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Not an NSX SUV, but 2022 Acura MDX gets sporty overhaul


We had heard rumors that an NSX-type SUV might be in the works. And while we still have no confirmations on that front, we do know a popular Acura SUV is getting an infusion of sport. The Acura MDX Prototype previews the fourth generation, which will get a suspension engineered for performance.

In the grand scale of things, you’ll notice the exterior gets a more chiseled look, wheelbase increases by 3 inches and the interior goes more upscale. Outside of the obvious big changes, here are a few things to know about the next-gen MDX.

Precision Cockpit goes digital

We’ve already seen Acura’s Precision Cockpit in MDX’s little brother, the RDX. The intuitive and attractive design includes the True Touchpad Interface, which gives you a touchpad to use with the infotainment screen rather than a touch screen. MDX gets that and more.

2022 Acura MDX

Acura MDX Prototype Precision Cockpit (Image courtesy of Acura)

First, it’ll add a new CPU for better performance with the infotainment system. Second, it will get a full 12.3-inch display atop the center stack – this is in contrast to the 10.2-inch already on the RDX.

The biggest change is going to be the replacement of the physical behind-the-wheel gauges with a customizable 12.3-inch driver’s meter.

Includes Type S levels of performance

With an eye toward sportiness, even the base MDX will get an injection of performance – prepping for a Type S variant that will make its appearance in the summer of 2021.

For the first time, the midsize SUV will get a double wishbone front suspension. Plus, the next-gen MDX will also get four-piston Brembo brakes and the Intelligent Dynamics System, which provides a wider range of preset and customized driving modes via an NSX-inspired drive mode dial. This will control ride, handling, steering, suspension and powertrain characteristics.

Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive will be available in all MDX models, but standard on the Type S.

2022 Acura MDX

Acura MDX Prototype (Image courtesy of Acura)

It’ll have two engines

The base engine will be the 3.5-liter V-6, which is presumably the same engine in the current MDX. This engine delivers 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque.

The second engine, which will be exclusive to the Type S model, will be a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 that produces an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.

Available early 2021

In its press release, Acura never specifically stated the model year for the upcoming MDX, but when we popped on over to the consumer site, it very obviously calls this a 2022 model.

We’ll see the non-Type-S model in early 2021, which we presume means Q1 or January through March. Then we’ll see the Type S, follow quickly in the summer of 2021.

2022 Acura MDX

Acura MDX Prototype (Image courtesy of Acura)

The bottom line on the 2022 Acura MDX

We’re huge fans of the current RDX, while we thought the MDX was just fine. We imagine the crispening of the design and the sport-tuned refinements will push this midsize SUV well beyond fine.

So, stay tuned as we hopefully get the chance to drive the all-new MDX soon.

Related posts:

2019 Acura RDX’s Performance-Focused Redesign is Spot-On

Acura Releases Pricing For MDX PMC Edition, Starts At $63,745

Wild rumors suggest Honda is working on a new SUV with NSX-inspired styling

Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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