The 2019 Acura RDX is the first in a new generation of Acura models designed and engineered around Acura’s authentic and original Precision Crafted Performance brand values. It’s the third generation of RDX, a perennial top seller in the premium compact SUV segment with cumulative U.S. sales exceeding 370,000 units since its debut in 2006. This third-generation RDX is the first to be designed and engineered in America, with styling design conducted in the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, and development conducted by the company’s North America engineering team headquartered in Raymond, Ohio, adjacent to the RDX’s manufacturing home in East Liberty, Ohio where RDX is produced using domestic and globally-sourced parts.
In setting their targets for the design and performance, the U.S. team drew inspiration from both the Acura Precision Concept and Acura Precision Cockpit as well as the pinnacle representation of Acura performance, the NSX supercar. The RDX is the first all-new design drawing from the Concept styling and the advanced Cockpit technology. The RDX team’s ultimate goal was straightforward: to make the best RDX ever, a vehicle that sets the foundation for an entire new generation of Acura vehicles in terms of styling, performance, premium quality and technology.
The RDX redesign features a new-from-the-ground-up, Acura-exclusive platform, a powerful, responsive and efficient new powertrain, and a more spacious, premium and tech-savvy cabin. With its new turbocharged engine, segment-first 10-speed transmission and the newest generation of available Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), the new RDX is also the quickest, best-handling RDX ever; and with its new longer and wider platform, the 2019 Acura RDX also boasts top-class cabin and cargo space with exceptional comfort, utility and versatility.
New Acura features and technologies being introduced for the first time on the new Acura RDX include next-generation Acura sport seats with up to 16-way power adjustability, Acura/ELS Studio 3D™ premium audio system, natural language voice recognition, and the first ever deployment of Acura’s True Touchpad Interface™, an intuitive, easy-to-learn user interface designed from a clean slate around the driver and the driving experience. The 2019 RDX is available with Technology and Advance packages. In addition, the new RDX will be the first Acura SUV with an A-Spec variant, boasting distinctive sport appearance detailing inside and out.
Through its extensive redesign, the 2019 RDX focuses on performance more than ever before. Power comes from a new direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC inline-4-cylinder engine with VTEC® valvetrain. With peak output of 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (both SAE net), the RDX has the highest power output among key competitors. Peak torque is up 28 lb.-ft. and available from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm, with a 40 percent increase in low-end torque versus the outgoing 3.5-liter normally aspirated V6.
The 2.0-liter engine’s low-inertia turbo, electronic wastegate and VTEC® valvetrain work in concert with the new Sequential SportShift 10-speed transmission, featuring a 68 percent wider ratio range and available 4-gear direct downshifts, to deliver smooth, linear and virtually lag-free power while still receiving superior EPA fuel economy ratings, improved by as much as 11 percent versus the previous model. The new 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo also contributes to the RDX’s more compact front packaging, shortened front overhang and improved front/rear weight distribution (57.4/42.6 vs. 60/40 for previous RDX with all-wheel-drive).
The 2019 Acura RDX is available with two drive configurations: front-wheel drive (FWD), and the latest generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). This new SH-AWD system is the most advanced mechanical iteration in Acura history. With SH-AWD, up to 70 percent of engine torque can be distributed to the rear wheels in normal driving scenarios, and 100 percent of that torque can be distributed to either rear wheel. The use of dynamic torque vectoring enables outstanding all-weather confidence, handling precision and cornering grip by making optimal use of tire traction and by inducing a yaw moment to help rotate the vehicle in a turn.
Complementing the RDX’s advanced new powertrain is an all-new body and chassis optimized to deliver even more athletic performance, a quieter cabin, exceptional ride refinement and top-class safety performance. The RDX’s body structure is an all-new, bespoke design that is lighter, more rigid and more tightly sealed than before, and features multiple new material and design attributes, including a world’s first two-piece (inner and outer) ultra-high-strength-steel front door ring design, a new double-ring rear frame structure, and Acura’s first use of high-performance structural adhesives. The new unit body, utilizing high-strength steel for over 50 percent of its construction, is roughly 20 pounds lighter than before, substantially more rigid throughout, and should assist the RDX to receive its targeted top-class collision safety ratings.
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