Acura unveiled its third generation RDX prototype today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. Following design cues from the current lineup, including the pentagon diamond grill on the MDX and TLX, the new RDX also contains a host of new features that are set to appear in future Acuras as well.
Acura has redesigned their current (and somewhat underwhelming) in-car entertainment system, forgoing the old double-screen touch input method for a brand new system that uses “absolute positioning” via a touchpad. The touchpad interacts with a single, high-positioned screen that is closer to the driver’s line of sight.
Manufacturers have attempted using touchpads before – even mice! The result has been barely usable at best. Acura hopes to break this trend with “absolute positioning.” Instead of having a touchpad where you drag your finger around like a laptop, each portion of the touchpad is mapped to a portion of the screen. Touching a corner of the touchpad is akin to touching the corner of the screen. Acura says this new input method is very easy to pick up, taking just minutes to acclimate to. This, combined with completely new software, should provide a smoother experience than the current setup.
In addition to this new input method for the single screen, the RDX will have a 10.5-inch color Heads Up Display, which will keep relevant driving information right in the driver’s sight line. This is a first for Acura, and a welcome change after years of falling behind their German counterparts in this area.
Built on model-exclusive platform, the RDX makes use of high-strength steel components to create a stiff, safe chassis. Interior material quality, although never a weak point for current Acura models, has been improved as well. Gone is the fake brushed-aluminum-look plastic interior trim. According to Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda, “If it looks like metal, it’s metal.”
Power will come from a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, a first for the RDX. There is no word on whether or not this shares any development with the Civic Type R’s 2.0L turbo. Combined with a multi-link rear suspension system with adjustable dampers all around, the RDX should theoretically be a very competent driver.
Acura also stated that it would be bringing A-spec models similar to the current A-Spec TLX to all their vehicles, and the RDX is no exception. Expect to see the 2019 RDX, along with an RDX A-spec, this summer.