First Look: 2014 Acura MDX Prototype

What you see is (mostly) what you'll get.

by on Jan.15, 2013

Acura is calling it a prototype but it's largely what you can expect from the 2014 MDX.

One of Acura’s most popular vehicles, the 2014 Acura MDX, made its world debut in prototype form today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, showing off a new, stylish appearance and a large suite of advanced technology features.

As is typical of Acura and its parent Honda, the thinly disguised show car will be back in production trim – soon enough to be rolling into showrooms for the 2014 model-year.  The basic layout of the third-generation crossover will carry over, the MDX offering room for seven and both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive layouts.

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“Our goal is to advance on MDX’s already great dynamic performance while improving fuel economy and luxury comfort,” said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations. “Building on the great momentum we established in 2012 with the launch this year of our flagship RLX, followed later this year by a terrific new luxury SUV in MDX we are very excited about the direction of the Acura brand. And we are truly looking forward to a great 2013,” he said.

The basic design remains the same, but the 7-seat Acura MDX will add a front-drive package for 2014.

Acura was the fastest growing automotive luxury brand in America, posting a 26.7% year-over-year gain in 2012, its best annual sales result since 2007. The maker is betting the 2014 MDX can build on that momentum.

With the new model, it’s clear Acura plans to continue using the MDX to attract family-oriented buyers, looking for comfort and luxury.

The “Aero Sculpture” styling of the 2014 MDX Prototype pursues the direction of a smart, compact and premium appearance with low, wide and sleek proportions; a clean, efficient and uncluttered design; and elegant, premium detailing, including the signature Acura Jewel Eye LED headlights. This “aero” image also reflects significant gains in aerodynamic efficiency. The aero has improved 16% compared to the outgoing 2013 MDX.

The 2014 MDX Prototype’s sculpted exterior and arcing roofline are 1.5-inches lower than the outgoing model and encase what will be an even more spacious and versatile cabin compared to the 2013 MDX. The 2014 MDX Prototype also features a longer wheelbase that enhances ride quality, increases second-row legroom, and improves third-row seat access — while also eliminating any pretense that the MDX is intended for serious off-roading.

“While we aren’t showcasing the interior today, I can assure you it will further improve the already great functionality in the cabin and cargo area while really amping up luxury, comfort and quiet,” added Jon Ikeda, chief designer, Acura Design Studio. “And that’s really the focus of this new MDX, delivering outstanding luxury performance and family capability in a more refined and alluring package.”

In response to strong demand from consumers in warm weather markets Acura also will, for the first time, offer a front-wheel drive version of MDX in addition to the all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) model that has earned MDX a reputation as a leader in dynamic handling and all-weather performance for a luxury SUV.

The 2014 MDX will also feature an all-new, more rigid and lightweight chassis, including new front and rear suspension designs that deliver a more refined, confidence-inspiring, and sporty driving character. An all-new, direct-injected 3.5-liter i-VTEC SOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) will deliver improved torque and more spirited performance while realizing a significant increase in fuel efficiency to class-leading levels. Special attention was also paid to improving cabin quietness, which is greatly enhanced by the vehicle’s all-new chassis and body design and new sound-deadening techniques.

The 2014 MDX also will be equipped with a broad array of advanced safety technologies, including Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems, as well as visibility technologies such as the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and the available Blind Spot Information, Lane Keeping Assist System, and Active Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. Further, the 2014 MDX is designed to achieve top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the IIHS.

The new MDX will also feature a full array of advanced information technologies, including the next-generation AcuraLink cloud-based connected car system featuring Pandora® connectivity, SiriusXM radio, SMS text messaging, and cloud-based Aha™ by Harman connectivity that brings thousands of personalized news, information and media s into the vehicle via the customer’s compatible smartphone and data plan. A premium Acura/ELS® audio system will be available on the new MDX. Next-generation AcuraLink will also be available with a host of fee-based convenience, assistive and security features, such as automated crash notification, remote locking/unlocking, emergency “SOS” call feature, and live-operator concierge services.

With the introduction of the all-new 2014 Acura MDX production will move from Alliston, Ontario, to the company’s vehicle and V-6 engine manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Alabama. Using domestic and globally sourced parts, the MDX is built exclusively in North America.


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