The Acura RD-X Concept SUV debuted today at the North American International Auto Show. The RD-X features Acura’s new Super Handling All-Wheel Drive’ system and combines the performance of a sports sedan with the all-wheel drive capability and functional utility of an SUV. Acura displayed a previous design study of the RD-X two years ago at the Detroit show, and this latest concept hints strongly at the production vehicle, which the division has announced will go on sale in 2006.
The RD-X powertrain features the groundbreaking SH-AWD’ all-wheel drive system that debuted on the 2005 Acura RL luxury performance sedan. This system distributes torque not only between the front and rear wheels, but also between the left and right rear wheels. The result is superior traction on all surfaces and in all weather conditions, as well as increased cornering precision.
To complement the SH-AWD system, designers gave the RD-X a highly-refined chassis with fully independent front and rear suspension. Large Brembo disc brakes with slotted rotors, 19-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels and 255/50R19 tires combine for strong grip and an aggressive look.
At 181.5 inches long, the RD-X fits squarely in the small SUV segment. Its chiseled exterior styling provides both excellent visibility for driving in city traffic or on twisty mountain roads. The RD-X employs a compact upper body with an aggressively raked belt line, ample wheel flares and a substantial hood that flows down from the windshield to a brushed aluminum Acura signature five-sided grill. Generous side sills and fender garnish, dual integrated exhaust tips, wrap-around LED headlights and taillights, and a rear spoiler add to the strong look of the vehicle.
As part of Acura’s commitment to Safety Through Technology, the RD-X is equipped with the Advanced Compatibility Engineering’ (ACE’) body structure. This unique new design enhances protection of occupants during a frontal collision, while at the same time reducing aggressivity to other vehicles.
Inside, the RD-X seamlessly combines an ultra modern driver-oriented cockpit with a sizeable, easily transformable cargo area. The instrument panel and door inserts are trimmed with a combination of ivory leather and ivory suede. Dual front bucket seats, trimmed in tangerine-colored, crocodile-embossed leather with ivory-colored wool headrests are positioned close together rally-style to facilitate easy communication between the driver and the front passenger. Tangerine-colored leather is also used on the steering wheel, door accents, seat backs and center console. The entire headliner and rear cargo bay are trimmed with off-white suede material.
A unique, clear acrylic wing runs across the top of the instrument panel giving the cockpit an ultra-modern, high tech look. Large, metallic gauges sit directly in front of the driver, arranged with tachometer on the left, speedometer in the middle and temperature gauge on the right. Shift indicators showing “+” and “-” are linked to the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and integrated into the tachometer and temperature gauges, allowing the driver to track shifts, up and down.
An eight-inch color LCD screen dominates the center of the instrument panel and displays information for the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, the audio system, and other advanced in-car functions. Like in the RL sedan, navigation, audio, dual climate control and other features are controlled using the Interface Dial mounted in the center of the instrument panel below the display. Similar to a computer mouse, the dial allows the user to easily scroll through menu options, and point and click to select.
The RD-X is equipped with a next-generation version of the AcuraLink’ satellite communication system, which includes real time traffic information and enables communication between the RD-X driver and Acura customer service. In addition to the real time traffic feature, this system boasts advanced features, which allow the driver to access the Internet, read movie reviews, and download music. A hard-drive, integrated into the center console, allows storage of an entire digital music library, which can be accessed at any time.
Instead of side view mirrors, the RD-X employs two small rear-facing cameras located on the upper front corner of the front doors. These cameras transmit a clear view of traffic on both sides of the vehicle to the navigation display. A nine-speaker DVD-Audio system delivers surround sound to all seating positions.
The RD-X’s rosewood covered floor is low and flat, allowing for ample leg room for both rows of seats. A long, vertical moonroof stretches completely over the first and second row seating positions. The rear of the RD-X offers generous storage space for luggage, snowboards, and other items. Grooves in the floor are perfect for securing bicycles. Each side panel holds a subwoofer protected from cargo by tubular aluminum railings.
The RD-X concept highlights Acura’s commitment to expanding its light truck lineup. It will be assembled at Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio.