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Acura, luxury arm for Honda, has unveiled its new RDX SUV in New York, carrying a new turbocharged powertrain and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.

Gone is the naturally-aspirated V6 from the old RDX, replaced with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 272hp (203kW) and 380Nm. It’s paired with a 1o-speed automatic transmission, with closely-spaced ratios down low and taller top ratios for punchy acceleration off the line, and parsimonious performance on the highway.

The new engine is paired with a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, complete with torque vectoring. Up to 70 per cent of the engine’s torque can be sent rearward, and 100 per cent of that torque can be shuffled to either rear wheel when conditions demand. Acura says the RDX is the first of its cars to utilise the new system.

The turbocharged engine, 10-speed automatic and SH-AWD are all designed to make the RDX something of a tech showcase, an idea backed by the NSX-inspired interior. Front passengers sit in sports seats, adjustable up to 16 ways, and the floating centre console is unique among its rivals.

Also new is the 10.2-inch True Touch infotainment system, which actually has its roots in Google Android. Like Lexus and Mitsubishi, the team at Acura has turned to a console-mounted touchpad. We’ve complained endlessly about the Lexus system, so it will be interesting to see if Honda’s luxury-focused engineers have nailed the formula.

The dash-top screen is augmented with a head-up display and a revised voice control system.

On the safety front, the car comes standard with autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning, road-departure mitigation, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

The exterior is classic Acura – a hawkish nose and angular grille, slashing creases on the side and an edgy rear end – although we’re seeing more than a hint of Toyota C-HR in those tail-lights. Tell us we’re wrong in the comments.

The RDX will remain an American-only proposition. It was designed in America, will be built in America and has been tuned to suit, you guessed it, for American tastes.

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MORE: Acura RDX coverage
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