Acura announces hybrid versions of its MDX SUV

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Acura’s first-ever hybrid SUV, the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid, has been unveiled in detail by the OEM.The MDX Sport Hybrid claims more than 30hp more and a 45% higher EPA city fuel economy rating in comparison to the conventionally-powered MDX SH-AWD. The new SUV applies Acura’s three-motor ‘Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive’ (SH-AWD) system, as first offered in the RLX Sport Hybrid and more recently, the NSX supercar.

The MDX Sport Hybrid powertrain boasts a total system output of 321hp and 289lb ft of torque, making it the most powerful Acura production SUV ever built. EPA fuel economy ratings of 26/ 27/ 27mpg (city/ highway/ combined) are up 8/ 1/ 6mpg 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 the majority of the car’s drive, with a peak output of 257hp at 6,300rpm and 218lb ft of torque at 5,000rpm. This is supplemented by three electric motors – a front motor built into the 7DCT, and a rear Twin Motor Unit (TMU). 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.

The electric SH-AWD system operates independently of the IC engine, as the two rear-mounted electric motors dynamically apportion both positive and negative torque directly to the rear wheels. This system provides for dynamic, immediate and always-on torque vectoring capabilities while eliminating the weight and energy losses associated with a conventional driveshaft and differential mechanism.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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