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Report: Front-Wheel Drive Acura RDX Won’t Be Offered in Canada

Upgrades net 8% fuel-economy improvement on SH-AWD model

 |  Aug 03 2009, 8:51 AM

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Acura has just released official info on the 2010 RDX luxury crossover with the biggest news being a new base model that comes standard with a front-wheel drive layout – unless if you live in Canada.

Previously only offered with Acura’s SH-AWD system, the new FWD RDX gets better fuel-economy and costs $2,000 less. A spokesperson from Acura Canada told AutoGuide that there just isn’t a market for a front-wheel drive model in this segment, which makes particular sense considering how suited the AWD model is to the Canadian climate.

But not to worry, you fuel-conscious Canadians. Acura Canada says the new RDX (in AWD trim) gets improved fuel-economy by as much as 8 percent. This was achieved through the use of higher fourth and fifth gears, better aerodynamics and an improved lock-up clutch. The new Transport Canada fuel-economy rating for the RDX is 11.7 L/100km city (20.1 mpg)  and 8.7 L/100km highway (27 mpg), for a total combined average of  10.3 L/100 km (22.8 mpg), as compared to 11.1 L/100km (21.2 mpg) on last year’s model.

The 2010 RDX continues to be powered by Acura’s turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 240hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque.

Outside the RDX gets Acura’s new corporate “shield” front fascia, a near rear bumper with hexagonal exhaust pipes and redesigned 18-inch wheels. New standard equipment includes a backup camera an electronic compass and USB connectivity.

 

Official release after the jump:

Product Information: 2010 Acura RDX

Freshened Exterior, Revised Interior, Additional Technology, and
Improved Fuel Economy Increase the Appeal of the 2010 Acura RDX

The 2010 RDX goes on sale across Canada on August 10 with a fresh new exterior look, a more luxurious interior, new technology features and improved fuel economy. With a sales increase in Canada of 17 per cent for the first half of 2009, the RDX continues to be a leading compact-luxury CUV of choice for Canadians with active lifestyles who want a responsive and sporty vehicle with utility and leading-edge styling.

Externally, the 2010 RDX receives numerous changes resulting in a more aggressive, sporty appearance. Exterior changes include redesigned 18-inch diameter aluminum-alloy wheels, bold new front and rear bumper fascias, Acura’s signature design front grille, revised headlights and taillights, new exhaust tips and satin trim accents.

While the RDX’s sport-minded chassis remains the same, the 2010 model features revised braking system components that deliver better feel and enhanced durability.

The RDX also receives several new standard interior features including a rear view camera system, electronic compass, a pull handle to make closing the rear hatch easier, auto-function headlights, ambient footwell lighting, a centre console storage tray, improved cupholders, USB-port connectivity, and Note function for XM® Radio.

Also added to the RDX interior are subtle changes to the leather, resulting in a richer look to the interior seating surfaces.

The 2010 RDX incorporates a class-leading array of features that keep passengers informed, entertained and in control. Every RDX features as standard Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® connectivity with new Bluetooth® audio capabilities, a 7-speaker Acura Premium Sound System and a new USB port that allows the connection of (and charging of) items such as an iPhone® or iPod®.

For those who want to be even more connected to the world around them, the optional Technology Package includes Acura’s signature Navigation System with Bilingual Voice Recognition which has expanded voice capabilities for 2010.

The RDX also incorporates leading safety technologies based on Acura’s “Safety Through Innovation” initiative including advanced front, side and side curtain airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist ™ (VSA™), ABS with Brake Assist and an Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.

Powertrain
The RDX is equipped with a turbocharged 2.3-litre DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine incorporating computer-controlled “intelligent” i-VTEC® intake/exhaust valve actuation that delivers enhanced performance across a broad powerband.

The heart of the RDX’s performance is its Variable Flow Turbocharger (VFT) that delivers a broad powerband with virtually no lag in throttle response. The turbocharger works in concert with i-VTEC® to deliver outstanding acceleration and efficiency while driving at a variety of speeds.

For 2010, the turbo system makes use of a new inlet pipe that is thicker to reduce noise during high boost situations and the RDX incorporates a dual-stage radiator fan to further reduce cabin noise.

Rated output for the 2.3L turbocharged L4 engine is 240 horsepower at 6000 rpm with 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm. The RDX’s 2010 Transport Canada fuel economy ratings are improved 8% from 2009 due to higher-ratio 4th and 5th gears, better aerodynamics, improved lock-up clutch and other enhancements.  The 2010 Transport Canada ratings are 11.7 L/100km (City) and 8.7 L/100km (Highway).  The RDX’s 2010 “combined” rating of 10.3 L/100 km is improved from last year’s combined rating of 11.1 L/100km.  RDX meets Tier 2 – BIN 5 exhaust emissions standards.

A performance-minded Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission is standard on the RDX and an electronically-controlled Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system works with the transmission to execute exceptionally quick and smooth gear changes. The Sequential SportShift feature allows the transmission to function in a conventional automatic mode or can be controlled manually via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Chassis
Acura’s exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system is featured on the RDX, helping it to maximize available traction while improving handling balance and responsiveness in a variety of weather conditions. SH-AWD™ distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels while also being able to overdrive the rear wheels. The system’s direct yaw control utilizes torque vectoring to help reduce understeer, thus enhancing steering accuracy and adding to total cornering ability.

Precise and responsive handling is generated by fully independent front and rear suspension. The MacPherson strut (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension system is tuned for compliant control, and the suspension is assisted by large-diameter front and rear stabilizer bars for flatter cornering. Standard to the RDX is Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control to further enhance vehicle controllability and grip.

For 2010, changes to the brake booster and servo deliver even better brake pedal feel along with less initial brake “grabbiness”. In addition, the brake system makes use of revised rear brake pad actuation that delivers less drag and longer pad life; also added to the mix are Geomet-coated brake rotors for improved looks and added corrosion protection.

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Exterior
RDX exterior styling further emphasizes the crossover’s sporty athleticism. Large wheel arches, aggressively raked body sides, steeply raked windscreen and a short rear overhang generate an RDX with a taut and muscular presence. A unique rear hatch allows for a smooth transition of the body to the rear bumper – a transition that delivers a more custom look, as well as eases loading and unloading of cargo.

For 2010, the RDX gets a new front fascia, Acura’s signature front grille, a hood with a new front edge design and updated HID headlights that are now controlled by a standard automatic on/off function. New wheels, in conjunction with the vehicle’s wide track (61.9-in. front / 62.6-in. rear), are designed to provide improved handling. At the rear, a more aggressive bumper fascia, rectangular exhaust finishers, revised taillights and satin finish trim give the 2010 RDX a freshened appearance.

Redesigned high-intensity discharge (HID) low beam headlights command the corners of the RDX’s front fascia and fenders. The headlight’s new design incorporates a “smoke style” chrome plating treatment and complements the angular pattern set by the Acura grille.

Front bumper integrated fog lamps are standard on the RDX, and for 2010 they are mounted within separate side grilles located at the corners of the new front fascia. Both front and rear wheel arches are bold and broad, and new 18×7.5-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels further add to the dramatic appearance of the RDX.

Interior
Inside RDX, leather trimmed front seats deliver a high outward visibility “eye point” that provides a confident field of view. The 3-passenger rear seat has a 60/40 split-folding capability and, when folded flat, significantly expands the load area and increases the total cargo volume to 788 litres (60.6 cubic feet).

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Multiple storage compartments are positioned throughout the interior, including a lockable dual-level centre console (large enough to accommodate a briefcase) conveniently located between the front seats. For 2010, two revised interior colour themes are available: a darker, richer Ebony, and a lighter, more premium-looking Taupe.

Key instrument panel systems and controls now feature more intuitive button placement along with easier-to-read markings. The systems used most frequently – audio and cruise control – have switches positioned on the steering wheel, and for 2010 the HVAC buttons have been moved closer to the driver.

Technology Package items such as Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®  and Multi-Information Display (MID) can be controlled via switches on the steering wheel. For 2010, the RDX has improved Text-To-Speech voice recognition with more words that can be recognized.

Also new for 2010 is a centre console tray that is a convenient way to store items such as a wallet, spare keys, or an iPod®. In addition, integrated to the underside of the lid is a coin holder and place for holding credit or gate cards. New for 2010 is a USB port (also located in the center console) that allows for the easy connection of items such as an iPod®, iPhone® or a memory stick storage device.

Standard is an Acura Premium Sound System with AM/FM tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD, MP3, WMA, XM® Radio, 7 speakers and a 360-watt amplifier. The RDX has soothing blue low-level ambient lighting in the ceiling that illuminates the front centre console area, and new for 2010 is ambient blue footwell lighting.

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For 2010, the available Technology Package adds even more capability, and integrates seamlessly into the RDX’s performance-oriented driving environment. The Acura Navigation System with Bilingual Voice Recognition™ has a revised 8-inch screen, improved navigation system feature use and content, and a faster reacting and more useful rear view camera. The base RDX now get a standard rear view camera system with a viewing screen that is integrated into the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Part of the RDX Technology Package is an Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system with 6-disc DVD-audio, CD/MP3/WMA player, DTS®, AM/FM tuner, XM® Radio, Dolby Pro Logic II 10 speakers and a 410 watt amplifier. The Acura/ELS® audio system was designed by Grammy® award-winning sound engineer Elliot Scheiner. When playing DVD-Audio discs (DVD-Audio is 500 times clearer than traditional CD), this advanced system delivers eight discreet audio channels (up from the usual two channels) to create an exceptionally accurate listening experience.

For 2010, the Acura/ELS Surround® audio system receives a Note function for XM® Radio that allows the driver to later recall the song title, artist, a short excerpt of the actual song along with the XM® channel that played the song.

The Technology Package also includes a GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, automatic climate control system. In total, these advanced technologies put the RDX at the cutting-edge of the Compact Luxury CUV segment.

Safety and Security
The RDX’s technology leadership also extends to safety, where a long list of advanced features, including an Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure allow the RDX to achieve the U.S. NHTSA’s top rating (5-Stars) for both frontal and side impact crash tests.

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The ACE™ body structure employs a network of interconnected front frame structures that work to absorb and redirect collision forces away from the passenger cabin while helping improve crash compatibility with vehicles of different sizes in a frontal collision. A special frame member located below the RDX’s front bumper is designed to engage the front bumper of a lower vehicle, allowing the bumper systems of both vehicles to attenuate crash energy more efficiently.

In addition, a specially engineered hood, collapsible hood hinges, breakaway wiper pivots and other features help reduce the chance of pedestrian injury in the event of a collision with the vehicle.

Inside, the RDX has a full complement of passive safety features. Key technologies include the latest generation of dual-stage, multiple-threshold airbags for the driver and front passenger, plus side airbags for the driver and front passenger along with side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor for all outboard occupants. The front passenger’s side airbag features an Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) to prevent airbag deployment if a child or small-stature adult leans into the deployment path. LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat mounting systems allow the quick and secure installation of a child seats.
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