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by Tim Beissmann

Honda’s luxury division, Acura, has unveiled the MDX Prototype at the 2013 Detroit auto show, giving us a glimpse at the exterior styling of the all-new third-generation Honda MDX luxury SUV.

Acura says the MDX concept offers a “strong indication of the styling and design direction” of the full-size seven-seat SUV, which is set to launch in North America by the middle of the year.

For the first time, the Honda MDX will be available with front-wheel drive as a cheaper and more fuel-efficient alternative to its traditional all-wheel-drive underpinnings.

The next-gen MDX will be powered by an all-new 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with variable cylinder management, delivering more torque, improved economy and greater NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) refinement.

Honda says its new ‘Aero Sculpture’ design language is evident in the MDX’s low and wide stance, clean and uncluttered design, and elegant, premium detailing. Despite its sweeping arched roofline, which sits 38mm lower than the previous model’s, the cabin is said to be more spacious and versatile. A longer wheelbase increases second-row legroom, improved third-row access, and – according to Honda – also enhances ride quality.

North American-sold Acura-badged variants will be equipped with a host of interior tech items, including the brand’s AcuraLink cloud-based connectivity system, which incorporates infotainment functions as well as assistive features like automated crash notification and emergency calling.

An extensive list of advanced safety features is also offered, headlined by forward collision warning, lane departure warning, multi-angle rear-view camera, blind spot information, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow function.

As CarAdvice reported in November, the Honda MDX is tipped to return to Australia in 2014 as Honda’s local division looks to expand its SUV line-up beyond its current CR-V-led single-model offering. The MDX would sit at the top of the range, with a new Jazz-based crossover – based on the Urban SUV concept – expected to slot in at the other end of the spectrum from 2015.




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