The Acura RDX Prototype has been teased ahead of its debut at the 2018 Detroit motor show, which takes place in the middle of January.

The RDX Prototype seen above and below previews the third generation of Acura's entry-level crossover for the North American market — the smaller CDX leads the line in China.

Given Honda and Acura's history with past Prototype models, we don't expect to see many changes between the show car and production model. If there are differences, they will likely centre on alloy wheel design, lighting graphics, bumper detailing, and wing mirror design.

While the first two generations of the RDX were loosely based on the underpinnings of the Honda Civic and CR-V, they did receive interesting engine options. The first RDX had a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder mill, while the second-generation car was a V6-only proposition.

The new car is said to be built on "a new, Acura-exclusive platform". There's speculation online the new RDX could be powered by the 188kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine found in the next-generation Accord.

Acura isn't exactly forthcoming, at this stage, with details about the third-generation RDX, hinting merely the crossover will be the "best performing, most premium RDX ever".

The new RDX is the first of its name to be designed and engineered in the USA. It's also the first Acura model to emerge after the brand adopted the mantra of "Precision Crafted Performance".

It is said to signal "the beginning of a new era for the luxury automaker", and will have styling cues drawn from the Acura Precision Concept.

Australia

It's highly unlikely we'll see the RDX down under. The last Acura crossover sold down under was the original MDX, which ditched its Acura badges for Honda ones.