Editor's note: This is the first generation of the RDX to be styled, developed and engineered in the U.S. A previous version of this story misstated Acura's overall history of U.S. vehicle development efforts.
The third-generation RDX -- the first RDX styled, developed and engineered entirely in the U.S. -- is the crossover's most extensive redesign in more than a decade, and it will square off against a wave of new rivals.
Acura is promising a more polished, authentic and dynamic premium crossover with the RDX Prototype unwrapped Monday during the Detroit auto show -- if surfaces look like wood, they will be wood; if materials appear to be leather, they will be genuine leather.
The compact premium crossover market -- pioneered and dominated by the RDX for years but now led by the Lexus NX -- has become a bona fide battlefield with recent entries from Jaguar and Alfa Romeo. It will become even more competitive when Cadillac launches what is expected to be the XT4 crossover within the year.
U.S. sales of the RDX fell 2 percent last year to 51,295 units and Acura's overall deliveries dropped 4.2 percent to 154,602.
The future of the brand starts with the latest RDX, says Jon Ikeda, general manager of Acura.
The rebirth of Acura's "Precision Crafted Performance" mantra has come full circle with the 2019 RDX.