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Old 13 Sep 2007, 02:52 am
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Default 2008 Acura MDX - Body

Torrance, Calif. - Sep 12 —

OVERVIEW


The 2008 MDX fuses the model's traditional virtues of adaptable space,
functionality, safety and environmental responsibility with a more exciting
visual presence, and far more accomplished handling and ride comfort.


Customers in the luxury SUV arena demand distinctive style. The 2008 MDX ups
the game with standard 18-inch wheels and tires, standard Xenon High Intensity
Discharge (HID) headlights and a signature Acura grille. Driving excitement
is equally embraced with a chassis tuned and proven at the Nürburgring
circuit and on autobahns in Germany.


The exterior has bold, clean and advanced styling details with European cache,
and it was styled to connect with enthusiast drivers from the moment they first
see it. Sitting in the vehicle - and then experiencing it - makes
the desire even more intense. Besides featuring a 300 horsepower V-6, the MDX
includes Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™), an available
Active Damper System, and lightweight aluminum components used in the suspension
and body. Convenience features like a power tailgate, available with the Entertainment
Package, further improve functionality and luxury.


EXTERIOR DESIGN GOALS


One of the primary goals in designing the MDX was to keep its traditional
strengths but advance its performance and image. The clear direction for the
MDX was to create a bold and innovative look that clearly conveyed the "Driver's
SUV" nature of the completely reengineered vehicle. The large grille is
free of molding breaks for a cleaner look and features dark silver satin plating.


STYLING DEVELOPMENT


The original MDX provided a fine blend of utility, luxury and style. The 2008
Acura MDX has powerful dynamic styling that is a continuation of the themes
that have been embodied in recent Acura products. Thanks to its mission to provide
high-end dynamic capabilities as well as well-heeled luxury and contemporary
design, Acura designers playfully dubbed it the "Driver Dad's SUV"
- imagining it as a powerfully elegant SUV befitting a secret agent.


They found inspiration in a high-powered mega yacht, which features an exceptionally
bold, lean and contemporary design. The challenge was to apply the useful elements
of the yacht design to an SUV, and designers found their answer in the adoption
of large areas of clean surfaces and the addition of decisive line breaks and
dynamic surface curvature. Large 18-inch wheels and tires not only benefit handling,
but also create a muscular look. In front, the 2008 MDX has a distinctive, advanced
Acura look. The platform is long, low and wide to enhance cornering and high-speed
stability.


COMPETITIVE COMPARISON


The MDX has a significantly wider track than its primary market competitors.
As a result it offers dramatic appearance, packaging and utility advantages.



















































2008

Acura

MDX
2007

BMW

X5 3.0si
2008

Lexus

RX 350
2008

Porsche

Cayenne
2007

Volvo

XC90 2.5T
Overall length, in.
190.7
191.1
186.2
188.9
189.3
Overall width, in.
78.5
76.1
72.6
75.9
74.7
Overall height, in.
68.2
69.5
66.1
66.9
70.2
Wheelbase, in.
108.3
115.5
106.9
112.4
112.6
Track, F/R, in.
67.7/67.5
64.7/65.0
62.0/61.2
65.2/65.8
64.3/63.9

BODY STRUCTURE


The 2008 MDX is the first SUV developed at Honda Research of the Americas
(HRA) to embody the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body
structure, which distributes collision forces through the structure during a
frontal collision while helping to retain the integrity of the passenger compartment.
The MDX has a large amount of high-strength steel to help reduce vehicle weight
while increasing strength. Alternative materials including aluminum and magnesium
are also used throughout the vehicle, further reducing vehicle mass, which helps
lower emissions and increase performance.


Attaining a high level of dynamic body rigidity is essential for precise handling,
ride quality and quietness inside the cabin. By researching the body's
dynamic response to chassis loads resulting from everyday driving events, MDX
engineers considered the unit body's "dynamic stiffness" as
an entire system, not just as a single component. Thus body rigidity is not
an end to itself - rather it is an enabler for enhanced vehicle dynamics,
riding comfort, and driving quietness.


Instrumented testing revealed that the "tailgate ring" -
the open area surrounding the tailgate - is particularly important for
handling, stability and ride. In the second generation MDX, this area has been
markedly stiffened, providing the rear suspension with a more solid mounting
and netting an improvement in handling precision. In addition, the MDX's
floor frames are wider than before for improved packaging and rigidity.


HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL


The high-strength steel contributes to rigidity, excellent crashworthiness
and light weight. High-strength steel is specified in different grades for use
in different parts of the vehicle. Some unit body areas using this material
include the roof arches, floor cross members, tailgate opening and front rails
and body sides.


LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM


In addition, over 4.1-percent of the 2008 MDX body components are constructed
of aluminum. This material is ideal for certain components such as the hood
and instrument panel support, where light weight is required but the strength
of steel is not imperative.


The hood on the first-generation MDX was steel, and the weight savings of
using aluminum instead of steel for the 2008 MDX hood is 15.5 pounds. Aside
from using a unique metal conditioner and phosphate dip prior to painting, there
are no unique production challenges for using an aluminum hood - and no
ownership compromises either. To improve environmental efficiency, a factory
separation line isolates different scrap materials, including aluminum, for
recycling.


The aluminum instrument panel support saves an additional 10.5 pounds compared
to a traditional steel unit. This support, which connects the A-pillars to the
front floor crossmember, is a structural element consisting of cast parts, extrusions
and sheet aluminum.


AERODYNAMICS


Prototypes of the 2008 Acura MDX spent a total of seven weeks in the wind
tunnel to test and develop its aerodynamic properties. The attention to detail
in aerodynamic efficiency included the development of body side sills that help
keep air from moving underneath the car and causing turbulence. Lift balance
and the coefficient of lift were also addressed to keep the MDX stable at high
speeds. In this area, internal testing revealed that the MDX exceeds the performance
of the BMW X5.


WIND NOISE


Careful attention was paid to reducing wind noise inside the MDX cabin. An
acoustic wind tunnel was used to identify and correct noise issues, resulting
in the MDX's best-in-class wind noise performance (at the driver's
ear point) according to Acura's internal measurements.


An added benefit of wind tunnel testing was the ability to rotate the MDX
sideways into the airflow. This allowed engineers to approximate even the most
severe gusting side winds and solve unexpected and unwanted wind noise that
could accompany such severe conditions.


The MDX's sunroof is larger than the version used in the previous generation
and is also the widest of any direct competitor. A finely tuned deflector ensures
that the sunroof does not add objectionable wind noise when in the open position,
even at highway speeds. Attention to detail in the sealing of the doors and
tailgate also heightened the performance of the MDX's overall wind noise
level.


INSULATION


Engineers attacked noise from virtually every source inside and outside the
MDX. Their primary goal was to reduce noise at its source. One creative noise-reduction
technique is the use of composite seals in the exterior door panels. These composite
seals actually serve two purposes - to reduce the transmission of noise
through the doors and to shield the interior components from dirt and water
while driving through rain or puddles. The new door insulators provide a substantial
reduction in objectionable sound - up to five decibels on some roads.


DOORS


The MDX's door handles are sized for comfort as well as ease of use,
regardless of whether the user is bare handed or wearing winter gloves. There
are three door checker positions - the detent mechanism that holds the
door partially open - instead of the usual two, providing a convenient
"in between" position in tight parking situations. The door openings
are finished with an attractive composite garnish that hides the doorsill when
the door is open.


GLASS


Normally only sports cars use windshields with highly compound curves. Deeply
contoured glass is more complex and costly to make, thus it is usually reserved
for low-production vehicles. Designers specified deeply curved acoustic glass
for the MDX for its styling appeal as well as to improve aerodynamic efficiency
and quietness. The rear glass is also a deep wraparound design - the deepest
in the Acura product range.


The MDX has an auto up/down feature for the driver and front passenger's
3.5mm thick side windows. The 2008 MDX offers 273-degrees of visibility compared
to 266-degrees of visibility for the BMW X5, which is a significant accomplishment
considering the increased size of the new head rests mandated by the government's
FMVSS 202 safety regulations.


All glass from the B-pillar rearward has a gray tint to reduce eyestrain and
heat buildup inside the cabin. In addition, the outside rearview mirrors use
a special blue glass, sourced from Germany that provides bright imaging along
with excellent glare resistance.


HID HEADLIGHTS


All 2008 Acura MDX models include Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) low
beams with halogen high beams. The advantages of HID headlamps include greater
lighting power, daylight type lighting and reduced power consumption. In addition,
the cut lines of the new HID headlights are extremely precise, providing maximum
nighttime visibility without distracting other drivers.


The 2008 MDX features Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which turn on with the
activation of the ignition. An MDX fit with the optional Sport Package features
an auto-leveling feature, which similar to the Acura RL, keeps the headlights
level regardless of how the vehicle is loaded with passengers or cargo.


To ensure a high degree of theft prevention, the HID headlights are attached
to the unit body with multi-strand steel cables. Halogen fog lamps are also
included as standard equipment on all MDX trim levels.


LED TAILLAMPS


Two Light-Emitting Diode (LED) arrays, comprised of 12 LEDs apiece, are used
for the tail lamps of the 2008 MDX. Likewise, the Center High Mount Stop Lamp
(CHMSL) features a single array of 16 LEDs. Advantages of the LED taillights
include an elegant contemporary appearance, quicker turn-on time compared to
a conventional incandescent bulbs, and significantly greater service life. LEDs
are also brighter, smaller, lighter and produce less heat than incandescent
lights. The LED CHMSL was selected for its appearance and ability to produce
the required lighting brightness while retaining slender physical dimensions.
LEDs are also used in the MDX's outside mirror housing-mounted turn signals,
improving visibility during lane changes or turns.


POWER TAILGATE


Acura's first power tailgate system is available on the MDX with Entertainment
Package. The power tailgate can be operated via the remote key fob, from a button
on the driver's door panel, or from a button located inside the tailgate.
The location of the motor in the MDX's D-pillar (instead of in the roof)
allows excellent headroom for the third-row seats. The tailgate can also be
operated manually.


RESIN FUEL FILLER DOOR


The MDX fuel filler door is operated remotely from inside the vehicle via
a switch on the driver's door panel. The fuel-filler door is made of a
composite resin material that is lightweight, dent resistant and corrosion proof.
For a better appearance the inside of the door features a flangeless resin design.


BUMPERS


The front and rear bumpers are constructed of a structural beam covered with
a plastic fascia rated to withstand impacts of up to five mph without sustaining
significant damage. An attachment point for a tow hook is located under a small
cover on each bumper fascia. Removing the cover allows access to a threaded
boss that accepts a steel eyebolt located in a holder in the jack storage area.


EXTERIOR PAINT


Inspired by the smooth finishes on fine pianos, Acura set out to achieve a
mirror-smooth paint finish with a wet, glossy look. To advance the surface smoothness,
"orange peel" - the finely undulating surface found on some
paints resulting from the evaporation of the paint solvents - had to be
all but eliminated. Nine environmentally safer waterborne exterior colors are
available, and each uses a durable clear-coat finish that resists scratching
and airborne pollutants. For 2008 the MDX is available with a new color: Sterling
Gray Metallic.















































































Interior Color
Exterior Color
Paint Type
Ebony
Taupe
Parchment
Bordeaux
Aspen White Pearl
Pearl
X
X
X
Billet Silver Metallic
Metallic
X
X
Nimbus Gray Metallic
Metallic
X
X
Formal Black
Pearl
X
X
X
X
Steel Blue Metallic
Metallic
X
X
Sterling Grey Metallic
Metallic
X
X
Dark Cherry Pearl
Pearl
X
X
Desert Rock Metallic

(available through Jan/08)
Metallic
X

MANUFACTURING


Assembled at Honda of Canada Manufacturing, every 2008 MDX that comes down
the assembly line goes through a special inspection area. Here inspectors focus
on finding and solving any concerns. The inspection process is dynamic, with
changeable parameters based on where concerns lie.


Along with the RDX, this represents the first time Acura vehicles are separated
from Hondas during the assembly process. It represents Acura's commitment
to being at the leading edge of quality and it is befitting of the most exclusive
Acura SUV ever created.

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