2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Powertrain & Test Drive – Video
Acura’s first-ever hybrid SUV, the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid, will arrive at showrooms in early April with more than 30 additional horsepower and a 45 percent higher EPA city fuel economy rating as compared to the conventionally-powered MDX SH-AWD. With a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $51,9601, a premium of only $1,500 over the conventional MDX SH-AWD®, the MDX Sport Hybrid applies Acura’s innovative three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system, a ground-breaking technology first offered in the RLX Sport Hybrid and more recently, the NSX supercar.
The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is engineered for customers who desire the ultimate in driving refinement, technological sophistication and prestige in a three-row Acura SUV. Taking full advantage of the immediate, high-torque performance of its three powerful electric motors, along with the always-on capabilities of electric torque vectoring, the MDX Sport Hybrid substantially expands dynamic performance and fuel efficiency for luxury SUV customer’s everyday driving needs – all without sacrificing interior space or cargo volume.
Unique elements of the MDX Sport Hybrid’s design and engineering versus its non-hybrid counterpart include the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® powertrain with three electric motors and 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT), an advanced Electro Servo braking system, new and model-exclusive Active Damper technology, and an expanded-range Integrated Dynamics System with four distinct modes, including new SPORT+ mode.
The MDX Sport Hybrid’s Integrated Dynamics System engages with nine different dynamic systems within the vehicle, including its electric motors, throttle, steering, transmission and Active Dampers, to provide the driver with an expanded range of selectable performance characteristics to suit their varied driving needs and desires.
The MDX Sport Hybrid is offered in two sophisticated grades: the MDX with Technology Package and the MDX with Advance Package. Both grades have exclusive interior trim, stainless steel sport pedals and feature wood interior accents; wood trim accents are only available with the Advance Package for the other two MDX variants. The MDX Sport Hybrid with Technology Package includes versatile seating for seven passengers, while the Advance Package features a 6-passenger interior with second-row captain’s chairs and large second-row center console in place of a three-person bench seat.
The MDX Sport Hybrid powertrain boasts a total system output of 321 horsepower3 and 289 lb.-ft. of torque, up 31 horsepower over the non-hybrid MDX, making it the most powerful Acura production SUV ever built. EPA fuel economy ratings of 26/27/27 mpg2 (city/highway/combined) are up 8/1/6 mpg over the non-hybrid variant.
A 3.0 liter, 24-valve, SOHC V-6 power plant with i-VTEC® valvetrain and selectable idle-stop capability provides primary motive force, with a peak output of 257 horsepower (SAE net) at 6,300 rpm and 218 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net) at 5,000 rpm. Three electric motors – a front motor built into the 7DCT, and a rear Twin Motor Unit (TMU) – provide instant torque for a more responsive and vivid driving experience.
An advanced 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT) is standard, a feature in common with the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® sedan and in 9-speed form in the NSX. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, the DCT offers ultra-quick gear changes and operates without a torque converter, improving efficiency. The 7DCT can operate in fully automatic mode, or it can be shifted manually via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The hybrid powertrain also features several advancements as part of the on-going development of Acura hybrid technology, including improvements in cooling and packaging of the IPU and PCU, as well as increased hybrid battery power density.