Acura RDX Prototype Debuts in Detroit

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Acura RDX Prototype Debut on Stage

Acura RDX Prototype is a great representation of the production model coming later this year, with a new face, a bigger interior and a new turbocharged engine.

Acura took the wraps off of their new RDX Prototype today during the opening media day of the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Hall. While this is only a prototype for now, the production SUV should look a whole lot like this version inside and out.

Acura’s new design language

The Acura RDX Prototype is the first vehicle to wear the brand’s new exterior design language. This exterior look first debuted back in 2016 with the Acura Precision Concept and the keystone of this design is the big five-sided grille. Flanking that new central opening up front are Acura’s newest LED headlights, with a design that stretches from the grille all of the way out to the area over the front wheel wells. Below the new grille and headlights, the Acura RDX Prototype has an angular front fascia, with the hard styling lines echoed through the hood and along the sides of the vehicle.

RDX Prototype Front Far

The new RDX is dimensionally bigger than the outgoing model, with a wheel track that is 1.2-inches wider while the wheelbase is 2.5-inches longer. Those increased dimensions add to the interior space, but with shorter overhangs, the overall length of the RDX doesn’t grow as significantly as the wheelbase and track.

Measurements and design language aside, there is no question that this Acura RDX is a great deal sportier and more aggressive than the current (2018) version. With the hard push for aggressive, sporty exterior styling in luxury vehicles, this new model will go a long way in helping Acura’s popular mid-sized SUV stand out in the growing crowd.

RDX Prototype Rear

Even if everything else was the same, the exterior redesign of the upcoming 2019 Acura RDX will bolster sales, as this is one great-looking SUV.

Type R power

The 2019 Acura RDX will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that is promised to deliver 40-percent more low-end torque than the current 3.5-liter V6. Though actual numbers haven’t released, this 2.0-liter mill is similar to the one used in the new Civic Type R and the Accord. The K20C1 makes 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque in the Accord and 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque in the Type R. The current 2018 Acura RDX with the 3.5-liter V6 offers 279 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque, so even if Acura used the Accord engine as it sits in the Honda sedan, the extra torque should make a big difference in acceleration.

RDX prototype Side

That being said, Acura will likely tweak the engine to offer a bit more horsepower and torque than the Accord, while stopping short of the high performance Civic Type R. Regardless of the output, this new turbocharged four-cylinder will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, offering a nice combination of performance and efficiency. Of course, the 2019 RDX will also feature the brand’s Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system along with an active suspension system featuring the NSX Integrated Dynamics System.

More interior luxury

Acura is a premium luxury brand, so it should come as no surprise that the RDX Prototype is more luxurious than the current models.

In addition to the added passenger space, the new RDX will feature Nappa leather-wrapped sport seats, real wooden trim and brushed aluminum accents. The front seats are heated and cooled, with 16-way adjustment, and the panoramic sunroof is the largest in the class. The infotainment system is based around True Touchscreen Interface system with a 10.2-inch screen mounted high on the dash. While the screen is touch-controlled, there is also a laptop-like touch pad mounted on the center console. This setup allows the driver to make adjustments to the infotainment package while his or her elbow is on the center armrest. There are also some tradition buttons and knobs on the dash as well as steering wheel controls, but between the touchscreen and the touch pad – the new RDX should offer a myriad of redundant controls so that the driver doesn’t have to reach all over to change the radio station or to zoom in on the navigation map.

RDX Interior

Finally, the new RDX (and the RDX Prototype) features a new 16-channel ELS sound system with a set of four unique speakers mounted flat in the headliner, introducing a whole new surround sound layout.

The 2019 Acura RDX is expected to arrive later this year in production form, but we can expect that the majority of the styling and features of the prototype will be found in the units reaching dealerships.

A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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