While a full-production version is due at dealers in the spring, the 2013 Acura RDX Prototype took the show stand at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show to offer a good look at what lies ahead. According to Acura, the second generation of its mid-size five-passenger crossover SUV will match sleeker and more sophisticated style with even better performance and economy while adding a host of new techno touches. To endow the new RDX with a more substantial visual presence, Acura did a bit of proportion tweaking. The hood is longer and more sculpted while revisions to the C-pillar and fender flares appear to have been inspired by its larger sibling, the MDX. A longer wheelbase and wider track dimensions further enhance the bigger/bolder look.
Inside, the more spacious cabin has been completely recast to give the 2013 Acura RDX an even more upscale look and feel set off by flowing contours, understated matte-finish surfaces and the generous application of real leather. Larger door openings ease entry/exit for people, while additional cargo space and a power rear tailgate make the new RDX even more practical. Extensive use of noise-abatement materials and an Active Sound Control system ensure the next RDX will be quieter, as well.
In addition to its enhanced roster of Acura-spec infotainment /navigation systems -- the latter now with a massive 60-gigabyte hard drive storage system -- the 2013 RDX will introduce features like a Pandora internet radio interface, SMS text messaging capability, a smart entry keyless access system, pushbutton start, and a three-view rear camera.
On the mechanical front, the 2013 Acura RDX jettisons the veteran 2.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder and five-speed automatic transmission pairing in favor of a new 3.5-liter V6 that makes 273 horsepower coupled with a new six-speed autoshifter. Despite having 33 additional ponies underhood, the front-drive version of the 2013 RDX is expected to net 20/28 mpg city/highway EPA figures, which would be best of any gasoline-powered luxury SUV. No word on numbers for the all-wheel-drive RDX, but a new, lighter AWD system will likely help that cause as well. Always an impressive handler, the dynamic character of the 2013 RDX also should be elevated thanks to its longer/wider platform dimensions, a new motion-adaptive electric power steering system and new Amplitude Reactive Dampers.