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Is The 2024 Acura MDX Better Than Rivals on Everyman Driver

A high-performance variant of the new Acura flagship, the 2024 MDX Type S is the first Acura SUV to wear the Type S badge and is the most powerful, best handling and most lavishly equipped Acura SUV ever. MDX Type S is a high-performance SUV to its core based on the extremely rigid, fourth-generation, model-exclusive MDX platform engineered for Type S levels of performance from the outset. MDX Type S also raises the bar for opulence, with the new MDX Type S with Advance Package grade featuring the most lavish interior of any Acura, ever.

The three-row MDX Type S takes Acura SUV performance to the next level with Acura’s new 355 horsepower Type S Turbo V6, standard torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), powerful Brembo front brakes and a quicker-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission reengineered to handle the Type S Turbo V6’s 354 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net @ 1,400 to 5,000 rpm). MDX Type S also maximizes the potential of its performance-tuned chassis and double-wishbone front suspension with the first air-suspension system ever used on an Acura vehicle. Combined with the Acura Adaptive Damper System, which has been retuned for even better performance, MDX Type S offers drivers razor sharp handling, while still delivering a comfortable ride.

Numerous signature features distinguish the exterior design of the Type S performance variant, including a new front fascia with a more aggressively front spoiler, functional side air inlets, and an open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille that increases air flow to the engine bay. Blackout trim and 21-inch wheels with Acura’s first use of self-sealing tires also are standard. In the rear, MDX Type S features a more aggressively styled fascia with four large round exhaust outlets. As with TLX Type S, MDX Type S will be available in an eye-catching and Type S-exclusive Tiger Eye Pearl paint. MDX Type S with Advance Package adds gloss black wheel arch and lower body trim for an even more premium appearance.

Inside, MDX Type S features a flat-bottom steering wheel and Red, Ebony, or new Orchid Milano-leather seats accented with premium Black Ultrasuede® inserts. A 12.3-inch Acura Precision Cockpit™ all-digital instrument display also is standard along with Acura’s award-winning True Touchpad Interface™ and largest-ever 12.3-inch ultra-wide HD center display.

Raising the bar on the premium Acura experience is the MDX Type S with Advance Package, which features Acura’s first massaging front seats and premium Milano leather in a unique curvilinear quilting pattern and available new Azurite Blue interior color. Type S with Advance Package also features a 25-speaker ELS STUDIO 3D® Signature Edition audio system, which takes the auditory experience to unprecedented heights.

Like all Acura models, both Type S grades come standard with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist. Type S also delivers advanced levels of collision protection performance with Acura’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.

As with the rest of the MDX lineup, Type S includes the pioneering new Acura front passenger airbag technology, which uses a three-chamber layout comprised of a smaller center chamber and two side chambers, which are joined by a sail panel. Functioning almost like a “catcher’s mitt,” the airbag is designed to more effectively cradle and protect the front passenger’s head to help mitigate potential injury in a wider variety of frontal collisions, especially more steeply angled frontal collisions.

Acura Type S performance variants strengthen the fundamentals of performance with significant enhancements to all elements of the driving experience without compromising creature comforts or daily drivability. This gives MDX Type S and MDX Type S with Advance Package an unmatched combination of thrilling dynamics and premium features without compromising the family-friendly accommodations that have made MDX the best-selling luxury three-row SUV since its introduction.

Key Type S Powertrain Features:

  • 3.0-liter Type S Turbo V6 engine
  • 355 horsepower (SAE net @ 5,500 rpm)
  • 354 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net @ 1,400 to 5,000 rpm)
  • Single twin-scroll turbo
  • Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods
  • 6-bolt crankshaft main bearing caps for improved rigidity and durability
  • Close-coupled catalytic converter
  • Compact cylinder heads and valvetrain
  • Variable Cylinder Management™ to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions
  • Active Exhaust improves sport driving experience
  • Enhanced cooling includes two sub-radiators
  • Performance-tuned 10-speed automatic with stronger internals, quicker shifts and rev-matched downshifts
  • 4th Generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™

At the heart of the MDX Type S is the Type S Turbo V6, a new, 24-valve, DOHC 3.0-liter V6 engine with direct-injection and a single twin-scroll turbocharger, producing 355 horsepower (SAE net @ 5,500 rpm) and 354 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net @ 1,400 to 5,000 rpm). Exclusive to the TLX Type S and MDX Type S models, it was developed by some of the company’s most experienced powertrain engineers, including members of the team that developed NSX’s bespoke twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid power unit and Civic Type R engine.

Its block is unique, sharing only bore spacing and a 60-degree architecture with the 3.5-liter V6 found in the MDX. Significant differences between the two include the 3.0-liter’s 6-bolt sintered main bearing caps for increased crank rigidity and durability, and a fully square 86 mm bore and stroke.

Numerous engineering steps were taken to ensure the new engine’s compact size and low profile. This includes the placement of the turbocharger adjacent to the engine above the transmission and the use of low-profile cylinder heads. Fully assembled, the engine is 8 mm shorter than the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6. The Type S Turbo V6 also is the same width as the 3.5-liter V6.

Developing up to 15.1 psi of boost, the newly developed twin-scroll turbo features independent internal paths for the rear and front cylinder banks to feed exhaust pressure to the turbine, which helps improve turbo response. The engine’s rear bank of cylinders pressurize the smaller diameter scroll to rotate the smaller diameter part of the turbine, while the front bank feeds the larger diameter scroll and turbine wheel. As a result, the engine’s peak torque of 354 lb.-ft. is available starting from an exceptionally low 1,400 rpm.

To improve emissions, the turbo system’s heat management has been optimized to quickly activate the catalytic converter. This includes the use of a double wall pipe from the exhaust manifolds to the turbo itself that includes external bellows to dissipate heat. The catalytic converter connects to the exhaust outlet of the turbo using a V-band, which further reduces heat mass entering the catalyst.

To better manage overall engine temperatures, two additional sub-radiators are employed, fed by two large openings on the front facia, one on either side of the grille. Additionally, the open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille increases airflow to the engine compartment by approximately 14 percent to further benefit cooling.

The Type S Turbo V6 also features a robust rotating assembly for enhanced performance and durability. Like the twin-turbo V6 in the NSX, it employs a high-strength forged steel crankshaft, while its connecting rods use the forged steel construction from Acura’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder.

Unique to the Type S Turbo V6 is the design of its pistons. The top piston ring carrier is a high-density Ni-resist cast iron, which features better wear characteristics and better sealing, helping to reduce emissions.

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