The 2019 Acura RDX Prototype made its world debut today at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, providing a first look at the bold new design, advanced technology and luxury features of the luxury, five-passenger SUV, launching later this year. An established, perennial top-seller, the RDX has recorded five consecutive years of record sales and seven straight years of year-over-year sales growth.
The 2019 Acura RDX, presaged by the RDX Prototype, has undergone a clean-sheet, top-to-bottom remake and will be the first Acura model to fully embody Acura’s new design language as envisioned in the Acura Precision Concept, and its new interior design and technology as imagined in the Acura Precision Cockpit. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the all-new 2019 RDX will launch in mid-2018 with exhilarating performance, class-leading cabin and cargo space, and a host of groundbreaking new Acura technologies that will set a new standard in the entry-level luxury SUV segment. In addition, the 2019 RDX will be the first Acura SUV offered with an A-Spec trim, adding sport styling inside and out. The brand has announced that all core Acura models developed moving forward will receive A-Spec treatment.
The all-new, third generation RDX has been reengineered on a new, Acura-exclusive platform featuring a lighter and dramatically stiffened body, a sophisticated new chassis and an all-new powertrain – a powerful, yet fuel-efficient 2.0-liter DOHC VTEC Turbo engine mated to a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2019 model also will mark the return of Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) to RDX, in its most advanced form yet, giving RDX the most sophisticated and capable torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system in its class.
The 2019 Acura RDX Prototype also debuts a completely new, Acura True Touchpad Interface, designed from a clean slate, combining the best elements of a touchscreen and remote interface in one powerful system.
“The all-new RDX delivers a powerful statement about who we are and where we are headed as a brand,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. “For our customers, the new RDX is a quantum leap forward in design, style and performance, with luxury features and technology that will elevate their ownership experience.”
Inspired and Evocative New Design
In creating the new RDX, Acura designers worked from the foundations of the Acura Precision Concept, adapting its low, wide and sleek presence to a five-passenger SUV. The new RDX Prototype boasts more athletic stance and proportions with a wider track (+1.2 inches), longer wheelbase (+2.5 inches) and shortened front overhang, with wheels pushed to the corners.
The new design flows outward from Acura’s signature diamond pentagon grille, with RDX being the first model designed from the ground-up around the brand’s bold new face. The distinctive front fascia is married to a sharply sculpted body with sharp and dynamic character lines and all-LED exterior lighting featuring the next-generation of Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights.
Powerful, Crisp Acceleration and Precision Handling
The RDX takes power from a new 2.0 liter, 16-valve DOHC direct-injected engine with a low-inertia mono-scroll turbo and DOHC VTEC valvetrain and Dual Variable Timing Cam (Dual VTC), delivering 40 percent more low-end torque than the outgoing RDX. The new engine is mated up to a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT) that responds quickly to the will of the driver, with crisp and refined shifts that capitalize on the 2.0-liter engine’s flat torque curve.
All-wheel-drive variants of the new Acura RDX will utilize the next generation of Acura SH-AWD® featuring a newly developed rear differential with a 150 percent increase in maximum torque capacity relative to the outgoing RDX, making it the most advanced and capable torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system in the segment.
An available new Adaptive Damper System is tied into the NSX-inspired Integrated Dynamics System with four distinct drive modes; Sport, Sport+, Comfort and Snow. Like the NSX, a prominent drive mode dial is placed high in the center console, allowing drivers to quickly tune performance settings to suit their needs in every driving environment.
Modern, Spacious and Luxurious Cabin Built for Drivers
The new exterior design of the RDX is carried through to its more spacious, sophisticated and tech-savvy cabin, which boasts a floating center console inspired by the Acura Precision Cockpit, newly designed power sport seats with a matching sports steering wheel, and contemporary detailing using authentic, high-grade materials throughout, including Napa leather, brushed aluminum and open-pore Olive Ash wood.
The new RDX’s longer wheelbase contributes to a larger passenger cabin with first-class comfort for five passengers, with class-leading cabin space, rear legroom and rear cargo space. The heated and ventilated front sport seats feature a more intricately sculpted and styled design covered in softer and more durable full-grain Napa leather, supported by 16-way power adjustment for both driver and front passenger. All 2019 RDX models will come equipped with a new ultra-wide panoramic sliding moonroof, the largest in its class.
Acura True Touchpad Interface
The RDX heralds the launch of Acura’s all-new, True Touchpad Interface, which features an Android-based operating system projected onto a dual-zone, 10.2-inch full-HD display mounted high atop the center console close to the driver’s natural line of sight, and an available interactive head-up display (HUD).
The system is designed to combine the advantages of both conventional touchscreen and remote-based approaches. A traditional touchscreen is intuitive and direct – what you see is what you press – but the placement of the screen is out of the driver’s natural line-of-sight. A remote interface solves this problem, but the interaction between the remote and display is often clumsy.
Unlike existing remote interfaces that operate like a computer mouse, every spot on the RDX’s touchpad is mapped precisely – one-to-one – with the corresponding action on the center display – as the world’s first application of absolute positioning in the driving environment. For instance, a tap on the top left corner of the touchpad corresponds precisely with the action on the top left of the center display.
All elements of the Acura True Touchpad Interface, including the new operating system with simple, clean graphics and menu structures, were designed in concert to work seamlessly with one another. Also debuting on the RDX, is a new natural language voice recognition system, which dramatically improves the ease and intuitiveness of voice commands in the vehicle.
“Absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines,” said Ross Miller, senior engineer of user interface research. “It’s also designed to be adopted quickly and easily, as drivers become acclimated and comfortable in minutes.”
Stand-out Features and Technology
The 2019 RDX Prototype uses four ultra-thin, ceiling-mounted speakers to add a new dimension of sound and fidelity to the audio experience. The 16-channel, 710-watt Acura ELS Studio 3D system was developed by Panasonic and tuned by Grammy-winning music producer and longtime Acura partner, Elliott Scheiner.
All 2019 RDX models will come equipped with the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Additional available connected-car and driver-assistive features include next-generation AcuraLink with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Hill Start Assist, Surround-View Camera System, front and rear parking sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor and Blind Spot Information system.
Design, Developed and Manufactured in America
Development of the 2019 Acura RDX was led for the first time by a U.S. R&D team, with styling by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, and development by an engineering team in Raymond, Ohio. All RDX models for the North American market will continue to be built in the company’s East Liberty, Ohio plant. Its 2.0-liter DOHC VTEC Turbo engine will be made in Anna, Ohio, in the same plant building the NSX’s twin turbo engine. RDX’s 10-speed automatic transmission will be manufactured in the company’s Tallapoosa, Georgia plant.