In a surprise move, Acura has unveiled the MDX A-Spec SUV at the New York International Auto Show.
Nobody saw it coming. Acura may have been giving their core lineup A-Spec models for the past year or so, thus making an MDX A-Spec an almost assured eventuality, but there wasn’t even a teaser from Acura to foretell the sportier SUV’s arrival.
With the MDX A-Spec finally here, the neat and new SUV completes the set of A-Spec models for Acura. At least, according to Acura. One supposes the Japanese carmaker doesn’t consider the NSX or the RLX part of their cone lineup.
But back to the MDX A-Spec. To start, the whole car has been given the A-Spec treatment with black outer trim, chrome in strategic locations, and 20-inch wheels as standard. There’s also a larger, more robust exhaust and a front fascia that has subtle differences over the original.
The interior of the MDX has been totally replaced with A-Spec standard features such as new gauges, sport pedals, carbon-fiber-y console trim, a thicker-rimmed A-Spec-badged steering wheel with paddle shifters, and an exclusive A-Spec doorstep garnish.
Safety technology also comes as standard in the A-Spec with AcuraWatch safety suite. This includes emergency collision braking with forward collision warning, lane assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard features with what looks like a wireless charging pad, although Acura didn’t mention it in their press release. Here’s hoping.
Under the hood, the MDX remains unchanged. It’s the same 3.5-L VTEC V6 engine with 290 hp and 257 lb-ft torque mated to Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive transmission as the regular MDX. But for those hoping to see an Acura with a bit more performance, the company has promised a return of the vaunted Type S badge that used to be the mark of a true performance vehicle with Acura.
The last Type S car ever seen was on the TL sedan, and it was a beautifully performing car. Here’s hoping the Type S treatment is a bit more than just a few cosmetic doodads.