Honda Alabama starts mass production of 2014 Acura MDX

Article by Anita Panait, on May 3, 2013

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) has commenced mass production for the all-new 2014 Acura MDX luxury sport utility vehicle. HMA is now the exclusive global producer of the Acura MDX, as well as key Honda light truck models, like the Odyssey minivan, the Pilot sport utility vehicle and the Ridgeline pickup. HMA also assembles the V-6 engines to be equipped in each vehicle it produces. 

The 2014 Acura MDX, which is designed, engineered and developed in the United States, is powered by an all-new Earth Dreams Technology direct injection V-6 engine that will be built in North America for the first time.

Acura MDX luxury SUV is regarded as a benchmark vehicle in its segment and was Acura's best-selling model in 2012. The 2014 Acura MDX is now underpinned by a completely new platform, offering enhanced ride comfort and a more versatile and luxurious interior. The seven-seat Acura MDX also boasts of class-leading fuel economy and improved dynamic performance.

During the celebration to mark the start of mass production of the 2014 Acura MDX, Jim Keller, chief engineer for the vehicle at Honda R&D in Raymond, Ohio, described the new model as a “beautiful vehicle.” He told over 1,500 associates at HMA that they are celebrating not a finish line, but a starting line. He remarked that to win the race, they need constant and committed focus on quality and on the customer.

2014 MDX is designed to achieve the highest available safety ratings. The vehicle will be available at Acura dealers nationwide in the next weeks and will be offered for the first time in a more affordable and more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration.

Compared to the previous generation of the Acura MDX, the 2014 iteration is longer by around 2.0 inches and offers a wheelbase that has been extended by 2.8 inches. Despite being longer, the new generation of the MDX is narrower by 1.3 inches and lower by 1.5 inches. Moreover, the front and rear tracks of the next-gen MDX are 1.4 inches and 1.2 inches narrower, respectively. Its rear step-in height is now also lower by 1.8 inches.

Since the new generation of the MDX is narrower, its frontal area facing the wind is now smaller by 2 percent, resulting to enhanced level of aerodynamic efficiency. Moreover, a narrower body means the MDX could now fit better into a garage. Meanwhile, the new MDX’s longer wheelbase results to a more spacious interior as well as improved ride quality. For a more stable ride and reduced body roll, the passenger hip points in the first and second rows are now lower by 1.2 inches. The passenger hip point in the third row, meanwhile, is lower by 1.4 inches.

The new MDX cleverly employs its more compact rear suspension and its longer wheelbase to make it easier for passengers to enter into or exit from rear cabin, as helped by the fact that the three-row SUV offers 1.8 inches of lower step-in height and 4.5 inches of wider foot entry point. Interestingly, the seats in the second row now boast of five-position reclining seatbacks. Since the MDX comes with a new Extended Slide feature that allows for 5.9 inches of total fore-aft seat travel, passengers both in the second and rows could be better accommodated according to their needs.

When the middle-row seats are in their rearward-most position, the seating distance between the first and second rows would be longer by 1.1 inches. In addition, the new Acura MDX is equipped with the new One-Touch Walk-In feature that allows users -- from the rear seats, outboard middle row seats, or even outside the luxury SUV – to operate the second-row seats with just a press of a button.

Press Release

Production of 2014 Acura MDX Begins in Alabama

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley joined more than 1,500 associates at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) today to celebrate the start of mass production of the all-new 2014 Acura MDX luxury sport utility vehicle.

HMA is now the exclusive global production source of the Acura MDX, along with key Honda light truck models, including the Odyssey minivan, the Pilot sport utility vehicle and the Ridgeline pickup. HMA also builds the V-6 engines that power each model.  The 2014 Acura MDX features an all-new Earth Dreams Technology direct injection V-6 engine going into production in North America for the first time.

"Today, we celebrate a new Alabama-made vehicle, fueled by the pride of Honda associates who are committed to exceeding the expectations of our Acura customers," said Tom Shoupe, HMA president.  

Designed, engineered and developed in the U.S., the seven-passenger Acura MDX has long been a benchmark vehicle in its segment and Acura's top-selling vehicle for the past year. Built on a completely new platform, the redesigned 2014 MDX offers improved ride comfort, a more versatile and luxurious cabin, class-leading fuel economy and enhanced dynamic performance.

"What a beautiful vehicle we have created together," said Jim Keller, chief engineer for the 2014 Acura MDX at Honda R&D in Raymond, Ohio. "Today we celebrate not a finish line, but a starting line. Our race is just beginning, and to win this race takes a constant and committed focus on quality and on the customer."

The 2014 MDX, which will go on sale at Acura dealers nationwide in the coming weeks, is also designed to achieve the highest available safety ratings, and will be offered for the first time in a more affordable and even more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration. Pricing information will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

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