2017 Acura MDX Will Finally Lose the Beak

2017 Acura MDX 11 photos
Photo: CarPix
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Some three years after it was introduced, the third generation of the Acura MDX is already heading towards its mid-cycle facelift, which may go as far as premiere an all-new engine.
While the new engine is not officially confirmed, nor very likely, we are positive that the refreshed MDX will be the first modern Acura to lose the controversial “shield” engine grille. Almost always referred to as the “beak” by those who aren't fans of the brand, and as a “dynamic power plenum” by Acura's weird marketing magicians, the current grille will go the way of the Dodo.

Apart from previewing a four-door coupe/sporty sedan, the Acura Precision Concept unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show also offered a sneak peek to the grille shape that will replace the “shield” on all upcoming production Acuras.

As it happens, it's the 2017 Acura MDX facelift that gets the new grille first, along with a slightly revised front end and a more modestly reshaped rear bumper.

What's even more interesting in the adjacent spy photos is that two-wheeled thingamajig towed by the camouflaged pre-production prototype. It's not uncommon for carmakers to fit their testing gear in small trailers that are towed by the testing prototypes, but this one is a bit different.

If you look closely, the trailer is actually connected and seems to be harnessing the gasses coming out of the MDX's exhaust pipe. This is intriguing because it might mean that the facelifted model will either suffer some modifications to its naturally aspirated, 3.5-liter V6 or switch to a new engine altogether.

Fitted with direct injection and variable cylinder management, the Earth Dreams six-cylinder engine is still modern enough to deliver good MPG, though, especially in collaboration with the ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic transmission on the MDX. In other words, the possibility of a new engine to replace it, such as a turbocharged four-cylinder, is next to none.

If it does happen, it will probably make the 2017 MDX lose two cylinders and gain a turbo instead, but don't hold your breath for something like that to happen. At least not until Honda unveils its new family of turbocharged four-cylinders on the Civic, engines that will be derived into larger ones in a couple of years.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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