- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 15, 2010

In tough economic times, choosing the right vehicle has never been more important. Blending a smart balance of sport and utility, the 2011 Acura RDX offers a “right sized” package matched with a turbocharged powertrain and the available sure-footedness of Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive - all wrapped in supple luxury.

The evolution of the luxury performance SUV took a significant leap forward with the arrival of the Acura RDX turbocharged crossover vehicle. The quick response of power from Acura’s first-ever turbocharged engine along with the breakthrough technology of SH-AWD combine to deliver adrenaline pumping performance in an efficient SUV package.

“The RDX has always offered a unique mix of great performance, good utility, lots owner relevant technology and sharp looks,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. “The availability of a 2WD model with improved fuel economy and a lower price also makes the 2011 RDX an exceptionally smart choice.”

The RDX continues to be the compact luxury SUV of choice for drivers with energetic lifestyles who need a responsive and sporty vehicle with plenty of utility and leading edge styling. With two models available in two trim choices, the 2011 RDX offers something for everyone. The RDX comes standard with a two-wheel-drive drivetrain which is appealing to those who live in warmer climates and who don’t need the all-weather capability all-wheel drive offers. For those looking for sportier performance or all-weather capability, the RDX with SH-AWD will be right choice for them. Both models come standard with a wide array of features and available is the Technology Package.

Externally, the 2011 RDX has an aggressive, sporty appearance thanks to bold front and rear fascias, Acura’s signature grille, pronounced wheel arches, 18-inch 10-spoke aluminum wheels and upscale trim accents. On the inside, the RDX makes use of a rich blend of leather, artful stitchwork and flowing curves- paired with lots of cutting edge technology.

True to Acura’s leadership in the application of advanced technology, the RDX incorporates a class-leading array of features that keep passengers informed, entertained and in control. Every RDX features as standard Bluetooth HandsFreeLink connectivity with Bluetoothaudio capabilities, a 7-speaker Acura Premium Sound System and a USB port that allows the connection (and charging) of items such as an iPhone or iPod. For those who want to be even more connected to the world around them, an available Technology Package includes the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting, and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather with radar image maps.

Based on Acura’s “Safety Through Innovation” initiative, the RDX incorporates leading safety technologies including Acura’s renowned Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, a wide array of airbags (including front, side and side curtain airbags), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), ABS with Brake Assist, and front seats with active head restraints.

The RDX is equipped with a turbocharged 2.3-liter DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine incorporating computer-controlled “intelligent” i-VTEC for the intake valves that delivers enhanced performance across a broad powerband. The heart of the RDX’s performance is its Variable Flow Turbocharger (VFT) that delivers an unusually broad powerband with virtually no lag in response. The turbocharger works in concert with i-VTEC to deliver outstanding acceleration and efficiency while driving at a variety of speeds.

Rated output for the 2.3L I-4 engine is 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 260 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The RDX has an EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy rating* of 19/24/21 mpg (RDX 2WD) and 17/22/19 mpg (RDX SH-AWD) along with meeting EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 and CARB LEV-2 ULEV emissions standards. Due in part to the decreased weight of the two-wheel-drive model, the RDX gets improved fuel economy versus the SH-AWD model - resulting in an improvement of 2 mpg in both city and highway fuel economy.

A performance-minded Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission is standard on the RDX and an electronically-controlled Drive-by-Wire throttle system works with the transmission to execute exceptionally quick and smooth gear changes. The Sequential SportShift feature allows the transmission to function in a conventional automatic mode or can be manually controlled via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The design goal for the RDX chassis was to simultaneously provide the sporty handling of the Acura TSX sports sedan with the versatility of an SUV. The RDX comes standard in two-wheel-drive form that offers a lighter vehicle weight, improved fuel economy and a lower purchase price.

Acura’s exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system is available on the RDX, helping it to maximize available traction while improving handling balance and responsiveness in a variety of weather conditions. SH-AWD distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. In addition, SH-AWD utilizes torque vectoring to help reduce understeer by overdriving one of the rear wheels to create a yaw moment that enhances steering accuracy and improves cornering ability.

Precise and responsive handling is generated by fully independent front and rear suspension. The MacPherson strut (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension system is tuned for compliant control, and the suspension is assisted by large-diameter front and rear stabilizer bars for flatter cornering. Standard to the RDX is Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control to further enhance vehicle controllability.

RDX exterior styling further emphasizes the crossover SUV’s sporty athleticism. Large wheel arches, aggressively styled body sides, steeply raked windscreen and a short rear overhang generate an RDX with a taut and muscular presence. A unique rear hatch allows for a smooth transition of the body to the rear bumper- a transition that delivers a more custom look as well as eases loading and unloading of cargo.

HID front headlights (controlled by a standard Auto on/off function) team with sharp body lines, bold 18-inch 10-spoke aluminum wheels, rectangular exhaust finishers and satin body trim to give the RDX a crisp look.

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