Acura’s first hybrid SUV and also its most-powerful SUV will roll into dealerships next month. The company has confirmed details of the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid, which boasts a 45 percent increase in fuel economy over the MDX SH-AWD in addition to more power.
Powering the MDX Sport Hybrid is a 3.0-liter variant of the 3.5-liter V-6 that powers the regular MDX, only this time it is supplemented by three electric motors. One of the three motors is housed within the MDX’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while the remaining two electric motors are mounted at each rear wheel.
The entire system is constantly driven by electric torque versus mechanical torque from the engine. This allows the two electric motors at the wheels to work in tandem. Both motors can supply positive torque or one can be positive while the other is negative–such as during cornering–to regenerate energy from brake friction. Acura says the system also pays benefits to the MDX’s driving dynamics.
All told, the entire powertrain system generates 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase from 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque on normal MDX.
The Sport Hybrid shares a highway EPA rating of 27 mpg with its gas-only sibling, but the city EPA rating is 45 percent higher on the Sport Hybrid at 26 mpg.
The MDX Sport Hybrid will start at $52,935 including destination costs when it arrives in showrooms next month. Buyers can add Acura’s Advance Package to up the price to $58,975.