The Acura MDX luxury performance SUV, considered by many as the benchmark of its class, was completely re-engineered in 2007 to set new standards for luxury, style and technology-enhanced performance and control in the Premium SUV segment. As the largest and most powerful V-6 in Acura’s history, delivering class-leading power, the 3.7-liter VTEC V-6 teams with Acura’s exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system to deliver superior handling in most all road conditions.
An optional Active Damper System, developed exclusively for the MDX and available on the Sport Package, further expands the MDX’s performance envelope while retaining the comfortable, quiet and controlled ride quality of a luxury vehicle.
In keeping with Acura’s leadership in the application of advanced, customer-relevant technologies, the 7-passenger MDX harnesses a vast array of leading-edge technologies to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience, thus providing its occupants with an unprecedented level of information access and control.
For 2008, the MDX improves on its technology and style with the addition of: a new auto dimming Day/Night rear view mirror, a new exterior paint color choice, a new interior trim option, and updates to the navigation and real-time traffic systems.
‘The MDX is the ultimate in performance, technology and style in the luxury SUV class,’ said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, sales. ‘The reaction of our customers to this new MDX has been truly remarkable, as they discover the depth and breadth of the technology as well as the lengths to which our designers and engineers have gone to re-invent every aspect of its performance and luxury appeal.’
Powering the MDX to new heights of advanced performance is the most powerful normally aspirated 6-cylinder SUV powerplant currently available in America. The MDX’s 3.7-liter DOHC VTEC® V-6 produces 300 horsepower at 6000 rpm with 275 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. The V-6 employs a unique dual-stage magnesium intake manifold, direct ignition system, variable flow exhaust, and electronic Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system to help deliver V-8 performance with the fuel economy of a V-6. The MDX carries and an EPA fuel economy rating of 15/20 mpg* (city/highway), placing it among the most fuel efficient SUVs in its class, despite its performance, feature and safety advantages. The 2008 MDX, like all Acura vehicles, also meets the U.S. EPA’s stringent Tier 2-Bin 5 (and CARB ULEV-2) emissions standards.
The MDX’s powerful and advanced V-6 is mated to an electronically-controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift and Grade Logic Control System designed to maximize acceleration and fuel economy. Operated via a console-mounted shifter, the Sequential SportShift transmission can function in a conventional fully-automatic mode or in manual mode for maximum driver control. To support the MDX’s increased towing capacity (rated at 5,000 pounds), a special front-mount transmission fluid cooler is employed.
The MDX puts power to the ground through Acura’s breakthrough Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system, an innovative full-time all-wheel-drive system that actively distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear axles but also between the left and right rear wheels. When using such power distribution to help control yaw experienced throughout a turn, SH-AWD™ improves traction and reduces understeer to greatly enhance handling precision and ultimate cornering ability. Working in conjunction with the MDX’s standard cooperative Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, SH-AWD™ provides enhanced traction and driver control whether it be on-road or off-road, in dry, rain, snow or ice.
When towing, special Trailer Stability Assist algorithms built into the VSA® logic help stabilize the vehicle after sensing oscillations of the vehicle or trailer system. The MDX’s SH-AWD™ system is further enhanced with Hill Logic that automatically adjusts the front/rear torque distribution based on hill grades.
With an emphasis on top-level sporting performance, MDX engineers targeted the world-class dynamics and driving feel of the strongest European SUV competitors. This led to the development of a platform with a longer wheelbase, new suspension geometry and calibrations that were tuned at Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nördschleife race circuit.
The MDX’s 4-wheel fully-independent suspension with MacPherson front struts and a multi-link rear design is mounted to a rigid unit body structure with isolated subframes. The front suspension also uses newly-developed hydro-compliance bushings to provide superior ride isolation and chassis vibration control. Anti-dive properties were likewise revised to reduce impact harshness and improve ride comfort. The rear suspension uses aluminum uprights to reduce unsprung weight for improved response, while revised trailing-arm mounting points reduce body squat during acceleration. Coil springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars are tuned for the optimum combination of smooth ride and precise handling.
For excellent stopping power and control, the MDX employs ventilated 13-inch diameter (front) and 13.2-inch solid rear disc brake rotors (the largest brakes ever applied to a production Acura vehicle) along with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. With Brake Assist, the MDX driver has the ability to more quickly apply full braking pressure during an accident avoidance situation.
An available Sport Package incorporates Acura’s exclusive Active Damper System that delivers an optimized combination of ride comfort and excellent handling. Using ‘active’ magneto-rheological fluid dampers and predictive computer algorithms, in as little as five milliseconds (0.005 sec.) the MDX can individually adjust the damping force of its shock absorbers ahead of actual body movements to provide vastly improved transient handling, road isolation, and body control.
The MDX has distinctive exterior styling that builds on the themes embodied in recent Acura products. The Acura’s signature 5-sided grille is framed by high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, giving the MDX an unmistakable presence on the road. The MDX rides on standard 18-inch alloy wheels and P255/55R18 tires help give it a wide stance. The body’s cleanly sculpted shape was inspired by the image of a high-end mega yacht.
The MDX interior blends purposeful sport sedan intensity with the best elements of SUV utility. Soft leather, highly supportive front bucket seats and a driver-oriented cockpit make it clear that the MDX is focused on the driver, without compromising passenger comfort. The outboard second-row seats echo the style and lateral support of the front seats, giving the interior a unique 4+3 seating design to further highlight its blend of sport and utility. There are multiple configurations of the MDX’s three rows of seating thus enabling a maximum useable cargo volume of 83.5 cubic feet. Additionally, a load flat floor is available when the second and third row seats are folded down.
True to the advanced character of Acura, the MDX has an impressive selection of standard electronic features designed for convenience and ease of use. These features include a Tri-zone automatic climate control system with humidity control and air filtration, a Multi-Information Display (MID) that allows access to multiple electronic functions, and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface that connects with Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phones for hands free operation.
Standard with the MDX is an 8-speaker, 253-watt Acura Premium Sound System that features an AM/FM tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD player, MP3, WMA changer, XM® Satellite Radio, and an auxiliary jack for personal audio devices.
Three optional packages are offered on the MDX: Technology, Entertainment and Sport. The Technology Package features a spectacular 410-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System with multi-format 6-disc CD/DVD-Audio changer, AM/FM tuner, and XM® Satellite Radio. Engineered by Grammy® award-winning recording engineer and producer Elliott Scheiner, this advanced system delivers six discreet audio channels (instead of the usual two channels) when playing DVD-Audio discs.
The Technology Package also includes the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and real-time traffic, which can display up-to-the-minute traffic information including freeway flow, accident, construction and weather related incidents in 76 major metropolitan areas-an increase of 32 markets for 2008. In addition, an 8-inch navigation screen displays a behind-the-vehicle image from a rearview camera when the transmission is placed in reverse. Featured in the Technology Package is the AcuraLink™ satellite communication system that allows for 2-way communication between Acura and the vehicle providing customers the latest information specific to their vehicle including required maintenance. The Technology Package also includes a GPS-linked, solar-sensing Tri-Zone climate control system that automatically adjusts the temperature and fan speed according to the position of the sun.
The Sport Package includes all of the upgrades of the Technology Package and adds the Active Damper System, an exclusive alloy wheel design, and auto-leveling headlights. Inside, premium full-grain leather seating surfaces and unique textured metallic accents on radio, cupholder, and shifter trims are included.
The Entertainment Package focuses on enhancing passenger comfort and convenience. A 9-inch flip-down Thin Film Transistor (TFT) color screen is mounted in an overhead console to provide on-the-road entertainment for the second and third row passengers. The audio signal plays in Dolby Digital® surround sound through speakers and two wireless Personal Surround™ headphones and three audio jacks. The package also includes a 110-volt AC power outlet within the center console, second-row heated outboard seats and a remote power-operated tailgate.
In keeping with Acura’s ‘Safety Through Innovation’ initiative, the 2008 MDX provides state-of-the-art safety for its passengers, including the application of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure.
The ACE™ body employs a network of interconnected front frame structures that work to absorb and redirect collision forces away from the passenger cabin while improving crash compatibility with vehicles of different sizes in a frontal collision. A special frame member located below the MDX’s front bumper is designed to engage the front bumper of a lower vehicle, allowing the bumper systems of both vehicles to attenuate crash energy more efficiently.
Inside the handsomely appointed interior, occupants will find more advanced safety features, including the latest generation of dual-stage, dual-threshold airbags for the driver and front passenger. There are also side airbags for the driver and front passenger, and side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor for all outboard occupants. Front active head restraints help reduce the chance of neck injury and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) mounting systems in the second row of seating allow quick and secure installation of child seats.
The MDX is one of only two luxury SUVs in its class to achieve both the U.S. governments top 5-star rating for frontal, rear and side impact crash tests and a ‘TOP SAFETY PICK’ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Developed by designers and engineers at Honda R&D Americas in California and Ohio, and safety tested in the company’s advanced safety laboratories in Raymond, Ohio, the MDX is assembled in Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
Like all Acura models, the 2008 MDX is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and a 6-year/70,000 powertrain limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care® (TLC®), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.
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Source: Acura Press Release