Will another hybrid take its place?
The all-new 2022 Acura MDX has officially debuted with bold and more athletic styling than its immediate predecessor. As Acura's flagship SUV, the MDX has a major role to fill but we couldn't help but notice there wasn't any mention of a hybrid version. Will there be a successor to the MDX Sport Hybrid? Apparently not.
Autoblog has confirmed with the luxury Japanese automaker that the MDX hybrid is not returning, which might seem somewhat surprising given the growing demand for electrified SUVs, especially luxury ones. Acura's reasoning is that the new Type S model will fill the old Sport Hybrid's role as the sportier and more powerful MDX.
The MDX Type S is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 355 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque. This is a fairly significant increase over the Sport Hybrid's 321 hp and 289 lb-ft. But more power alone won't enable the Type S to fully fill the Sport Hybrid's shoes for one key reason: fuel economy.
Official fuel economy numbers for the Type S have yet to be released, but the Sport Hybrid's 26/27/27 mpg city/highway/combined rating likely won't be matched. The base 3.5-liter direct-injected V6, rated at 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of twist, has an EPA-rating of 19/26/22 mpg for FWD models and 19/25/21 for the AWD version.
The outgoing Sport Hybrid's powertrain consisted of a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 paired to three electric motors; one linked to the engine to provide power to the front wheels and one motor for each rear wheel for torque vectoring.
For now, Acura has not indicated plans for a new hybrid MDX but this could change at some point in the model's lifetime. Not only is there an increasing number of luxury and non-luxury SUV crossovers being offered with hybrid and/or plug-in hybrid powertrains, but the combined effects of stricter fuel economy regulations and consumer demand could force Acura to act sooner rather than later.