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2021 Acura MDX Prototype Is All-New Three-Row Luxury

The 2021 Acura MDX Prototype has debuted today and gathering from the info released by Acura is the best version of the MDX yet.

Now in its fourth generation, the MDX has been the best-selling three-row luxury SUV in the United States for years. So, little surprise then that Acura wanted to put its best foot forward and take a giant leap with the all-new 2021 MDX. 

It will hit the showroom floors in early 2021 so we expect it to arrive by late winter with the Type S to follow in the summer. The new MDX is an all-new SUV from the ground up and in profile does look quite a bit more refined than the one it will replace. 

Platform and Design

An all-new light truck platform underpins the new Acura MDX and according to Acura is the stiffest monocoque chassis the Japanese automaker has ever put into an SUV. In terms of design, the new SUV looks more like an evolution of the current YD3 generation rather than a complete redesign. The front fascia is cleaner and looks more prominent and yet instantly recognizable as an Acura MDX.

The Diamond Pentagon grille is more upright and is flanked by all-new LED headlamps that feature LED DRLs that are inspired from the ARX-05 racecar. Acura says it has increased the distance between the dash and the front axle by six inches increasing the length of the hood to give the MDX a sportier appearance. Plus, the 21-inch wheels add to the sporty character. The car has also grown by three inches in wheelbase promising to offer a more spacious cabin. 

Cabin and Tech

All seats and benches are draped in Milano Leather. And there is ample wood and brushed aluminum on the dash and panels to satisfy that luxury itch. Both front seats are bolstered for a more snug but comfortable seating position. Apart from the promise of comfort, the front seats also offer a nine-mode massage functionality for the driver and the passenger. Both seats are also 16-way electrically adjustable. 

Though a bit late to the party, the 2021 Acura MDX will feature an all-digital instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment system in a twin-screen setup. Both the cluster and center-mounted infotainment system will feature 12.3-inch screens. This also makes them the largest screens ever to grace the cabin of an Acura MDX. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard but could also be wireless. Along with touch controls, the system will also feature a center console-mounted trackpad with physical buttons around it for one-touch access to certain functions. 

SEE ALSO: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Review

Acura’s new three-row luxury SUV will also offer a host of standard safety features. Along with enhanced lane mitigation, Automatic Emergency Braking, pedestrian safety, and blind-spot monitoring, Acura will offer new Traffic Jam Assist and new Low-Speed Braking Control along with the new passenger airbag technology from the new TLX as standard across the MDX range. 

Powertrain 

Here’s the big question, what will power the new 2021 Acura MDX. The standard powertrain will be the 3.5-liter V6 which will be available with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive will be standard with Acura’s SH-AWD system available as an option on the higher trims. Although Acura hasn’t disclosed the power figures, we estimate it will make 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of max torque.

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The more powerful and sportier Type S trims will feature a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that will produce 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of max torque. The transmission wil likely be the same but the Type S will come with the fourth-gen SH-AWD as standard. Acura also promises serious handling chops for the MDX as for the first time ever, it will come with a double-wishbone suspension setup up front and four-piston caliper Brembo brakes on all four corners. And all that kit will be standard.

On paper at least, it looks like Acura has thought its product through and it looks like the legacy of the MDX as the most popular three-row SUV in the US will carry on.