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Acura's Upcoming MDX Type S Comes at a Very Steep Cost

Acura’s Upcoming MDX Type S Comes at a Very Steep Cost

Acura, do you really think this will go over well with the Type S purists? It had better be good

The MDX has always been a solid yet unpopular option in the booming SUV market ever since it launched. Even though it is decent to look at, decent to drive, and more than competitive with its rivals from Lexus and the Germans. So, is making a sporty version going to change anything, and is it diluting the Type S name? Acura just gave us some extra details on exclusive features, release times, and more on the new MDX Type S, and it’s time that we find out.

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2013 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

2013 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

Phew, let’s take a short break from all of the SEMA craziness to focus on another important auto show: the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.

This is where Acura will debut a Sport Hybrid version of the 2014 RLX sedan. The new RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will hit showrooms in 2014, and Acura will release prices soon.

The model will boast Acura’s Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain that helps the flagship pound out V-8 performance and deliver the fuel economy of a four-pot. This SH-AWD system combines a 3.5-liter, i-VTEC V-6 engine with three electric motors and a seven-cog, dual-clutch auto transmission to deliver an outstanding 377 horsepower. Thanks to its amazing output and all-wheel-drive system, this new model promises to deliver "outstanding handling and all-weather performance capabilities."

On top of the nearly 400 ponies, this RLX Sport Hybrid delivers a combined fuel economy of 30 mpg.

No other details were offered on this RLX SH, but the first image reveals that it will look nearly identical to the standard version. We’re sure there will be a few differences that Acura will reveal at a later date, but we only have one image to go off of for now.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Acura RLX.

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2009 Acura RL

2009 Acura RL

Acura unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show the 2009 RL, a new generation featuring bold, sleek exterior styling, an upgraded interior, advanced technologies and powerful new engine.

The 2009 RL will be powered by a a new, larger 3.7-liter V-6 that incorporates the first ever SOHC use of VTEC valvetrain actuation for both the intake and exhaust valves. The engine develops 300 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a new version of the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission.

The RL will be offered in three different trim levels including RL, RL with Technology Package and RL with Technology Package Plus CMBS™. All RL’s receive a potent new 3.7-liter V-6 engine, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, a Bose Surround Sound audio system, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink connectivity and a GPS-based solar-sensing climate control system.

The 2009 RL’s new exterior styling is not only more aggressive, but delivers excellent aerodynamics and reduced rear lift at higher speeds. The RL’s more athletic style foreshadows the power concealed by the new power plenum front grille and blow-formed aluminum hood. The RL’s shape is taut and athletic, and its acceleration and cornering performance allow it to challenge the most capable German and Japanese sports sedans.

Press release after the jump.

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1996 - 1999 Acura SLX

1996 - 1999 Acura SLX

The luxury brand’s first SUV

Introduced in 1986 as a luxury vehicle division of Honda, Acura enjoyed a strong start in market acceptance in the U.S. The Legend, the Integra, and the NSX, helped the brand build a name for itself after only five years on the market. However, Acura began to struggle in the mid-1990s, when sales dropped in part to its less inspiring designs and the switch to an alphanumeric nomenclature that saw the popular Legend renamed the 3.5 RL. It was then that Acura decided to offer a crossover and created the SLX.

Launched in 1995 for the 1996 model year, the SLX was aimed at the midsize crossover market, which was picking up speed thanks to models like the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco II in the late 1980s and the Ford Explorer in the early 1990s. But, unlike Chevy and Ford, Acura wanted a more upscale people hauler. It’s worth noting that there were no mainstream luxury SUVs other than the Range Rover until 1995, when Lexus launched the LX 450 that was based on the J80-generation Toyota Land Cruiser.

The problem was that Honda’s mid-size SUVs at the time, the Passport in the U.S. and the Horizon in Japan, were badged engineered versions of the Isuzu Rodeo and Trooper, respectively, and Acura needed a model that would get them into that market fast. As a result, the brand’s first SUV was in fact a lightly upgraded and rebadged Isuzu Trooper.

It would soon become clear that the decision to rebadge the Trooper was not exactly inspired...

The SLX was sold in the U.S. for only four model years between 1996 in 1999. Despite receiving a redesigned front end and a new engine in 1998, the SLX was axed in 1999 following poor sales and bad press from Consumer Reports, which rated the crossover as "Not Acceptable" due to its high roll-over tendency. It was replaced by the MDX, which shared a platform with the Honda Pilot, in 2000. Far more successful than the SLX, the MDX is already in its third generation as of 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the Acura SLX.

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