From Acura press: To maintain its position at the leading edge of the luxury sport utility vehicle market, the new Acura SLX has been thoroughly redesigned and upgraded for 1998. To address the trend toward more powerful and luxurious vehicles, the 1998 SLX is available in a single lavishly appointed sport luxury model that features an all new powertrain with a sophisticated Torque-On-Demand four-wheel-drive system. The new model also features a bold new front-end design for a modern look, while numerous features upgrades and enhancements ensure owners of a top-rated vehicle. The SLX provides a level of ride quality, comfort and luxury amenities typical of fine imported luxury sedans, combined with the ruggedness, utility, all-weather handling and off-road capability of a top-rank four-wheel-drive vehicle.
In addition to its state-of-the-art engineering, impressive performance, solid construction and overall quality, the Acura SLX also offers the high-end SUV buyer with a true luxury ownership experience, from the courteous treatment offered by Acura dealers to the Acura TLC Customer Satisfaction Program, which provides 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service, trip planning and many other owner benefits.
The Acura SLX is intended to compete with the Mercedes M-Class, Land Rover Range Rover and Discovery, Lexus LX450, Infiniti QX4, and new entries from other luxury brands, as well as the higher trim levels of domestic SUVs such as the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevy/GMC Blazer. The SLX is built for Acura by Isuzu Motors, Ltd., and is manufactured in Japan.
The SLX is powered by an all new, lightweight 3.5 liter, all-aluminum, double-overhead-camshaft V-6 engine which produces 215 horsepower at 5400 rpm, and 230 lbs-ft of torque at a low 3000 rpm providing 13% more horsepower and an incredible 22% more torque than the previous 3.2-liter engine. A new variable induction system combines with four-valve-per-cylinder combustion chambers to help provide both high torque at low rpm and excellent breathing at higher engine speeds. Electronic fuel injection compensates for varying driving and atmospheric conditions, and provides enhanced driveability in both on- and off-highway operation. To reduce maintenance costs, the new engine can run 100,000 miles before its first tune-up.
The engine is located longitudinally, moving weight to the rear for optimum handling. The standard 4-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission is bolted as a unit to the new Torque-On-Demand 2-speed transfer case, increasing rigidity while reducing noise and vibration. The Torque-On-Demand 4-wheel drive system is engaged with the touch of a button and automatically reproportions driving force between the front and rear axles for maximum efficiency. For improved response and economy, the transmission features converter lockup in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears.