Now these latest photos capture a production model undergoing high-temperature testing in the US southwest. The vehicle has just some black tape for disguise, and thus we can get a pretty clear view of just how this SUV will look.

Production model caught testing

Acura showed its MD-X concept car at the 2006 New York Auto Show in April, giving us a preview of what the next generation Acura MDX will look like. Now these latest photos capture a production model undergoing high-temperature testing in the US southwest. The vehicle has just some black tape for disguise, and thus we can get a pretty clear view of just how this SUV will look.

Exterior styling of the MDX looks quite similar to Acura’s recently introduced RDX, with a similar roofline and overall shape, especially at the rear. The most notable style elements of the new MDX are the huge front and rear wheel flares, which look surprisingly like those on the new Mercedes S-Class.

The grille of the MD-X concept vehicle looked like a stylized shield mounted over the grille opening. Apparently that isn’t just a high-styled design for the concept car only, since the production model in the photos also has that grille shape. They wouldn’t be testing it if it were not the final grille design, since the airflow through the grille opening is a critical part of high-temperature testing.

The new MDX appears to have a longer wheelbase and bigger rear doors than before, probably to improve access to the third row of seats. Acura reportedly is sticking with a V6 engine for the MDX, refusing to make a V8, even though most of its competitors are V8 powered.

The new MDX will likely go on sale in early 2007 as a 2008 model.

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Spy Photos: Acura MDX