It may be designated as a prototype, but the MDX study presented today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is give or take 99 percent ready for production, as only a few things will change on the 2014 model such as the wheels, the bumper trims and to some extent, the light fixtures.
The third generation of the seven-passenger MDX features a more sculptured body encompassing Acura's more recent design elements, including the so-called "Jewel Eye" LED headlamps, as well as an arching roofline that sits 1.5-inches lower than the outgoing model.
We don't get to see the crossover's interior, though Acura says the longer wheelbase increases second-row legroom, and improves third-row seat access.
"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," said Jon Ikeda, chief designer at the 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."
Riding on a new, more rigid and lightweight chassis, the 2014 RDX will be powered by Honda's latest 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with direct-injection and Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). Acura did not provide any numbers, but said it will deliver improved performance along with better fuel economy.
For the first time in the model's history, the 2014 MDX will be available in a front-wheel drive version, in addition to the all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) model.
Acura added that the MDX will be equipped with a broad array of technologies, ranging from Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems, to the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and the available Blind Spot Information (BSI).
In related news, Acura said with the introduction of the new model at the end of this year, it will move production of the MDX from its Alliston, Ontario plant in Canada to its manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Alabama.