Acura took the wraps off its sleek new RDX Prototype today at the Detroit Auto Show, displaying a completely redesigned, re-engineered crossover that heralds a new era for design and technology for the automaker. Acura says it's a pretty close representation of the production version due out midyear as a 2019 model, save for the highly stylized side mirrors and wheels.
The Prototype serves as the third generation of the RDX, and Acura says it's the first full embodiment of the new exterior and interior design language first introduced on the Precision Concept, shown in Detroit in 2016, and the Precision Cockpit, a concept interior it unveiled in Los Angeles in 2016. So in addition to the Precision's diamond pentagon grille, which has already made it to the TLX, the crossover adopts the Precision sedan's low, wide stance and sculpted body panels. Compared to the outgoing RDX, the new version adds 1.2 inches of width and 2.5 inches to the wheelbase, with a shortened front overhang and wheels pushed to the corners. Headlamps and exterior lights are all LED.
The RDX Prototype debuts the all-new Acura True Touchpad interface, which combines a touchscreen and remote interface in one Android-based operating system. There's a 10.2-inch full-HD display atop the center console that's operated via a remote tracking pad mapped to the center display, plus an interactive heads-up display. (Here's a good video explainer for how it works.) It also has a new and improved natural-language voice-recognition system.
Inside, there's more space, rear legroom and cargo space. A floating center console is inspired by the Precision Cockpit, plus high-grade materials including nappa leather, brushed aluminum and Olive Ash wood. It'll also be the first Acura SUV offered with the brand's sporty A-Spec trim, which will eventually be part of all core Acura models developed moving forward. And all RDX models will come equipped with a new ultra-wide panoramic sliding moonroof, the largest in its class.
Acura is building the new RDX on an Acura-only platform that gives it a lighter and stiffened body, new chassis and all-new powertrain that it says will be its quickest and best-handling RDX to date. Where the current version has a 3.5-liter V6, the RDX Prototype features a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, four-cylinder DOHC VTEC turbocharged engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that Acura says represents the first of its kind in the luxury crossover segment and makes it plenty responsive to input from the driver. It'll also bring the return of Acura's all-wheel-drive system in its most advanced iteration to date, with a new rear differential.
There's no word yet on pricing, but the RDX is on a tear of five consecutive years of record sales for Acura and seven straight years of year-over-year sales growth.