The 321-horsepower hybrid V6 returns 27 combined miles per gallon.

The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is the company’s first ever hybrid SUV. It’s expected to hit dealerships this April, and when it does, it will come with 31 extra horsepower (23 kilowatts) and a 45 percent higher fuel economy than the standard MDX. Color us impressed.

Like its NSX supercar sibling, power comes courtesy of a 3.0-liter V6 paired to a three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain (catch up on your acronyms if you don’t know what that means). It won't be as quick, unfortunately; output will be capped at 321 horsepower (239 kilowatts) and 289 pound-feet (391 Newton-meters) of torque. That makes it the most powerful SUV Acura has ever built – and the most efficient.

Acura MDX Sport Hybrid


EPA fuel economy is rated at 26 city, 27 highway, and 27 combined miles per gallon. That signifies a six mpg increase overall over the non-hybrid MDX. Features like idle-stop capability, a more advanced seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and an electric servo brake system are in part to thank for the added fuel economy.

Together with Acura’s advanced all-wheel-drive system, the MDX hybrid includes an entire suite of safety features. That includes things like collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control, just to name a few.

Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

The MDX also comes with an Integrated Dynamics System with four distinct driving modes, including the new Sport+. The Integrated Dynamics System manages nine different dynamic systems within the vehicle, including its electric motors, throttle, steering, transmission and Active Dampers.

As for price, the MDX Sport Hybrid will start at $51,960 when it goes on sale later this spring. That price signifies a $1,500 premium over the standard MDX SH-AWD model, which starts at $50,460.

Source: Acura

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Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

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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.

New Features

  • Three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® powertrain
  • 3.0-liter, SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine
  • 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT)
  • 4-mode Integrated Dynamics System with SPORT+ mode
  • Active Dampers
  • Electric Servo Brake System
  • Exclusive interior trim
  • Body-color lower side sills and front/rear skid garnishes
  • SH-AWD® badge on rear and Hybrid badges on front fenders

Powertrain        

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.  

Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)

The MDX Sport Hybrid employs groundbreaking technology offered in the Acura NSX supercar and RLX Sport Hybrid sedan. The MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system is optimized to provide both outstanding performance and class-leading fuel efficiency. Depending on the driving mode (COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+), the system utilizes the V-6 engine, 7DCT with built-in motor, TMU and battery pack to provide exhilarating and confidence-inspiring performance while maximizing efficiency.  

The MDX Sport Hybrid's electric SH-AWD® system operates independently of the gasoline 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.

When cornering, the MDX Sport Hybrid delivers positive torque to the outside rear wheel, much like mechanical SH-AWD®, to create a yaw moment. In addition, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® can simultaneously apply regenerative brake torque to the inside rear wheel during cornering to further enhance cornering control, a function unique to the Sport Hybrid powertrain. As the MDX Sport Hybrid doesn't rely on engine torque, the electrified SUV can create a larger torque difference between the left and right rear wheels, even during small throttle applications, at low engine speeds or when decelerating. This substantially magnifies the positive handling benefits of SH-AWD® across a much wider range of driving conditions.

Safety Performance

All 2017 Acura MDX models come equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies: Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with low-speed follow and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). All models also come equipped with a multi-angle rearview camera, and the top grade adds blind spot information, front and rear parking sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor and new Auto High Beam.

Combining AcuraWatch™ with Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the 2017 MDX delivers intelligent safety and confident driving performance at the top of the competitive segment, and targets top safety ratings; a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has already been achieved, and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is anticipated.