- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2010

TORRANCE, Calif. | The award-winning AcuraMDX luxury SUV continues to be the category benchmark for styling, performance and safety for 2011. Currently in its second generation, the MDX offers tremendous appeal thanks to a wide array of available technology features designed to make driving more enjoyable, more productive and safer.

The 2011 MDX continues to deliver eye-catching looks as a result of Acura’s signature design front grille, a bold front fascia, a rear fascia with integrated polished stainless-steel exhaust finishers, sleek taillights with bright LED lights, and bold 18-inch diameter 5-spoke aluminum wheels. An available Advance Package (with items such as the Active Damper System and 19-inch 7-spoke aluminum wheels) further enhances handling while retaining the comfortable, quiet and controlled ride quality expected of a luxury vehicle.

Inside, the 2011 MDX treats occupants with leather-trimmed seats, a thick sport-style steering wheel with racing-inspired paddle shifters, bold design gauges and available ventilated front seats. In addition, a host of driver relevant technology is available 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. Other available features include a full VGA 8-inch navigation screen, a rear view camera with three unique view choices, rear entertainment system with a full VGA color screen, an audio system with 15 gigabytes of hard disk drive (HDD) space and USB port connectivity.

“Long considered the benchmark in its class, the MDX has always provided equal parts sport and utility,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. “Add in Acura’s plentiful use of cutting-edge technology, and you can see why the MDX is so popular.”

In keeping with Acura’s leadership in the application of advanced, customer-relevant features, the 2011 MDX is available with an array of cutting edge technologies including Acura’s unique Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and a blind spot information system (BSI).

The 2011 MDX uses a 3.7-liter VTEC V-6 engine that provides V-8 level power while retaining the size and fuel efficiency of a 6-cylinder engine. The 3.7L develops 300 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque to provide immediate throttle response, outstanding low- and mid-range torque and excellent high-rpm power. To widen the powerband while simultaneously improving fuel efficiency, the 3.7L V-6 has the patented Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system applied to the intake valves, a computer controlled dual-stage intake manifold and an electronic Drive-by-Wire throttle system.

Internally, the 3.7L V-6 makes use of special heavy-duty components including a cast-aluminum cylinder block, high-strength crankshaft, heavy-duty connecting rods, high compression-ratio pistons, high-flow aluminum cylinder heads with integrated exhaust manifolds, unique long-reach spark plugs and other features.

EPA estimated city/highway/combined fuel mileage of 16/21/18 mpg* (an improvement of 1 mpg city and 1 mpg highway over the 2009 model) and a large 21-gallon fuel capacity mean the MDX is perfect for long drives. Like all 2011 Acura vehicles, the MDX complies with the latest EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards.

The 3.7L V-6 is coupled with a Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission that works with a special multi-clutch torque converter. With comparatively short gearing in the first five forward gears, acceleration is enhanced- while fuel efficiency and quiet cruising are optimized with a relaxed Sixth gear ratio.

The Sequential SportShift transmission offers two automatic shift modes, or can be operated fully manually via racing-inspired steering wheel paddle shifters. Grade Logic Control, Shift Hold Control, Cornering G Shift Control and Hill Start Assist make the 6-speed the most advanced automatic transmission ever offered by Acura. To support the MDX’s 5,000 pound towing capacity, a front-mount transmission fluid cooler is employed.

The MDX puts power to the ground through Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. SH-AWD is an innovative full-time all-wheel-drive system that uses torque vectoring to actively distribute the optimum amount of power not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. With torque vectoring (and by selectively overdriving one outside rear wheel while cornering), the yaw moment of the MDX can be controlled throughout a turn which reduces understeer to greatly enhance handling precision and ultimate cornering ability. Working in conjunction with the MDX’s standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, SH-AWD provides enhanced power delivery and driver control whether it be on-road or off-road, in dry, rain, snow or ice.

When towing, special Trailer Stability Assist algorithms built into the VSA logic help stabilize the vehicle after sensing oscillations of the vehicle or trailer. The MDX’s SH-AWD system is further enhanced with hill logic that automatically adjusts the front/rear torque distribution based on the incline of the hill grades.

With an emphasis on top-level handling performance, MDX engineers targeted the world-class dynamics and driving feel of the top European SUV competitors. This led to the development of a long wheelbase platform and a sophisticated suspension system tuned at Germany’s famed Nurburgring race circuit.

The MDX’s 4-wheel fully-independent suspension makes use of MacPherson struts in front teamed with a multi-link rear suspension that is mounted to a rigid unit body structure with isolated subframes. The front suspension also uses unique hydro-compliance bushings that provide superior ride isolation and chassis vibration control. The rear suspension features aluminum uprights to reduce unsprung weight for improved response, while special trailing-arm mounting points reduce body squat during acceleration.

As part of the available Advance Package, the Active Damper System gives the 2011 MDX an elevated level of handling precision designed to satisfy the most discriminating drivers- all while maintaining a smooth ride. The MDX’s Active Damper System features special algorithms that provide two driver-selectable settings-Comfort and Sport-that tailor the suspension dampers for a more comfortable or more sporting ride.

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