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Old 15 Aug 2008, 09:50 pm
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Default 2009 Acura MDX - Body

Torrance, Calif. - Aug 15 —


The 2009 MDX fuses the model's traditional virtues of adaptable space,
functionality, safety and environmental responsibility with a more exciting
visual presence along with more accomplished handling and ride comfort.

Customers in the luxury SUV arena demand distinctive style. The 2009 MDX ups
the game with standard 18-inch wheels and tires, standard Xenon High Intensity
Discharge (HID) headlights and a distinctive front grille. Driving excitement
is equally embraced with a chassis tuned 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 along with lightweight aluminum components used in the suspension
and body. Convenience features such as an available power rear tailgate further
improve functionality and luxury.


One of the primary goals in designing the second generation 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 vehicle. The grille is free of
molding breaks for a cleaner look and features dark silver satin plating.


The original MDX provided a fine blend of utility, luxury and style. The 2009
Acura MDX has powerful, dynamic styling that is a continuation of the themes
that have been embodied in recent Acura products. Designers 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 2009 MDX has a distinctive, advanced
Acura look. The platform is long, low and wide to enhance cornering and high-speed


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

2009 Acura

2009 BMW

X5 3.0si
2009 Lexus

RX 350
2009 Porsche

2009 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


The 2009 MDX utilizes 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 uses a large amount of high-strength steel to help reduce vehicle weight
while simultaneously increasing strength. Alternative materials including aluminum
and magnesium are also used throughout the vehicle, further reducing vehicle
mass, which helps improve fuel economy 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, but rather
it is an enabler for enhanced vehicle dynamics, riding comfort, and driving

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.


The use of 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.


In addition, about 4.1-percent of the 2009 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 2009 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

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


Acura MDX prototypes 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 vehicle which can cause 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.


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 moonroof is larger than used in the previous generation and
is also the widest of any direct competitor. A finely tuned deflector ensures
that the moonroof 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


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.


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 - the detent mechanism that holds the door partially
open - positions instead of the usual two, thus providing a convenient
"in between" position useful during tight parking situations. The
door openings are finished with an attractive composite garnish that hides the
doorsill when the door is open.


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 2009 MDX uses an acoustic glass front windshield that incorporates
a unique PVB film to help quell wind and windshield wiper noise from entering
the cabin. 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 2009 MDX offers 273-degrees of outward visibility
compared to 266-degrees of visibility for the BMW X5, which is a significant
accomplishment considering the increased size of the MDX's 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.


All 2009 Acura MDX models include Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) low
beam front headlights with halogen high beams. The advantages of HID headlamps
include greater lighting power, daylight-color light balance 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 2009 MDX features Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which automatically turn
on with the activation of the ignition. An MDX fit with the optional Sport Package
features an auto-leveling feature that 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


Two Light-Emitting Diode (LED) arrays, comprised of 12 LEDs apiece, are used
for the tail lamps of the 2009 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.


Acura's power tailgate system is included on MDX models optioned with
Technology or Sport packages. 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.


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.


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.


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. Seven
environmentally safer waterborne exterior colors are available, and each uses
a durable clear-coat finish that resists scratching and airborne pollutants.
For 2009 the MDX is available with two new colors: Bali Blue Pearl and Mocha

Interior Color
Exterior Color Paint Type Ebony Taupe Parchment Bordeaux
Aspen White Pearl Pearl
Bali Blue Pearl Pearl

Billet Silver Metallic Metallic

Dark Cherry Pearl Pearl

Formal Black Pearl
Mocha Metallic Metallic

Sterling Grey Metallic Metallic


Assembled in Alliston, Ontario, Canada, every 2009 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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