Acura Puts the Sport in Hybrid with 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid

It’s Acura’s first-ever hybrid SUV

Acura has launched a new version of its MDX SUV, the Sport Hybrid. Described as the "Ultimate MDX," the latest model is the most powerful Acura SUV, as well as the most technologically advanced.

Compared to the conventional MDX SH-AWD, the Sport Hybrid delivers an additional 31 hp and a 45 percent higher EPA city fuel economy rating. The hybrid powertrain consists of a 257 hp 3.0-liter i-VTEC V6 gasoline engine, three electric motors, a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT), and a battery pack.

The total system output is 321 hp and 289 lb-ft (391 Nm) of torque, while EPA fuel economy ratings are 26 mpg city/27 mpg highway/27 mpg combined – up 8/1/6 mpg over the non-hybrid variant. Three electric motors feed instant torque into the system: a front motor built into the 7DCT, and a rear Twin Motor Unit (TMU).

The MDX is the third model to apply Acura's three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which is also found in the NSX and RLX. The MDX Sport Hybrid also features an Electro Servo braking system, Active Damper technology, as well as an Integrated Dynamics System with four distinct modes — including a new Sport+ mode.

The new model is available in two grades: MDX with Technology Package and the MDX with Advance Package. Both grades feature exclusive interior trim, stainless steel sport pedals, and wood interior accents. The MDX Sport Hybrid with Technology Package has a seven-passenger interior, while the one with the Advance package offers six seats.

All MDX models come with the AcuraWatch suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies which include Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control with low-speed follow.

Acura's first-ever hybrid SUV will arrive in dealerships in early April with a starting price of $51,960. That's $1,500 more than the regular MDX SH-AWD.