If the first generation of Acura’s RDX was the crossover SUV equivalent of a college student—amped up, eager to party, daring—its 2013 follow-up had somehow woken up married with a mortgage. Gone was the original RDX’s high-strung turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four engine, its torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, and its firm ride. All of that was replaced by an inoffensive crossover with a smooth, effortless V-6; a soft suspension setup; and conventional all-wheel drive. Sales shot through the roof and haven’t stopped climbing since. Now Acura thinks it’s high time for a midlife crisis.
Hell-raisers we are, the news is welcome. Just look at the 2019 RDX “prototype” here. (We’re putting quotes around the term prototype because this SUV is a set of regular-sized door mirrors and slightly smaller wheels away from the one that will go on sale later this year.) Acura is returning the RDX to its turbocharged, super-handling roots and gifting it a buff, good-looking new body and a snazzy interior with an all-new infotainment system controlled by a touchpad. It’s all part of Operation Make Acura Not Boring Again, a term we just made up for the brand’s attempt to create a more focused lineup with sexier appeal than in the recent past. The NSX supercar was the first example of turning a new leaf; the RDX will be the first volume product to pick up the torch.> MARC URBANO, THE MANUFACTURER
Turbo-Thrusty, Oh So Lusty
Because every new-vehicle redesign seemingly must incorporate a size increase, the RDX grows relative to its predecessor. Acura hasn’t released all the dimensions for this prototype, let alone the production model, but tells us the crossover’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer. That would place it on the large side for the compact-luxury class, and Acura promises that back-seat space and cargo volume will be class leading. We poked and prodded and sat in the rear seat of the prototype for ourselves, and although roomy, it doesn’t seem to live up to those claims. Final judgment will have to wait for Acura’s release of the final product.
More exciting than dimensional minutiae is the way the new RDX looks. As the first Acura vehicle designed from the outset around the brand’s new pentagonal grille design, the RDX wears it best. Other styling cues picked up from Acura’s Precision concept from 2016 also work well, including the bold fender bulges, spearlike hood creases, and pointed headlights and taillights. It all combines to form a shape that is both sporty and upscale.
Acura has packaged similarly appealing hardware beneath this canvas. A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine mates to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, the two items borrowed from Honda’s excellent (of late) parts bin. Output figures still are forthcoming, but in the Accord sedan, this engine makes 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers would place the RDX in the thick of its four-cylinder competitors such as BMW’s X3 xDrive30i, Audi’s Q5 2.0T, and Mercedes-Benz’s GLC300. While the outgoing RDX’s V-6 produced more power (279 ponies), it made less torque (252 lb-ft) and had only six forward gears to work with. We anticipate the new RDX will handily outaccelerate its predecessor, which ran to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. Acura could go zanier still and install the 306-hp version of Honda’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that powers the Civic Type R at some point in the future.> MARC URBANO, THE MANUFACTURER
Regardless of how many horses gallop beneath the RDX’s hood, they’ll be corralled to the pavement via the latest iteration of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Replacing the current all-wheel-drive setup that merely shuffles power between the front and rear axles, this system can overdrive the outside rear wheel in a turn to help muscle you through corners under power. Acura also instills the RDX’s available electronically adaptive dampers with more sportiness, tying them to a four-mode selector like that in the NSX supercar. Whereas the previous RDX also had similar dampers, they were tuned for comfort; here, they can assume Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings. There also is a Snow mode, which we assume reins in the powertrain’s aggressiveness to maintain traction on slippery surfaces.
Drivers choose those driving modes via a huge metal dial smack-dab in the middle of the dashboard. This control could be a tad ambitious, especially since many people might easily mistake it for God’s Own Volume Knob or maybe an infotainment controller. Except that there isn’t an infotainment dial—instead, the RDX’s new 10.2-inch dashboard display is manipulated via a touchpad on the center console. The big difference with Acura’s system is that the pad controls the infotainment screen with a 1:1 relationship, meaning finger taps in, for example, the upper-left corner of the pad immediately manipulate controls in the upper-left corner of the display. And the screen isn’t a touchscreen unit, so this is the only way to futz with it.
It’s Actually Pretty Good, Though
Unlike Lexus’s remote touchpad controller, which instead operates more like a laptop control pad where users flick a cursorlike icon around a display, the Acura system is, essentially, a remote touchscreen. Having tried the system for ourselves, we can say that it works much better than Lexus’s frustrating setup. Acura also has minimized how much control work is handled onscreen (something Lexus doesn’t), limiting how deep one must penetrate the display’s menu structure to accomplish common infotainment tasks. The climate controls, for example, have their own real estate below the screen and sport large, easy-to-use physical buttons and a dedicated LCD readout for temperature and fan settings.> MARC URBANO, THE MANUFACTURER
The rest of the dashboard is elegant, and the center console even “floats” over a lower storage tray between the front seats. Available equipment includes nappa leather, wood trim, a head-up display, and a 16-channel, 710-watt ELS audio system. Every 2019 RDX will have a panoramic sunroof as standard, along with the AcuraWatch batch of driver-assist tech (on the current RDX, this includes automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist). Buyers also will be offered blind-spot monitoring, a 360-degree-view camera, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot with a 4G LTE data connection, and front and rear parking sensors. Acura even promises that a sportier A-Spec trim level will be in dealerships from the get-go.
Acura’s pride in this RDX being its “most extensive redesign in more than a decade” says a lot about the malaise the brand is working to eradicate from its lineup. Think back to the 1990s, when Acura sold the Integra compact and the NSX along with the slick TL and the classy Legend; the brand spoke a language both premium and sporty. These past few years have lacked similar focus, with misses like the full-size RLX and compact ILX sedans joined by an erosion of driving satisfaction from Acura’s products. The tricky part of turning things around, of course, will be doing so without closing revenue pipelines such as the RDX. With seven straight years of sales growth from 2009 to 2016, the RDX has been as profitable as it was boring. The 2019 RDX prototype is far more interesting, and provided it isn’t flawed with a stiff ride and a peaky engine like the original RDX, it holds a lot of appeal. For Acura’s sake, let’s hope the slick prototype is indicative not just of its latest compact luxury crossover but its new direction.
Source : https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a15088908/2019-acura-rdx-prototype-a-thinly-veiled-look-at-the-production-model-news/Terima Kasih for visit my website