The 2022 Acura MDX, the fourth-generation of America’s best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all-time, undergoes its most radical transformation since the launch of the first generation model 20 years ago. Designed from the outset for the performance demands of the upcoming MDX Type S, all 2022 MDX grades benefit from the all-new, performance-focused and ultra-rigid light-truck platform. Every fourth-generation Acura MDX features a chassis that includes the first double wishbone front suspension on MDX, an all-new multi-link rear suspension, and available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). As a result, MDX offers a new level of sporting performance and handling agility, fulfilling its Precision Crafted Performance mission. A quantum leap forward with a bold exterior design and sophisticated and elegant new interior, MDX achieves its highest level of performance, technological and premium appeal to assume its new role as the flagship of the Acura lineup. Inside, the new Acura MDX raises the bar for Acura interior design, craftsmanship, sophistication and technology.
The fourth-generation Acura MDX debuts with an advanced and improved 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC®™ V6 engine rated at 290 peak horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. peak torque, teamed for the first time with a 10-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Sport Shift and shift paddles on the steering wheel. The available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system for MDX uses Acura’s industry-leading torque-vectoring all-wheel drive technology. Now in its fourth generation, SH-AWD® has 40-percent more rear torque capacity and 30-percent quicker front-to-rear torque transfer than the third-generation system in the previous MDX. The Acura SH-AWD® system can transfer up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear axle during normal driving conditions, while continuously apportioning up to 100 percent of that rear-axle torque between either the left or right rear wheels. SH-AWD® is available on MDX and MDX with Technology Package, and standard on MDX A-Spec® and MDX with Advance Package. The 10-speed automatic features faster and smoother shifts than the previous 9-speed automatic, with rapid four-gear downshifts.
The fourth-generation Acura MDX debuts with an updated 3.5-liter i-VTEC® 24-valve V6 engine rated at 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. torque (both SAE net), teamed for the first time in MDX with Acura’s Sequential SportShift 10-speed automatic transmission. With direct injection, a range of advanced friction-reducing technologies and carefully refined engineering, this performance-focused V6 offers an exceptional blend of power and fuel efficiency. In MDX, Acura’s i-VTEC® (intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) for the intake valves is combined with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®). VCM® varies the working displacement of the engine to match the driving requirements for greater efficiency. New for MDX, the in-house developed 10-speed automatic transmission brings the V6 engine to life with responsive, smooth shifts befitting a performance-focused driver’s SUV. The transmission can be operated via an electronic shift-by-wire push-button gear selector, and drivers can manually select gears using Acura’s Sequential SportShift paddles located on the steering wheel.
A cooling control spacer positioned in the water jacket surrounding the cylinders helps control warm-up and cylinder liner operating temperatures to reduce friction. Plateau honing of the cylinder lining further reduces friction between the piston skirts and the cylinder walls by creating an ultra-smooth surface.With its 60-degree V-angle, the 3.5-liter V6 engine in MDX is inherently smooth and has compact overall dimensions that allow efficient packaging within the vehicle. For the fourth-generation MDX, there are minor changes to the block casting and oil pan. The V6 has a die-cast lightweight aluminum alloy block with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners. Made with a centrifugal spin-casting process, the thin-wall liners are high in strength and low in porosity. The block incorporates a deep-skirt design with four bolts per bearing cap for rigid crankshaft support and minimized noise and vibration, and a high-strength steel crankshaft is used for minimum weight. The 2-stage machining uses two grinding processes instead of the more conventional single-stage honing process.
The “intelligent” portion of the system is its ability to vary valve operation based on the driving situation and engine rpm. At low rpm, the i-VTEC® intake valves use a low lift and short duration profile optimized for increased torque, allowing a wide range of three-cylinder operation when VCM® is activated (see VCM® Operation below). As engine speeds build past 5,350 rpm, the i-VTEC® system transitions to a high-lift, long-duration intake cam profile for superior high-rpm engine power. The Acura MDX SOHC V6 combines Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC®), which changes the lift profile, duration and timing of the intake valves. A switching mechanism allows each cylinder to operate with low-rpm valve lift and duration or high-rpm lift and duration. The rear cylinder bank’s valve gear closes all intake and exhaust valves to minimize pumping losses while operating in three-cylinder mode.
As the most emotionally styled MDX ever, the fourth-generation’s new platform provides the foundation for a striking dimensional change in the dash-to-axle ratio, which has been extended by more than 4 inches, lengthening the hood line significantly and giving MDX a premium “cab rearward” proportion. The bold, sculpted grille and hood, with a wide, aggressive stance, is based on the Acura Precision Concept that redefined Acura design when it was first unveiled in 2016. Dimensionally, the new MDX sits on a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase, with a track that’s 1.4 inches wider in the front and rear. For the first time, the 2022 MDX applies an Active Shutter Grille. In certain conditions, shutters in the lower grille close to divert air around the vehicle, thereby reducing aerodynamic drag. When the demand for cooling air increases, the shutters reopen. In the rear, the wide-set LED taillights have their Chicane™ design set in an eye-catching light-blade, and serve to define and enhance the width and stability of the pronounced rear fenders. The bold and sporting new look is accentuated by new four-element JewelEye® LED headlights with embedded Chicane™ LED daytime running lights.
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