Acura teases next-generation MDX prototype ahead of Detroit auto show

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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It's a day of artist's renderings from Honda, the most anticipated being a teaser of the next-generation 2014 Acura MDX in prototype form. 2014 Acura MDX Prototype Teaser
There's no more important vehicle in the Japanese luxury brand's lineup than the MDX, and from the image released on Wednesday, it appears to be the sleekest, sportiest MDX ever.

"Utilizing 'Aero Sculpture' design language affecting both form and function, the 2014 MDX Prototype will feature alluring proportions with smooth, arching body lines matched to an efficient architecture," stated a press release that accompanied the rendering.

The look seems to pay homage to the nearly departed ZDX, a model that had a lot fans until the need to open their wallets resulted in more practical considerations. The most common practical consideration in Acura's showroom has long been the same MDX that the sportier ZDX was based on, and therefore the cool looking liftback likely helped to pull people into Acura showrooms and sell more MDX models. Either way, many would be pleased to see some of the ZDX' styling live on in a new MDX.

That transformation will likely include a more upscale interior, Honda's premium marque doing its upmost to differentiate itself from its mainstream namesake brand, which has been steadily improving in style, interior quality and features in an effort to compete with rival mainstream brands like Hyundai and Kia that don't have luxury brands in their arsenals, and therefore have been moving their products more upmarket to gain competitive advantage.

Nothing is known about the next-generation MDX other than the obvious luxury features it will most likely include, but the brand is expected to introduce more electronics to the mix such as proximity sensing remote access and pushbutton ignition plus an electronic parking brake to replace the current model's foot operated unit.

The 2014 MDX is expected to grow in length too, in order to make its third row more accommodating and increase cargo capacity. The new, larger RDX allows this growth to occur, but fans that appreciate the current MDX' performance shouldn't worry as the use of higher tensile steel and other lightweight materials should reduce the luxury crossover's weight despite increased dimensions, allowing for better fuel economy and performance.

In contrast to Acura, Honda's namesake brand is all about downsizing, at least that's what an upcoming concept promises. The crossover utility Honda is now teasing ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where it will be unveiled alongside the Acura MDX prototype next month, is likely a future production vehicle to slot in below the popular CR-V.

All Honda has to say about it is that the "Urban SUV Concept… is a global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior."

The concept is most likely based on Honda's popular Fit subcompact, a model that will soon be updated to include a new version of the hatchback currently being sold, as well as a new sedan and the crossover utility teased here. Honda hopes that these three body styles will account for 200,000 units per annum globally, while opening the Honda brand up to more first-time new vehicle buyers than ever before.

We'll have real photos of this Honda CUV and the next-generation MDX prototype mid-January after they bow at the Detroit show.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Acura, Guangzhou Honda, 2013, 2014, MDX, Urban SUV Concept,

Organizations: Acura

Geographic location: Detroit

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