The 2014 sales year was a great one for the RDX, as it was one of the top-selling SUVs in the U.S. Acura could simply take that as a sign that the model is good as is, and just continue rerunning it until interest starts fading. However, Acura seems to be in the mood for a lot of change as of late, and it’s just announced that a revised 2016 RDX will debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.
The details are still rather scarce on this upcoming model, but Acura did mention that we can expect a “long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features.” While that is a pretty benign statement, this does point toward the recent trend of Acura actually trying to one-up its German rivals – something the brand shied away from in previous years, preferring to sit one level below and grab bargain-luxury shoppers.
Acura also mentions in its presser that it will improve vehicle dynamics and NVH levels inside the cabin.
The exact details behind these changes are being kept under tight lock and key, but there is some speculation to be done. First of all, the 2015 RDX features a 273-horsepower, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine, and I don’t look for much (if any) change to this engine, save for minor tweaks to fuel economy and the torque curve. Where I think the biggest changes might come are in the gearbox, where Acura could finally combined its V-6 engine with a dual-clutch gearbox for smoother, more efficient cog-swapping. I spent a week with Acura’s new DCT in the TLX, and I think a version of that transmission needs to be in each and every Acura model moving forward. It’s all a matter of whether the DCT will mesh with a more powerful V-6 and with all-wheel drive.
In terms of looks, don’t expect anything too dramatic, as Acura has a look (love it or hate it) that is recognizable and part of its culture. The biggest changes will likely be in the fascias, where Acura should tone down the beak-like grille a tad, revise the front and rear aprons, and revise the headlights and taillights.
Stay tuned for more details, as we proceed toward the 2016 RDX’s February 12, 2015 debut at the Chicago Auto Show.