Forced induction. It’s the technology behind turbochargers, widely used by companies like Subaru, Volkswagen, and Saab to harness more power from, typically, four-cylinder motors. The benefits are substantial gains in ponies and torque, with the biggest detraction being lag (that moment of sluggishness between hitting the accelerator and having the turbo spool up). But one major player, Honda, has thus far invested in naturally-aspirated alternatives, with the result being a market devoid of turbocharged Civics and Acura models. Variable valve timing allows for impressive horsepower, but torque never registered as a strong selling point for these cars. That changes for 2007, with the release of the all-new Acura RDX, a small SUV that marks Honda’s first foray into the forced induction arena. And with sexy looks, an advanced and capable all-wheel-drive system, and genuine utility, the 2007 Acura RDX promises to transport up to five people in style and comfort…and rather quickly.
Built on an all-new light-truck platform, the 2007 Acura RDX is a small, five-passenger SUV that will be built in Honda’s Marysville, Ohio assembly plant. The RDX has been engineered to blend the sporting nature of an all-wheel-drive performance vehicle with the utility and versatility of an SUV.
Acura has addressed two major points with the introduction of the 2007 RDX. First, this all-new SUV fills a void in the brand’s lineup, one that currently includes a decent variety of cars, but only the larger MDX exists on the truck/SUV side – the RDX, aimed at younger and more active individuals, should attract different buyers to the Acura brand. Second, the RDX’s turbocharged engine shows that Acura, the automaker that has avoided the overwhelming call for a V8-powered flagship (the redesigned RL is powered by a V6), is willing to adapt its powertrain philosophy to give shoppers what they want.
Power for the 2007 Acura RDX comes from a turbocharged, 2.3-liter four-cylinder, aluminum engine that pushes a decent 240 horsepower and an impressive 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to this motor is a five-speed, SportShift automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The vehicle pictured here is actually a near-production prototype, so there may be a few minor styling and equipment tweaks before the 2007 RDX gets its final signoff for production. However, there are several features that will almost certainly make it to your local dealer, including six airbags, leather sport seats, a split-folding rear seat, a front center console with lockable storage capable of swallowing a laptop computer, and a premium surround sound system. Likely to be optional, or trim-specific, is a navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic, and a wireless phone system.