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by Sam Rawlings

Acura has used the New York motor show as the setting to unveil its updated MDX luxury SUV, featuring bold new styling and improved luxury features. The announcement is accompanied by news that a Sports Hybrid variant is to come later in the year.

Last week, spy photos hinted at a revised look for the MDX, but when the covers were pulled from the car this week, it was announced that more than just a simple facelift has occurred.

Acura has opted for a more sporting demeanor for the 2017 model, beginning with the prominent diamond pentagon grille. Inspired by the Acura Precision concept from earlier in the year, the new MDX also features a more aggressively shaped bonnet and front fenders.

2017 Acura MDX

The front bumper has been reworked to accommodate new LED fog lamps and Acura’s Jewel Eye headlights.

The rear end has had some minor changes, including a reworked bumper and dual-exhausts, hinting at the MDX’s sporting pretensions.

Aside from the aesthetic changes, the MDX will offer safety technology that the company claims has never been seen in its class, with AcuraWatch.

AcuraWatch is a series of safety and driver-assistive technologies made up of the following; collision-mitigation-braking systems, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, lane-departure assist, road-departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control featuring low-speed follow.

2017 Acura MDX

Added features like an electronic parking brake and auto-headlights are now standard across all models. Luxury upgrade packages offer wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel, an adjustable surround-view camera system and the advanced ENT package allows for an ultra-widescreen rear-entertainment system.

Following the Acura NSX and RLX sedan, the MDX Sport Hybrid will be the latest model to feature the company’s innovative three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain.

The new variant will be powered by a 3.0-litre SOHC V6 engine with Variable-Cylinder Management married to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, integrated with a single electric motor powering the front wheels and two powering the rear wheels.

Acura claim the Sport Hybrid will produce 242kW of power, 26kW more than its non-hybrid stablemate. Fuel consumption figures have not been released.

2017 Acura MDX

Both the non-hybrid and hybrid versions of the MDX feature a new active suspension system which offers improved ride and handling, it also allows the driver to choose between comfort, normal and sport modes. A sport+ setting will also be available for the Sport Hybrid badge.

While Honda Australia has long yearned for the Acura brand to enter the local market, it appears the wait will go on as there are no plans for a right-hand-drive version of the MDX to enter production.

With its sights set firmly on the North American market, Acura has announced that a mid-year release is expected for the States, with the Sports Hybrid likely to follow towards the end of the year.

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