providing power to the rear wheels.

Additionally, the system delivers electrified torque vectoring for improved straight line performance and cornering precision in combination with all-wheel-drive power application. Peak powertrain output of 325 horsepower (242 kW) is up 35 horsepower over the non-hybrid model.

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid will be available with Technology and Advance packages. Both add a new Active Sport Suspension that delivers improved ride quality, handling performance and is integrated with the Integrated Dynamics System featuring the dynamic modes of Comfort, Normal and Sport, and exclusive to Sport Hybrid models, a new Sport+ mode.

AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. Moreover, with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver’s workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.