First Look: 2013 Acura RDX

By Seyth Miersma

January 10, 2012

Acura has revealed the second generation of its RDX compact SUV, a vehicle that will go on sale in the spring of 2012, at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

Perhaps most immediately notable for the new RDX, is its larger-displacement engine offering. Bidding farewell to the current model’s 2.3-liter turbocharge four-cylinder (and engine that we here at Winding Road quite enjoyed), the upcoming RDX will be fitted with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, good for 273 horsepower and 20/28 city/highway miles per gallon.

The 2013 RDX also takes on many of the styling cues that we’ve seen on other new Acura offerings, like the TSX sport wagon. Prominent character lines follow the front and rear wheel arches on each flank, while the whole body seems more edgy and aggressive than the previous car.

A wider track and longer wheelbase make the compact RDX larger than ever before, too.

Please find the full Acura press release below

Acura Debuts Three New Vehicles at the 2012 North American International Auto Show

DETROIT, Mich., Jan. 9, 2012 – Representing the leading edge of a wave of new products and technologies, Acura today unveiled three new vehicles at the North American International Auto Show, including a concept version of the all-new gateway to the Acura brand, the ILX luxury compact sedan; a prototype of the 2013 RDX crossover sport utility vehicle; and the NSX Concept, which presages the direction for Acura’s next-generation supercar.

Acura also announced that the next-generation NSX will feature Acura’s innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® technology and that the vehicle will be developed by Honda R&D Americas and manufactured in Ohio.

“Over the next 24 months the Acura brand will unleash a series of new models that will remake our product lineup and shake up the luxury market,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura. “Acura will once again defy conventional wisdom to become one of the top luxury brands by creating luxury vehicles based on our own unique values.”

Debuting three new models in Detroit heralds the beginning of Acura’s second 25 years as a premium luxury-performance automobile brand.

Acura RDX

Shown as a prototype version of the 2013 RDX, the second generation of Acura’s five-passenger crossover SUV will up the ante with a new approach to achieving both advanced performance and fuel efficiency via a new engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system.

The 2013 RDX, scheduled to launch in Spring 2012, will have as standard equipment a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 273 horsepower— 33 more than the outgoing model. For even higher performance and improved fuel economy, the RDX makes use of a 6-speed automatic transmission with a new lock-up torque converter. The RDX also gets a new, lighter all-wheel-drive system that provides the required performance and safety with increased efficiency.

With anticipated EPA fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, front-wheel-drive models of the 2013 RDX are expected to offer the best fuel economy of any gasoline-powered luxury SUV in its class.

The RDX exterior incorporates a sleek, more aerodynamically efficient body, evolving RDX from a sporty, compact SUV to a more formal look with a longer, sculpted hood and styling that is more elegant and sophisticated to match the Acura philosophy of timeless, beautiful design. Chassis updates include a longer wheelbase and wider track, all-new Amplitude Reactive Dampers, and a new motion adaptive electronic power steering system.

Inside the 2013 RDX, new sweeping shapes, matte surface trim, and generous use of leather combine to give the RDX interior an upscale look and luxury feel that Acura customers have come to expect. Abundant use of sound deadening materials and Active Sound Control team to provide an exceptionally quiet cabin. Additional interior features, such as larger door openings, more passenger room, increased cargo volume and a power rear tailgate make the RDX interior even more accommodating and flexible.

As with the ILX, the 2013 RDX will receive a host of new technologies including Pandora internet radio interface, SMS text message feature, a smart entry keyless access system, pushbutton start, and a three view rear camera. An available Technology Package will provide a full complement of relevant technologies, including AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps. New for 2013, the even more advanced navigation system utilizes a hard disk drive (HDD) with 60 gigabytes of storage capacity – including 15 gigabytes that can be allocated for music storage.

Acura anticipates that the RDX will achieve top ratings in both NHTSA and IIHS crash safety testing.

Production of the new RDX will move to the East Liberty, Ohio plant of Honda of America Mfg., Inc.— home to one of the four top assembly lines in North America in the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The first generation RDX has been built at the Marysville, Ohio auto plant, an IQS award winner for both of its assembly lines.