Acura shows new face on 2017 MDX, flexes muscles with NSX GT3
Acura shows new face on 2017 MDX, flexes muscles with NSX GT3 (Photo: Acura)
Dan Heyman, Autofocus.ca
Published Thursday, March 24, 2016 2:08PM EDT
Acura spanned two completely opposite ends of the automotive spectrum at this year’s New York Auto Show, revealing both an updated version of its bread-and-butter MDX SUV, and a racing version of its soon-to-be-released NSX Supercar.
More a refresh than a completely new design, the 2017 MDX gets an important styling detail that will be a feature on all Acura models going forward; its new “Diamond Pentagon” grille shape, first seen on the Precision Concept earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There are also new front fenders and side sills, as well as a new hood and re-styled “Jewel-Eye” headlights.
The interior environs are familiar, but the choice of new Black Limba trim do refresh things a little. The biggest news, however, has to be the addition of a Sport Hybrid version, which borrows tech first seen on the RLX and NSX to deliver a combined 325 horsepower and 9 L/100 km of combined fuel usage. In addition to the hybrid powertrain, a new active sports suspension works in conjunction with the Integrated Dynamics System to add a new Sport+ drive mode.
Pricing will be available as the 2017 MDX nears production later this year.
On the racing front, testing has already begun on the NSX GT3, which is set to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship next year. It will compete against the likes of Porsche, Corvette and Ferrari when it takes to the track in locales such as Sebring and southern Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the 2017 season. Unlike the road-going NSX, however, the GT3 model will not be a hybrid, as there are no divisions in North American GT3 racing in which it would classify. Instead, a naturally-aspirated V6 – one that uses the same block, heads and dry fuel sump as the road car – will be found underhood.
Acura insists that the change was a smooth one, as the car was developed to go racing from the get-go. Watch for driver and team announcements in the coming months, but you have to think that race team owner Rick Hendrick – who won NSX chassis #001 at the Barrett Jackson auction earlier this year – will have something to do with it. As will Realtime Racing, who’ve campaigned past NSXs in the SCCA Sports Car Championship, and currently have entrants in the Pirelli World Series with the TLX racer.