Acura put a major redesign on its RDX crossover for the Detroit auto show. The 2019 Acura RDX, “presaged by this RDX Prototype,” was designed and developed in the U.S. and will be manufactured here as well. And it’s the first Acura SUV that will receive the tarted-up A-Spec treatment, which will include more sporty cues inside and out.
The third-generation RDX comes on a new “Acura exclusive” platform that’s both lighter and stiffer, and with a new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It will come in front- or super-handling all-wheel-drive formats.
The VTEC four will deliver 40 percent more low-end torque than the outgoing model, though Acura has yet to reveal the actual output. Available adaptive dampers will work with the RDX’s four drive modes, comfort, sport, sport plus and snow.
The sheetmetal takes cues from the company’s Acura Precision Concept we saw in Detroit two years ago. The new RDX will have a wider track by 1.2 inches, longer wheelbase by 2.5 inches and shortened front overhangs. And to be honest, it looks great. The new pentagon grille is miles ahead of the old one, and we’re continuing fans of the Jewel (Bug)Eye LED headlights.
The 2019 RDX’s infotainment setup revolves around Acura’s new True Touchpad Interface, an Android-based operating system.
Inside, the RDX comes with Acura’s new True Touchpad Interface, which is an Android-based operating system displayed on a 10.2-inch screen. It also gets a head-up display. The True Touch system combines the advantages of a conventional touchscreen and a remote-based setup. Acura says every spot on the RDX’s touchpad is “mapped precisely, one-to-one, with corresponding action on the center display.” Our only quibble with that statement is that the touchpad is only a few inches square, meaning big buttons on the display screen will translate to tiny ones on the touchpad. We’ll have to reserve judgment until we see it in action.
A 16-channel, 710-watt sound system will be optional while the AcuraWatch safety features — hill start assist, surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic monitor and blind-spot information system — will be standard.
The 2019 Acura RDX will go on sale in the middle of 2018.
Acura calls this RDX a prototype, but we’d bet the production version won’t look much different.