Yes, there will be a high-performance Type S version.
The 2021 Acura TLX was a return to form for the brand, heralding a stunning new design direction. Now, Acura is previewing the next step of its brand transformation with the reveal of the Acura MDX Prototype. Just as the Type S Concept previewed the new TLX, the MDX Prototype previews the new fourth-generation version of the brand's best-selling three-row SUV, sporting a bold new design, luxurious interior, and advanced technology. And yes, for the first time in Acura's history, a high-performance MDX Type S SUV will also enter production.
Arriving in dealers early next year 20 years after the original model launched, the all-new MDX will represent the automaker's flagship model as "the most premium, performance-focused, and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history."
"The new MDX marks a turning point for Acura as our new flagship and the most far-reaching effort yet to deliver on our Precision Crafted Performance brand promise," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "We knew we needed to deliver something more emotional and premium with performance at its core. This new MDX builds on the past 20 years of success and elevates the model to an even stronger position in the market."
Shown in Liquid Carbon and Performance Red, the new MDX has a more muscular, striking presence than its predecessor thanks to its upright grille, long, sculpted hood, and a lower and wider body. The distance between the A-pillar and front axle is extended by six inches. Elsewhere, styling elements from the new TLX have carried over as part of Acura's new design language, such as the 3D diamond pentagon grille, LED headlights and taillights, and LED daytime running lights inspired by the Acura ARX-05 race car.
21-inch wheels have been pushed to the corners to extend the wheelbase by nearly three inches, improving the cabin space in all three rows as well as the cargo capacity. If the Type S Concept is an indicator, the production version should look almost identical to the MDX Prototype, and that's no bad thing.
Inside, the more premium cabin features a more upright instrument panel and is trimmed in high-quality luxury materials including open-pore wood, polished aluminum, and soft-touch leather. A mix of Ebony and Light Orchid leather is applied to the instrument panel and steering wheel with French-stitched detailing. The new 16-way power adjustment sport seats are also more sculpted, with curvilinear quilting in all three rows, contrast stitching and piping, and massage functionality. Thanks to its wider body, the MDX Prototype has more legroom in all three rows and more headroom for front and third-row occupants.
A panoramic glass roof beams natural light into all three rows, while the cabin can be illuminated with a choice of 27 different lighting schemes. All physical gauges are replaced with a customizable 12.3-inch digital display and the infotainment system is displayed on a wide central 12.3-inch touchscreen. For audiophiles, the MDX Prototype is equipped with a premium sound system with 25 speakers, 22 channels, and over 1,000 watts of power.
New standard safety assists include enhanced road departure mitigation, new traffic jam assist, and new low-speed braking control. Acura's next-generation front passenger airbag technology that "offers protection in a wider variety of frontal collision scenario"s will also be standard on all new MDX models.
Under the hood, the next-generation MDX will be powered by a 3.5-liter V6 paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission, while the new MDX Type S will get a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 producing an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful engine ever offered in an Acura SUV. Power will be sent to Acura's new SH-AWD system in all MDX Type S models.
The new Acura MDX will go on sale in the US in early 2021, followed by the MDX Type S in summer 2021.