2018 Detroit Auto Show: Acura RDX Prototype image

Acura, just like its parent company Honda, likes to signal the impending arrival of a new generation model with a previewing “prototype” – on the occasion of the 2018 edition of the North American International Show in Detroit it was RDX’s turn.

The 2019 Acura RDX Prototype is as close to series production as it gets, and also marks the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade,” according to the company, arriving with a new architecture, a weight reduction and a more premium feeling inside for the successful crossover. The new RDX Prototype has been presented just ahead of the production series model’s reveal – the latter should come out before the second half of the year, sporting a completely new platform that’s bespoke to Acura and thus doesn’t share any relationship with a Honda product. Acura’s trademark “diamond pentagon” grille is at its place, along with the latest evolution of the hallmark “Jewel Eye” LED headlights.

Acura RDX Prototype

Moving inside, the RDX Prototype doesn’t stray too far from other Acura models, with a classic instrument cluster, climate-control buttons on the center stack, and four buttons for the electronic shifting. More importantly, Acura thinks it will deliver best-in-class cargo and back-seat space – along with top premium materials, such as Napa leather, olive ash wood as well as brushed-aluminum trim. The RDX also arrives with a new infotainment system that has a 10.2-inch display, Android-based software and the True Touchpad Interface – a console-mounted touchpad that actually mimics the exact one-to-one interface of the screen.

Acura RDX Prototype

Standard features include panoramic sunroof, a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot, and lots of safety systems, along with an optional head-up display and 16-channel Mark Levinson sound system. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, which is promised to deliver 40 percent more low-end torque than the predecessor’s 3.5-liter V6, and also new is the ten-speed automatic transmission. AWD – Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) with torque-vectoring rear differential – will be optional, along with adaptive dampers part of the Integrated Dynamics System, and there’s also a sporty A-Spec trim available for the first time in an Acura crossover.