2022 Acura MDX Type S First Look: Putting the S in SUV

UPDATE 11/5/21: Acura has released new details on the upcoming 2022 MDX Type S, the 355-horsepower sport SUV that we now know will be reaching dealers in December of this year. In addition to the powerful turbocharged V-6 that is exclusive to the Type S, backed up by the brand’s excellent Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, the MDX Type S will get a new air suspension system. That is a first for the brand. It pairs the brands standard Adaptive Damper System with airbags that can provide an additional 2 inches of ground clearance in Lift mode.  

In addition to the extra go, the MDX will stop better with larger Brembo four-piston front calipers. At 14.3 inches, they’re a half-inch larger than the regular MDX’s units. The brake pedal feel has also been adjusted to more closely match that of the NSX—one of several ways in which Acura is trying to tie the MDX Type S thematically to the hybrid sports car before it bows out after the 2022 model year.

The interior is trimmed in Milano leather, but the Type S adds a few additional details like a flat-bottomed Type S steering wheel, contrast stitching, metal sport pedals, and so forth.

The 2022 Acura MDX Type S goes on sale this December, and while full pricing hasn’t been announced, expect pricing to start in the upper $60,000 range.

Acura’s resurrected Type S performance sub-brand makes its way to the luxury marque’s MDX three-row SUV. The 2022 Acura MDX Type S trades the standard model’s 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine for a 355-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, a unit that also powers the 2021 Acura TLX Type S.

Equipped with Acura’s torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system (dubbed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive or SH-AWD by the Japanese brand) and a 10-speed automatic transmission, the sportiest iteration of the MDX promises to improve upon the standard model’s dynamics, an AWD version of which we clocked accelerating from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. To complement the more powerful engine of the MDX Type S, Acura fits the most potent variant of its mid-size SUV with Brembo-sourced front brakes and a trim-specific Sport+ drive mode.

Despite its sporting pretensions, the MDX Type S maintains the less powerful MDX SH-AWD’s 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity. Acura intends to show off the SUV’s hauling abilities by having a 2022 MDX Type S tow one of its TLX Type S race cars from Raymond, Ohio to Pikes Peak, Colorado, where the competition-ready sedan is due to take part in the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

While Acura’s revealed much of what separates the 2022 MDX Type S from its lesser 2022 MDX kin, the brand remains mum on the vehicle’s price and feature content. Nevertheless, Acura notes it plans to share more information about the model as the Type S-badged SUV’s late 2021 on-sale date draws closer.

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