Automaker’s top-selling crossover gets an exclusive paint finish, among other new goodies

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Four months after unveiling the TLX PMC Edition, Acura is giving the same special edition treatment to its RDX crossover. Dubbed the RDX PMC Edition, the special edition crossover benefits from the same exclusive additions Acura gave to the TLX. That includes the Thermal Orange Pearl paint finish that’s arguably one of the best colors you can get in the market. The RDX PMC Edition now occupies the range-topping slot in the lineup, combining the two trims sitting underneath it — the A-Spec and Advance Package — into one model. Befitting its status as a top-of-the-line special edition model, Acura is limiting the production of the special edition crossover to just 360 units, all of which are earmarked for the North American market. Each unit of the RDX PMC will carry a sticker price of “in the low $50,000,” according to Acura.

What’s the history of Acura’s growing lineup of PMC Edition models?

2019 Acura TLX PMC Edition
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Acura’s been touting the special edition models that have come out of its Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Ohio. Last year, the TLX PMC Edition burst into the scene with a snazzy Valencia Red Pearl paint finish, a set of black-painted 19-inch wheels, and a smattering of features and packages that were exclusive to the sports sedan. Only 360 units of the TLX PMC Edition were built, underscoring its exclusive status. Acura followed the TLX PMC Edition with the MDX PMC Edition, which was revealed in February 2020. Like the TLX PMC, the MDX PMC Edition proudly wore the intricately developed Valencia Red Peal paint finish that’s normally a $6,000 option on the NSX supercar. The MDX PMC also came with a standard set of 20-inch wheels and options like LED headlamps, adaptive suspension dampers, and the A-Spec and Advance packages. It’s important to mention this because Acura’s latest PMC Edition model has arrived, and it looks snazzier than its two predecessors.

What’s so special about the Acura RDX PMC Edition?

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition
- image 936960

For the third time in a little over a year, Acura is launching another special edition model that’s carrying the name of the automaker’s performance center. Just like the TSX and MDX that came before it, the special edition RDX is named after Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center. Unlike the TSX and MDX, the RDX is packaged somewhat differently, beginning with the paint finish that Acura used on the special edition crossover. No, the RDX isn’t dressed in the same Valencia Red Pearl paint as the TSX and MDX; instead, Acura opted to give the RDX a Thermal Orange Pearl paint, which Acura first offered on the NSX supercar in 2019.

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition
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The origin of this particular paint is similar to that of its Valencia Red Pearl counterpart. For Acura to arrive at that specific color, the paint is applied repeatedly — or multiple coatings — using PMC’s advanced robotic system. The objective is to enhance the intensity of the color, and when that’s accomplished, a mid-coat of gold and orange mica is applied to create the pearlescent effect when sunlight bounces off of it. From there, four more layers of clear coat are applied to not only increase the color’s luster but, just as important, to also protect the final finish of the paint. All told, the entire process takes around five days. As impressive as that sounds, that’s just the start of the exclusive features that Acura added to the RDX.

The special edition crossover also comes with a carefully selected exterior trim and an exclusive set of 20-inch wheels.
2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition
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The interior also benefits from the special edition status of the RDX PMC Edition. The sport seats are dressed in Ebony Milano leather. Black Ultrasuede inserts and orange stitching provide the color in this setup.

More orange stitching can be found on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, which also happens to carry an A-Spec badge.

That’s a nod to the A-Spec and Advance Package additions that are also included in the special edition crossover. A unique PMC Edition numbered serial plate is also part of the interior upgrades, and, as certain as the sky is blue, we know why that numbered serial plaque is there. It’s proof of the RDX PMC’s limited production value, which, at 360 units, doesn’t sound all that limited.

What’s hidden underneath that hood?

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition
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The Acura RDX PMC is powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as other versions of the RDX. The four-banger’s output is rated at 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic gearbox comes standard, and that unit sends all that power to the crossover’s four wheels, which, by the way, comes standard in the RDX PMC.

Meanwhile, the special edition crossover can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and hit a quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 94.7 mph.

The crossover’s top speed peaks at a capped 130 mph.

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition
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In other words, the Acura RDX PMC does not benefit from any upgrades to the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It was the same story with the two previous PMC Editions, and it’s the case with this one, too.

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition specifications
Engine 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC turbo with direct injection and i-VTEC® valvetrain
Transmission 10-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters
Horsepower 272 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 280 lb.-ft. @ 1,600-4,500 rpm
0 to 60 mph 5.9 seconds
Quarter-mile 14.8 seconds @ 94.7 mph
Top Speed 130 mph

How much will the Acura RDX PMC cost?

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition
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According to Acura, the RDX PMC Edition will carry a sticker price “in the low $50,000s.” While that’s not a specific number, we should expect to spend at least that amount to have a chance at one of the 360 units that are headed to the market. For what it’s worth, the 2021 Acura RDX starts at $39,225. That figure steadily goes up as you add more features, options, packages, and all sorts of add-ons to the crossover. A fully loaded, all-wheel-drive RDX will set you back close to $50,000, so the price disparity isn’t that big.

Final Thoughts

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition
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Orange is probably the color that’s hardest to pair in a vehicle. It goes well on certain models and doesn’t on others. Fortunately, the Acura RDX PMC Edition wears the Thermal Orange Pearl Paint naturally. The exclusive shade looks great on the crossover, enhancing a lot of its design details, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing model. The complementary gloss black finishes scattered throughout the body of the RDX also add some depth to the crossover’s looks. I like what Acura did with the RDX PMC Edition. I like how it looks. I like that the automaker was generous with adding options and features to the special edition model. Most of all, I like that all of it comes together in one pleasing package. I’m not too excited about the expected price tag — $50,000 — is expensive for an RDX, but the limited nature of the RDX PMC justifies what you end up spending for it.

  • Leave it
    • Pricey
    • No engine upgrades
    • Interior didn’t get nearly as much love as exterior
Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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