Having sunk copious amounts of money into the development and release of the new NSX, Acura still has to focus on the vehicles that pay the bills. Per tradition, it’s not the sedans carrying that weight, but SUVs. For Porsche, it’s the Macan and Cayenne; for Acura, it’s the MDX and RDX. Therefore, messing with either too much and potentially interrupting that cash stream has implications beyond just putting out a model flop. But that doesn’t seem like it’s stopping Acura from trying.
From the released teaser image above, it appears that Acura is, finally, doing away with that beak that became simultaneously a defining characteristic and point of disdain for the brand. The illustration promises a more truck-like SUV that echoes the masculine, upright grille of the Toyota Highlander over the past efforts to make the MDX as sleek as is possible for a large SUV.
Acura is also pledging that the new model “will boast substantial design enhancements, added luxury comfort and convenience features, and advanced new powertrain technology, in concert with the Acura brand’s focus on Precision Crafted Performance.”
“We are sharpening our focus on the Precision Crafted Performance DNA of the Acura brand and the 2017 MDX will integrate new styling elements and powertrain technology that takes us another step in that direction,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor in a statement.
The Acura MDX has seen sales exceed 50,000 units in each of the past three years, making it the best-selling three-row SUV. The new model was designed by the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California, and will continue to be produced at the company’s Lincoln, Alabama plant, the company said. Early next year, an additional production source for MDX will be added at the East Liberty, Ohio facility, and both plants will use domestic and globally sourced parts.
The new model is expected to draw heavily from the Precision Concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. Already, it’s apparent that it’s going to take more than a few cues from the angular sedan that was on display.
The new MDX will be rolling out at the New York Auto Show next month. Following its debut, the new MDX will set the tone for future Acura styling; the TLX will be coming up on its mid-cycle refresh soon, and the RDX as well. In New York, we’ll have a much better idea of what shape Honda’s luxury arm will take in the future.