2022 Acura MDX Type S Aims for Higher Echelons

2022 Acura MDX Type S Aims for Higher Echelons

355-horsepower turbocharged V6

The transformation begins in the engine bay where the standard MDX’s 3.5-liter V6 is replaced by the same 3.0-liter turbo V6 as the TLX Type S. With 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque at the ready, the hotted-up MDX boasts increases of 65 hp and 87 lb-ft over the standard model. On the road, that translates to a 0-to-60-mph sprint that’s a full second quicker, not to mention more than enough vigor for a good time once you get rolling.

Shouldering the 4,788-pound SUV chassis, the powerplant has to work a little harder here than it does in the TLX sedan, which is 567 pounds lighter. With that in mind, the MDX Type S features upgraded cooling with a pair of sub-radiators fed by intakes at the corners of its angular front bumper. The Type S’ 10-speed transmission is also beefed up with stronger internals and new programming that results in 40% quicker downshifts and up to 30% quicker upshifts versus the standard MDX’s automatic.

Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive is also standard equipment and can shift up to 70% of the engine’s torque to the rear axle, where it can then vector it side to side. This allows me to start rolling onto the MDX’s throttle earlier mid-corner, resulting in less understeer, higher exit speeds and a more planted feeling, even on roads dampened by morning rain.

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The Type S is as much as 377 pounds heavier than the base 2022 MDX, but you wouldn’t notice while cornering.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Get the rhythm right and the MDX Type S’ 113.8-inch wheelbase seems to shrink, delivering the handling and agility of a much smaller vehicle. But don’t go chucking Acura’s largest SUV into a corner with reckless abandon; SH-AWD won’t bend the laws of physics if you push too hard. Scrubbing off speed before a turn, you’ll need to make judicious use of the Type S’ bright red, four-piston Brembo front brakes with 14.3-inch rotors.

Visceral And Versatile

Effortlessly personalize your drive by using the Dynamic Mode dial to choose between six different IDS Drive Modes visible on the 12.3-in HD Center Display. Amp up the exhilaration with the exclusive Sport+ mode or the new on-demand Lift mode that gives you more ground clearance for extreme on-road conditions. NSX-inspired Electro-Servo brakes paired with Brembo® 4-piston front brake calipers with larger rotors deliver authoritative stopping power.

Shown: MDX Type S Advance in Tiger Eye Pearl.


Presence With Power

Welcome to a design language that’s fluent i

Welcome to a design language that’s fluent in performance. The power of the MDX Type S is on full display with 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in wide-performance tires, making it the largest wheel and tire pairing yet. Quad exhaust outlets and Type S badging give you a bold, yet refined presence on the road, while the exclusive Tiger Eye Pearl premium paint finish available will have every head turning.

Shown: MDX Type S in Tiger Eye Pearl.

2022 MDX Type S: Chassis

Key Type S Chassis Features:

  • Double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension retuned for Type S performance
  • Acura-first air suspension system with adjustable ride height
  • Adaptive Damper System with three different Type S-specific damping curves
  • Rear-mounted battery improves weight balance and handling
  • Electric power steering retuned for sportier driving feel
  • NSX-inspired electro-servo braking system
  • Brembo® front brakes with 14.3-inch rotors and four-piston fixed calipers
  • Updated Integrated Dynamics System with Type S-exclusive Sport+ and Lift modes
  • 21-inch wheels and tires with self-sealing high-performance all-season tires (Acura first)

Performance Tuned Chassis with Double Wishbone Front SuspensionThe MDX’s front suspension uses two wishbone-shaped control arms, in place of the more common MacPherson strut setup in many competing SUVs. The double-wishbone front suspension delivers more precise control of wheel camber, caster and toe angles to maximize tire-to-ground contact for exceptional handling precision and cornering grip. The rear suspension consists of a multi-link system that excels at enhancing stability, ride compliance, and impact harshness.

To further improve handling and driver excitement, the suspension of the MDX Type S has been updated for optimized roll resistance with a much stiffer 30.5 mm solid front stabilizer bar, and a new 20.0 x 3.5 mm hollow rear stabilizer bar. The SUV’s battery has also been relocated from under the hood to the cargo area to improve weight balance. The result is the best handling and most dynamic SUV in Acura history.

Air SuspensionMDX Type S and Type S Advance both use the Acura’s first-ever air suspension system. This system increases ride comfort and dynamic capability, augmenting MDX’s premium driving experience.

With effective spring rates up to 40-percent lower than the standard MDX, MDX Type S features an isolated ride that is ideal for broken pavement, speed bumps and road undulations. The system also features automatic load leveling, compensating for passengers and cargo by maintaining a level ride height for a better driving experience. The air suspension can also lower the suspension when the MDX Type S is parked, easing passenger ingress and egress, as well as cargo loading and unloading.

With a new Lift mode in the SUV’s Integrated Dynamics System, the air suspension also allows the driver to increase the vehicle’s ride height by nearly 2 inches (50 mm), improving ground clearance on demand for more extreme conditions, such as deep snow or emergency road hazards.

Adaptive Damper System 
MDX Type S uses Acura's A

Adaptive Damper System MDX Type S uses Acura’s Adaptive Damper System, which continuously adjusts damping force based on sensor inputs. The Adaptive Damper System enables active and customizable control of damper response using information from the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system’s wheel speed sensors, yaw/G sensors, steering angle, and wheel stroke sensors, to adjust damping response every 0.002 seconds to adapt to both varying road conditions and driver inputs.

Compared to the amplitude reactive dampers in the standard MDX, the adaptive dampers in the MDX Type S are up to 52% more compliant for enhanced ride comfort or provide up to six times as much damping force in dynamic handling scenarios.

The dampers also are tied into the Integrated Dynamics System, providing three unique damping curves set to the driving mode. Comfort and Snow modes use the softest settings, while Sport and Sport+ use a more aggressive damping curve for improved body control in high performance driving situations. Normal mode strikes a balance between the two, offering day-to-day livability with a sporting edge. See below for more details on the Integrated Dynamics System.

Belt-driven Electric Power Steering (EPS) systemThe belt-driven Electric Power Steering (EPS) system has been retuned for the MDX Type S to provide a more aggressive and performance-focused feel, with the system’s assist reduced by up to 23% compared to the standard MDX. This, combined with the quick responses of the Adaptive Damper System, gives MDX Type S a much more agile feel.

Electro-Servo Braking System Inspired by the Acura NSX supercar, and also applied on the TLX sport sedan, the MDX Type S features a new electro-servo brake system that offers excellent feel and feedback for the driver through the brake pedal.

When the driver applies the brake pedal, a signal is sent to the vehicle’s Electronic Servo Brake ECU, which determines the appropriate amount of braking force to be applied by the hydraulic braking system. As in a traditional braking system, a hydraulic master cylinder then pumps brake fluid through the system; however, midway between the master cylinder and the calipers is a separate motorized electronic actuator, the same actuator used in the NSX. This actuator receives an electronic signal, generated in the master cylinder module, that measures how the driver has applied the brakes – soft or hard, slow or fast – and precisely defines how much hydraulic pressure is apportioned to the brake calipers at each wheel.

An additional benefit of the electro-servo brakes is the ability for engineers to finely tune the brake pedal force and electronically control the brake pressure, giving the MDX Type S a shorter pedal stroke and improved pedal feel to inspire driver confidence.

Brembo® Front Brakes Braking performance is further improved with the addition of larger, more powerful Brembo® front brakes. The new Brembo® four-piston front calipers grip rotors that are 14.3-inches in diameter (+0.5 inches) and 1.2 inches thick, for a 5.3-percent increase in heat capacity compared to the standard MDX, for improved resistance to fade during repeated hard use.

The rear brake calipers are painted in the same re

The rear brake calipers are painted in the same red as the front, and the brake rotors in both front and rear are treated with Ferritic Nitrocarburizing (FNC) coating for improved corrosion resistance.

Type S Integrated Dynamics SystemWith its standard Integrated Dynamics System, the MDX Type S offers drivers an expanded ability to customize their driving experience. In addition to Normal, Snow, Comfort, Sport and Individual modes, Type S adds exclusive Sport+ and Lift modes.

On MDX Type S, the Adaptive Damper System and new air suspension work together to create a noticeable difference between the different dynamic modes, with notably improved ride quality in Comfort mode, and a smoother ride overall in Normal mode than standard MDX. The air suspension system also gives a sharper performance feel to Sport and Sport+ by reducing ride height 15 mm, lowering the center of gravity for better handling.

Sport+ quickens transmission upshifts by 30 percent and increases the engine sound through more aggressive use of the Active Exhaust and Active Sound Control. The engine’s idle speed also adjusts depending on the selected Integrated Dynamics System mode: 680 rpm for Comfort and Normal modes, while increasing to 800 rpm in Sport and 1,000 rpm in Sport+ for enhanced launch performance.

Sport+ also retains the aggressive damper settings, sharper throttle response and higher steering effort from Sport mode. Sport+ mode also adds a boost gauge and G meter on the exclusive Sport+ Digital Cockpit™ display.

Lift mode uses the air suspension to increase the ride height by nearly 2 inches (50 mm). In addition, the Adaptive Damper System is set to its firmest setting. Lift improves ground clearance on demand for more extreme conditions, such as deep snow and sand or emergency road hazards, though it is not intended as an off-road mode. Lift automatically disables above 37 mph to maintain vehicle stability at speed.

Type S Wheels & Tires
MDX Type S comes standa

Type S Wheels & TiresMDX Type S comes standard with 21-inch wheels and tires, featuring a Shark Gray finish, with Type S Advance highlighted by a Berlina Black finish with a machined face. Measuring 21 x 9.5 inches, these split 5-spoke wheels are the largest wheels ever fitted to MDX. Integrated into the wheel’s construction are three resonators to help reduce road noise for a comfortable and quiet cabin environment.

Also standard on MDX Type S is the first-ever use of self-sealing tires. The 275/40R21 Continental CrossContact RX ContiSeal is a new high-performance all-season tire specially developed for applications like MDX Type S. An inner layer automatically seals punctures up to 5 mm in diameter, such as nails or other road debris. Unlike a run-flat tire, the self-sealing tires used on MDX Type S allow the driver to continue to use the tire for an extended period, until the next scheduled maintenance stop, where an Acura technician can determine if the tire needs further attention or replacement.

More information on the 2022 Acura MDX chassis is available here.

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