CHICAGO -- Acura used the Chicago auto show to introduce the second generation of the RDX crossover with a new engine, transmission and all-wheel-drive system.
Replacing the turbocharged 2.3-liter from last year's RDX is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 273 hp, 33 hp more than the outgoing model. The RDX has a new six-speed automatic transmission with a new lockup torque converter. The all-wheel-drive system is also new and weighs less than the old unit.
Fuel economy in the front-drive version is an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive models get slightly less, at 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Acura says the RDX has the best fuel economy of any gasoline-powered luxury SUV in its class.
The 2013 RDX has a four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and a multilink setup in the rear. It's a tick longer and wider than last year's model, with a lower center of gravity.
Like the new ILX sedan, the RDX gets Acura's Amplitude Reactive Dampers that adjust to the terrain, as well as a new electric power-steering system.
Acura massaged the interior of the RDX for 2013. There is more sound-deadening material, larger door openings, more passenger room, increased cargo space and an available power tailgate. New technologies include Pandora radio, a text-message feature and a three-view rear camera.
The Technology package adds more electronics. In addition to surround-sound audio, the RDX gets AcuraLink communications, navigation with voice recognition, traffic information and weather. The new navigation system uses a hard drive for map storage and comes with an extra 15 gigabytes for music.
The 2013 Acura RDX will be produced at the company's East Liberty, Ohio, plant. Pricing will be announced closer to the spring on-sale date.