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William Maley

New York Auto Show: 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF (Retractable Fastback): Comments

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We all knew that Mazda was going to do a hardtop version of the MX-5 Miata. We weren't expecting this.

 

This is 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF - Retractable Fastback - which made its debut tonight before the New York Auto Show opens to the press.

 

Mazda didn't replace the canvas roof with a metal one. They did something very creative. With the roof up, the MX-5 Miata RF looks like a fastback coupe. When you fold the roof, the C-Pillars move away and the rear window retracts. We don't know how long it takes for the roof to fold or rise, but we do know that you can do it at up to speeds of 6 mph.

 

Power will come from a 2.0L Skyactiv-G four-cylinder 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This slightly concerns us since the hardtop will add some weight - although Mazda isn't saying how much.

 

Mazda says you can order an MX-5 Miata RF this summer with deliveries taking place before the end of the year. Pricing will be announced later.

 

Source: Mazda

 

 

Press Release is on Page 2


 

Mazda MX-5 RF
Program Manager’s Message

 

Bringing the joy of open-top driving to a wider audience
A new effort to broaden the appeal of the MX-5

 

Having an MX-5 makes life richer and more fun. With this small, convertible sports car, we want to offer even more people a fun-filled life through driving pleasure.

 

Many people who would love to own a convertible end up choosing a car with a fixed hardtop roof instead. Hoping to share the wonder and thrill that come with putting the top down with this kind of customer, we offered a Power Retractable Hardtop for the first time on the third-generation MX-5. The first and second generations had both offered a detachable hardtop, but with its motor-driven retractable roof, the third-generation model made the joy of open-top driving accessible to a wider range of people and was a hit with customers around the world. With the hardtop version of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5, we stayed true to our aim of making open-top driving more accessible, but freed ourselves from traditional ways of thinking and took on new challenges in order to create something completely new, the Mazda MX-5 RF.

 

Beautiful fastback styling and a new kind of open-air feel
The development of the MX-5 RF was a new undertaking that entailed broadening the appeal of the fourth-generation soft-top model, a car that further hones the pure driving fun that has defined the model since going on sale in 1989.

 

The basic premise of the soft-top model is top-down driving, and in comparison we expect MX-5 RF owners will spend more time with the top closed. So we began development by throwing our thinking into reverse; our aim was a convertible sports car with gorgeous fastback lines when the roof is closed and an exhilarating open-air feel when open. We asked ourselves what it meant to make a driver’s car with a power-retractable roof, ditched the traditional idea of stowing the entire roof and realized styling that further articulates an iconic sports car design. The cabin is luxurious and quiet when closed, and the rear roof produces a completely new open-air driving feel when the top is down. And with the ability to smartly and smoothly transition between the two, the car will provide thrills in any driving conditions. I believe the MX-5 RF is a car that could only have been created at Mazda, where everyone involved in the creative process aspires to take on new challenges.

 

Envisioning the future with two MX-5 models
The MX-5 has been tremendously popular with car enthusiasts around the world and will soon reach the 1 million mark in global production volume. While the fourth-generation soft-top model honed the pure driving pleasure of a lightweight sports car, the hardtop model, with its exquisite fastback styling and a new open-top feel, has a personality all its own. I hope the launch of the MX-5 RF will awaken hidden emotions and dormant sensibilities among our customers. And with these two MX-5 models, I hope we can help introduce the joy of driving a convertible sports car to a wider audience and help even more people live rich, fun-filled lives. In order to achieve this, now and into the future, we will continue our efforts to “innovate in order to preserve.”

 

Nobuhiro Yamamoto
Mazda MX-5 Program Manager

 

Changing Style, Unchanging Value, New Name
By the end of the third-generation MX-5’s model life, the retractable hard top model accounted for more than half of all MX-5s sold and was popular with those who wanted all-season comfort and utility.

 

As a member of the MX-5 family, the fourth-generation retractable hardtop model embodies the core value of “Lots of fun,” which the MX-5 has consistently offered over the past 26 years. At the same time it features a new and unique design and lets occupants enjoy a new kind of open-air driving feel. Therefore, our challenge was to create a name that would more accurately define this new, more premium experience we envision will attract a new kind of buyer, yet preserve the unchanging values that MX-5 fans have admired since the inception of the model.

 

The result was MX-5 RF, a name that denotes the model’s retractable hardtop and fastback styling, and will surely resonate with enthusiasts and drivers around the world.
Same philosophy. New design. MX-5 RF*.

 

*: RF stands for "Retractable Fastback".

 

Key Values
Three key values that make the MX-5 RF unique and fun

 

1. Beautiful fastback styling that resonates with any car lover

  • Appealing fastback styling with a beautiful smooth line joining the roof to the rear end. This is at the heart of all true sports car design.
  • Designers worked hard to give the cabin the perfect teardrop shape.
  • It features the same compact packaging as the soft-top model, including overall length, width and wheelbase. (Overall height is increased 5mm.).
  • The soft touch of real Nappa leather adds a feeling of even higher quality and contributes to the relaxed, sophisticated ambience of the interior.


2. A new open-air sensation with a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin as well as a pleasing sense of freedom

  • The MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass.
  • Detailed studies led to a roof design that, together with the retractable back window glass, realizes a new open-air experience that combines a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin with an invigorating sense of freedom.
  • The model’s unique design featuring a back window glass that retracts when the top is down enables the driver to fully enjoy the pleasing exhaust note coming from the rear, helping to deliver the true pleasure of the open-top driving experience.
  • A large acrylic aero board wind blocker helps prevent air from the rear blowing back into the cabin.
  • Synchronizing and overlapping the various movements of the roof sections enables MX-5 RF to achieve one of the fastest opening/closing times of any retractable hardtop.
  • When the roof is open, the front and middle roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats.
  • A new power top lock makes it possible to open and close the roof with the simple flip of a switch.
  • A new control system enables the roof to be opened or closed, even when in motion at speeds of 6 mph (10km/h) or less. This is particularly useful if it suddenly begins to rain.
  • At 4.6 cubic feet (130L DIN), trunk capacity is the same as the soft-top model, even when the roof is stowed behind the seats. The trunk can accommodate two carry-on bags measuring 550mm x 400mm x 220mm*1.


3. A quiet cabin with the relaxed feeling of quality ride comfort

  • The suspension and Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system have been tuned specifically for the MX-5 RF, delivering the lively driving performance one expects of the Mazda MX-5 while also delivering relaxing comfort and refined ride.
  • A sound-absorbing headliner used on the inside of the front and middle roof panels combines with sound insulation around the rear wheel housings to result in a significantly quieter ride when the roof is closed. This helps provide a high-quality cabin environment worthy of the MX-5 RF.


Other noteworthy product features are as follows.

  • The powertrain lineup consists of the 2.0- and 1.5-liter SKYACTIV-G gasoline engines paired with either a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission*2.
  • A human-centric perspective was adopted in pursuing advanced safety based on the company’s safety philosophy, Mazda Proactive Safety.
  • The i-ACTIVSENSE*2 advanced safety technologies employed by MX-5 RF include Mazda’s Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM*3) system and High Beam Control System (HBC), which automatically switches between high and low beam.
  • MAZDA CONNECT*4 makes it less distracting and easier to take advantage of phone and internet connectivity services while enjoying a drive.


Chief Designer’s Message

 


Creating a compact sports car that envelops you in beauty
Craftsmanship that realizes the ultimate in KODO design

 

I wanted to introduce the fun of driving a lightweight sports car to a broader audience, and it was my love for the Mazda MX-5 that gave birth to the design of the new MX-5 RF. If we consider the soft-top model to represent the purist appeal of the lightweight sports car, which we recently honed in a stoic effort to reach new heights, then the retractable fastback represents a new type of MX-5 that aims to be a compact sports car with a natural charm that anybody and everybody will find beautiful.

 

I figured the addition of a hardtop version of the fourth-generation MX-5 demanded that we introduce a sleek fastback design with a smooth line joining the roof to the rear end if we were to create a look of beauty that would appeal to all. I considered this point critical to the design, and didn’t waver over that conviction for a moment. To convey the fun and charm of the MX-5 experience to a larger, more diverse range of people rather than just sports car fans, I felt the MX-5 RF must embody natural beauty and not attempt to attract attention by merely being different.

 

This led me to quickly decide to adopt fastback styling. The rub was that this also became the biggest hurdle in designing the MX-5 RF. It may not look like it at a glance, but this is a car with a retractable roof! It’s a car that lets drivers enjoy the pleasure of open-air driving along with a unique sense of being ensconced securely in the cabin! It would be impossible to achieve a combination of this new form of driving pleasure and beautiful fastback styling if I applied conventional thinking. Anything short of creating a new design expression and teaming up with the design and production engineers to approach the project with passion and determination as a team, and the whole concept would be just pie in the sky.

 

I am hoping the MX-5 RF will surprise a wide variety of people and contribute to increased interest in the MX-5, while increasing the number of people who enjoy the car’s beauty and the pleasure of driving without limiting the appeal to those interested in sports cars.

 

Masashi Nakayama
Mazda MX-5 Chief Designer

 

Design

 

Exterior design

 

The design goal for the MX-5 RF was to create the ideal form for a hardtop version of the MX-5. In other words, it was to achieve an entirely new roof design that combines a beautiful cabin with the silhouette of a hardtop and the same level of open-air comfort and freedom afforded by the soft-top version. To this end, Mazda set about creating an uncompromising design based on the following four ideals.

  • A beautiful silhouette: In contrast to the open-air styling of the soft-top model the MX-5 RF will often be appreciated for its hardtop styling with the roof closed. This demands that the cabin presents a beautiful silhouette when the roof is closed.
  • The rear roof features side sections that slope down gently toward the rear, while also tucking in at the sides to create a perfect teardrop shape for the cabin. The flowing roof line along the A-pillars, roof sides and rear roof, which are painted in the body color, combine with the straight body line that runs from the low hood through to the rear deck, realizing an elegant, beautiful fastback silhouette that accentuates its styling.
  • While the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed out of sight, the rear roof stays in position when the top is down. This differs from any other hardtop model on the market to create a truly unique new design expression.
  • Compact packaging: With the exception of a 5mm increase in the height of the roof, MX-5 RF maintains the same overall length, width and wheelbase as the soft-top model. This compact packaging properly expresses the stability and dynamism of the MX-5’s road-gripping stance.
  • A new open-air experience: MX-5 RF features unique styling when the roof is open by which the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed away out of sight. The result is a pleasing sense of freedom combined with a reassuring feeling of being wrapped securely in the cabin. This combines with the enjoyable exhaust note coming from the rear of the car to amplify the fun of open-air driving.
  • Independent trunk: MX-5 RF does not sacrifice practicality for the sake of offering a retractable roof. In addition to the efforts of the designers and packaging engineers to realize a beautiful silhouette while adopting the hardtop, the independent trunk also secures the exact same luggage capacity as on the soft-top model.


Body colors

  • Machine Gray: This is a newly developed body color first introduced on the CX-9 midsize, three-row crossover SUV. Machine Gray was developed to express the beauty of a machine’s strength and precision. With strong contrast between light and shadow and a sleek, high-density finish, it gives the impression that the vehicle’s body has been sculpted from a solid steel ingot.
  • Roof color*: The sides of the roof and rear roof are color matched to the body color. The top of the roof is available in either piano black or the body color.


*Availability varies depending on the market and vehicle specifications.

 


Interior design
Major interior design features include body panels that wrap around and extend right into the door trim, as well as a cockpit zone centered on the driver and around which all major controls are laid out in perfect symmetry. Special attention to every detail focused on transcending its existence as a mere automobile to become a sports car that owners will truly love. As with the soft-top model, the aim was to create a cockpit design that brings a smile to the face and gets the heart pounding simply by looking at it or sitting in the driver’s seat. Benefitting from its hardtop, MX-5 RF significantly improves ride quietness and heightens the feeling of high quality.

 

Detail design
The basic design features are essentially the same as on the soft-top model. This includes the elaborate three-meter cluster and sharp-looking, compact steering wheel, as well as the horizontal layout of the instrument panel and strong sense of front-rear movement conveyed by the door trim. The two points that differ on the MX-5 RF are as follows.

  • Meters: The information display to the left of the three-meter cluster adopts a dedicated 4.6-inch color TFT LCD screen that displays an animation of the roof when it is opening or closing.
  • Hardtop open/close button: A button for opening and closing the roof is positioned on the panel below the dials for the air-conditioning system.


Seat design and interior colors
The higher level of quality and soft touch of Auburn-colored Nappa leather seats enhances the interior’s relaxing and sophisticated ambience. Gray stitching is used on the seats and center sections of the door trim.

 


*Availability varies depending on the market and vehicle specifications.


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Sharp looking little bugger even with that fish sucking mouth of a front end.

 

Though it does look like the nose got cut shorter than I remember for this car.

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      Acura/Honda tend to push the definition of 'concept' to its limits. Case in point is the 2019 Acura RDX that debuted in production form today in New York. Compared to the concept shown at Detroit, the production model looks mostly the same. There is the large pentagonal grille, floating roof, and character line creases. An A-Spec variant adds gloss black trim and 20-inch wheels.
      Dimension-wise, the 2019 RDX is about 2.6-inches longer over the outgoing model. The wheelbase increases by 2.6-inches. This allows for more space for passengers (104 cubic feet) and cargo (29.5 cubic feet).
      For the interior, Acura's designers want to give off the impression of sport with the RDX. This shown by the dash design that seems envelop driver and passenger in their separate zone and a center stack design that features a knob to change the various drive modes. A 10.2-inch screen houses a new Acura infotainment system. Controlling this is Acura's new True Touchpad Interface which is said to provide a 1:1 correlation between the position you touch on the pad and the input on the screen. We're somewhat skeptical on this and need to spend some time with this system to if this works.
      Under the hood is something that hasn't been seen since the first-generation RDX - a turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.0L engine is rated at 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Also making a return to the RDX is the SH-AWD system. Optional on the RDX, this version of SH-AWD can route up to 70 percent of the engine's torque to the rear-wheels. But the real trick is the system's ability to send 100 percent of that torque to either rear-wheel.
      For the chassis, the RDX uses struts up front and a multilink setup in the rear. Adaptive dampers will be available as an option.
      The 2019 Acura RDX goes on sale this summer.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2019 Acura RDX Debuts in New York with Turbocharged, Torque Vectoring Powertrain and Onslaught of Premium Features
      Mar 28, 2018 - NEW YORK
      Most extensive overhaul in a decade signals the beginning of a new era for Acura Exclusive platform, VTEC® Turbo engine, 10-speed transmission, and available torque vectoring SH-AWD® yield the quickest, best-handling RDX yet Dramatic A-Spec variant adds distinctive sport appearance detailing inside and out New RDX set to arrive at Acura dealers nationwide mid-year The 2019 Acura RDX debuted today at the New York International Auto Show. As the first in a new generation of Acura products, the re-engineered 2019 RDX delivers top-of-class performance, a more spacious and luxurious cabin, and a host of premium technology and features. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the new turbocharged RDX will launch mid-year as the quickest, best handling and most luxurious RDX yet.
      "The 2019 Acura RDX signals the start of a new era for the Acura brand by delivering design, performance and prestige that will elevate its position in the luxury market's fastest growing segment," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of the Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This RDX is our most extensive redesign in more than a decade, a truly ground up reimagining of the RDX around our Precision Crafted Performance brand direction."
      Acura also debuted the 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec sport appearance variant – distinguished by larger wheels, gloss black accents and unique interior treatment including an available two-tone red and black interior. With the addition of A-Spec to both the RDX and MDX, Acura has fulfilled its commitment to expand A-Spec to all core models.
      Sharp, Low and Wide Design
      The production 2019 RDX carries forward substantially all of the design cues that debuted with the Prototype RDX in January. In creating the new RDX, Acura designers worked from the foundations of the Acura Precision Concept, adapting its low and wide stance, sleek presence and wheels-out proportions to a five-passenger SUV.
      The 2019 RDX showcases Acura's signature Diamond Pentagon Grille flanked by all-new Jewel Eye™ headlights – now boasting seven LED light elements, up from the previous five. Below, wide air intakes include NSX-inspired air curtains feed air efficiently around the front wheels and down the body side. Prominent hood bulges are visible from inside the cabin, signaling the performance character of the third-generation RDX.
      Sharp character lines accentuate the front and rear fenders, with an aggressive "dropping" character line running the length of the RDX. A pen stroke of chrome (gloss-black on A-Spec) highlights the upper greenhouse and lower rocker. At the rear, the design of the 2019 RDX is capped off with a distinctive "dragon tail" LED light signature of the taillights.
      New Acura-Exclusive Body and Chassis Architecture
      The 2019 RDX sits atop an all-new body and chassis architecture designed to deliver a sophisticated and engaging driving experience. It starts with a 2.6 inch longer wheelbase, which aids both ride comfort and cabin space. The cargo area behind the rear seats has expanded 3.4-cubic feet with an additional 1.7 cubic-feet of compartmented underfloor storage. The new platform provides for a fully-flat rear floor, enabling first-class seating comfort in all three rear seating positions.
      The RDX's body structure is composed of over 50 percent high strength steel. It utilizes a new double-ring rear frame design and new two-piece ultra-high-strength steel front door rings, which significantly increase body rigidity, handling precision and cabin quietness.
      The body structure is mated to an all-new chassis design with variable ratio dual-pinion electric power steering, a sport-tuned Macpherson strut front suspension, an all-new five-link independent rear suspension and available adaptive dampers.
      VTEC Turbo Engine with Higher Performance and Efficiency
      The new RDX takes power from a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter, 16-valve powerplant with DOHC VTEC® valvetrain and Dual Variable Timing Cam (Dual VTC). Peak output is 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. Compared to the previous model's V6, peak torque is up 28 lb.-ft. and available across a wider section of the power band, from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm (previously 252 lb.-ft. at 4,900 rpm) with low-RPM torque boosted by as much as 40 percent for quicker acceleration and sharper throttle response.
      Segment-first 10-Speed Transmission
      The RDX's turbocharged engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT) – the first and only 10AT in the class. With more closely spaced ratios and a 62 percent wider ratio range, Acura's 10AT takes full advantage of the turbo engine's bountiful low-end torque. Gear changes are quick and seamless, in both automatic mode and using steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
      Return of Torque Vectoring SH-AWD
      The third generation redesign also marks the return of torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) to RDX, in its most powerful and sophisticated form ever. In addition to improving all-wheel-drive performance, Acura's SH-AWD utilizes dynamic torque vectoring to sharpen handling response and deliver vivid, exhilarating and confidence-inspiring driving performance in virtually all weather and road conditions.
      With Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, up to 70% of torque can be distributed to the rear wheels. And up to 100% of that torque can be distributed to either the right-rear or left-rear wheel, creating incredible control and agility. The 2019 RDX is the first model to utilize this new generation of Acura SH-AWD.
      Spacious, Luxurious and Tech-forward Cabin
      The 2019 RDX's sumptuously appointed, tech-forward and spacious new cabin features Acura's latest thinking for a more premium, personal and connected driving experience.
      Exceptional seating comfort is provided by next-generation Acura sport seats, designed exclusively for RDX and future Acura products. The new, more intricately sculpted sport seats feature a lightweight ultra-high-strength steel frame, with improved lateral support for spirited driving and up to 16-way power adjustability. In all grades, the RDX provides both the driver and front-seat passenger the same levels of seating adjustability and comfort.
      The RDX's new ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, standard on all grades, has power slide and tilt functions and a power sliding sunshade. It is among the largest and widest in the class providing an open and airy feeling throughout the cabin.
      Available authentic high-grade materials are featured throughout the cabin, including brushed aluminum, stainless steel, open pore Olive Ash wood trim, Ultrasuede® and rich Milano leather.
      Inspired by the NSX, a high-deck floating center console and prominent Integrated Dynamics System control knob allows drivers to quickly switch between four distinct drive modes (Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+).
      Intuitive True Touchpad Interface™
      Designed from a clean sheet and deployed for the first time in the automotive world in the third generation RDX, Acura's True Touchpad Interface is a holistic, system-level approach to in-car user interface that is optimized for the driver and the driving experience.
      The system is designed to combine the advantages of both conventional touchscreen and remote-based approaches. The True Touchpad Interface features a 10.2-inch full-HD center display mounted high atop the center console, close to the driver's natural line of sight, a center console-mounted touchpad and an all-new, Android-based operating system. 
      Unlike conventional touchpad designs, Acura's True Touchpad Interface does not require the user to locate a cursor on the screen while navigating the touchpad. To support intuitive and easy control, the touchpad is precisely mapped, one-to-one, with the action on the center display – the world's first application of absolute positioning in the driving environment.  Simply, a touch on any location of the touchpad corresponds directly with that same location on the display.
      Further supporting ease of use, the touchpad's surface is slightly concave, allowing the user to quickly identify the center of the touchpad without looking down. A padded wrist rest, integrated within the RDX's high-deck floating center console, provides a comfortable and stable platform for operating the touchpad.
      The operating system features simple, clean graphics and menu structures designed in concert with the touchpad. It features two zones, a larger primary zone, and smaller secondary zone, allowing for easy viewing and one-tap swapping of primary and secondary functions – navigation and music, for example.
      Click here for a brief video primer on the new True Touchpad Interface.
      Acura ELS Studio 3D™ Audio
      The new RDX also marks the debut of Acura ELS Studio 3D premium audio, a 16-channel, 710-watt system featuring four ultra-slim Highline™ ceiling-mounted speakers – available on high grades. Developed by Acura and Panasonic and tuned by Grammy-winning music producer, Elliot Schiener, Acura ELS Studio 3D audio delivers incredible fidelity and dynamic range while adding a new dimension of sound to the listening experience.
      Head-Up Display and Natural Language Voice Recognition
      Another Acura first is a new natural language voice recognition system, which allows for more intuitive voice control of major features and functions, including commands for the available embedded Acura Navigation System. Also new is an available 10.5-inch full-color interactive Head-Up Display, which puts customizable information displays, including audio, phone, AcuraWatch alerts, turn-by-turn navigation and more directly in the driver's line of sight.
      A-Spec Variant Boosts Sport Appearance
      The new RDX A-Spec, the first-ever Acura SUV with A-Spec treatment, adds distinctive sport appearance upgrades inside and out. Shark Gray 20-inch alloy wheels shod with low-profile 255/45R20 tires create a more athletic stance and are complemented by a unique lower front fascia and gloss-black accents for the front grille, Jewel Eye™ headlights, side sills, upper window sash and taillights. LED fog lights, large-diameter dual exhaust finishers and A-Spec badging on the front quarter panels and tailgate complete the exterior package. 
      Inside, the RDX A-Spec features exclusive sports seats wrapped in either black or red leather with black premium Ultrasuede® inserts and contrasting stitching. Real aluminum decorates the center-console, doors and instrument panel, with additional soft-touch Ultrasuede on the dash. The A-Spec's stitched leather sport steering wheel features gloss black trim, metal-plated paddle shifters and A-Spec badging. A unique driver's gauge cluster gets an A-Spec exclusive satin silver finish with red-illuminated nighttime readouts.
      Unparalleled Standard Features, Value
      The 2019 RDX boasts an extensive and class-leading array of premium features and technologies as standard equipment, including 19-inch alloy wheels, next-generation Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, a power operated and height adjustable tailgate, Acura True Touchpad Interface™ with 10.2-inch HD Display, Apple CarPlay™ compatibility, Smart Entry and Smart Start, AcuraLink™ Connected Services with 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi1, 12-way heated driver and passenger sport seats,  four-mode Integrated Dynamics System and AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technology.
      Top Active and Passive Safety Tech
      The 2019 RDX is designed to provide high levels of both active and passive safety. All models and grades come standard with the full suite of AcuraWatch safety and driver assist technologies, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS).
      Utilizing the latest generation of Acura's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure along with advanced supplemental restraint systems, including front and front side airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, pretensioning seatbelts and Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child-seat anchors, the 2019 RDX targets top NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.
      Designed, Developed and Manufactured in America
      The third-generation RDX is the first RDX to be designed and developed in America. Styling design of the RDX was conducted by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, with development undertaken by the company's North American R&D team, based in Raymond, Ohio. The new RDX will be manufactured in East Liberty, Ohio, with its 2.0-liter turbo engine produced in the company's Anna, Ohio engine plant and its 10-speed automatic transmission manufactured at the company's Tallapoosa, Georgia plant2.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The rumor was true! Today at the New York Auto Show, Volkswagen rolled out the Atlas Tanoak concept (pronounced "Tan-oh-ack", not "Tan-oke"). The mid-size truck concept is based on the MQB-platform that underpins the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport Concept.
      Design-wise, the Tonoak follows the standard Altas right up to the B-Pillar. From there, Volkswagen's designers added 11-inches to the overall wheelbase to fit a 64.1-inch cargo bed. An integrated sliding rail in the bed allows the truck to carry items such as ladders above the bed. Various concept touches include a light-up grille, 'ATLAS' embossed in the bumper, and a rear taillight that runs the radius of the tailgate.
      Power comes from Volkswagen's 3.6L VR6 producing 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case. Volkswagen says the Tonoak can hit 60 mph in 8.5 seconds.
      At the moment, Volkswagen doesn't have any plans to produce a production version of the Atlas Tonoak. But the company says in the press release they are "keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S." 
      Source: Volkswagen
      Press Release is on Page 2


      VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS TANOAK PICKUP CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
      A dual-cab, short-bed pickup truck, the Tanoak concept shows the flexibility of the award-winning MQB platform Based on an extended wheelbase Atlas, the Tanoak is 214.1 inches long and has nearly 10 inches of ground clearance Interior is marked by digitalized instrumentation and controls, with sport seating Innovative features include a movable cargo rail over the bed Volkswagen’s U.S. produced Atlas SUV has the potential to grow into a model family Vehicle uses 276-horsepower V6 engine with 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system Wolfsburg / New York (March 28, 2018) —The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept makes its world debut today at the New York International Auto Show. Named after a species of tree that is native to the Pacific Coast in the U.S. (and grows up to 135 feet high in height), the Atlas Tanoak is the first pickup based on Volkswagen’s MQB or modular transverse matrix architecture. Powered by a 276-horsepower V6 FSI® gasoline engine, the Atlas Tanoak uses an efficient eight-speed automatic transmission and the 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system. Although there are currently no production plans for the Atlas Tanoak, Volkswagen is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S.
      The MQB architecture is one of the most innovative and flexible technical platforms in the automotive world, spanning vehicles from the European Polo subcompact all the way up to the Atlas midsize SUV. The Atlas Tanoak concept shows that MQB can potentially stretch even further.
      The Tanoak concept is 214.1 inches long, some 15.8 inches longer than the Atlas, which makes it a large midsize pickup by U.S. standards. The concept vehicle is 79.9 inches wide and 72.6 inches tall, with a wheelbase of 128.3 inches, 11 inches longer than the Atlas seven-seater.
      The body of the concept vehicle has been raised nearly 2 inches compared to the Atlas SUV, yielding ground clearance of 9.8 inches. Designed as a dual-cab, five-seater, the Atlas Tanoak pickup has a cargo bed that is 64.1 inches long, 57.1 wide (50.4 inches between the wheel wells) and 20.9 inches high. This allows for easy transport of cargo such as bikes or surfboards with the tailgate in place, and ATVs and dirt bikes with the tailgate down. The spare wheel is located under the cargo bed, making it accessible even when fully loaded.
      A unique feature of this pickup is a rail that is mounted on the pickup bed. Normally, the rail is fixed by the back of the cab, but it can slide the length of the bed and thus doubles as a carrier for things like canoes and ladders.
      Drivetrain
      The Atlas Tanoak concept uses Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.  The engine provides power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and the 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system with Active Control. This lets the driver select from various on- and off-road modes within seconds for optimal grip on dry, wet, slick or unpaved surfaces. For tougher off-road use, the pickup also has a mode that provides a low-range gear reduction. Either on- or off-road, the Atlas Tanoak rides on newly designed 20-inch wheels that wear 275/55 tires. The vehicle will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds.
      Design
      Although the Atlas Tanoak is based on the production SUV, the pickup is completely redesigned.  Up to the B-pillar, there are similarities, but the frontal treatment is more rugged, in keeping with a pickup truck’s mission. The headlights and front bumper, using round LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), were redesigned and extend into the side profile.
      Additional redesigned components include: the engine hood that is significantly raised in middle; the entire grille unit including LED headlights; and the bumper. Very rugged underbody protection that integrates a centrally mounted winch and carabiner are also featured.
      The designers worked the Atlas logo into the front end, and integrated an animated lighting display.  When the Atlas Tanoak is opened, the white VW logo gradually brightens. From there, the white light runs over the two crossbars of the grille and into the headlight surrounds. As soon as activation of the lighting strips has reached the headlights, the LEDs of the two strips in front briefly ‘swipe’ out from the logo and back until the LED headlights and distinctive, narrow, six-sided LED DRLs in the bumper activate.
      Other special design features for the pickup include wheelarch extensions, made from rugged plastic that incorporate integrated side marker lights, and high-gloss 20-inch wheels that use contrasting aluminum and black coloring.
      The Tanoak takes an entirely different path than the Atlas SUV from the B-pillars back. The rear doors of the dual cab are not very noticeable at first glance, because the handles are integrated into the C-pillars and are barely visible. The dual cab and its window surfaces emphasize the vehicle’s length. Another conspicuous departure from the SUV are the rear fenders, which have more strongly flared surfaces. The cab and bed are painted in ‘Red Earth’.
      Typical for a pickup, the back of the Tanoak is defined by its low-hinged tailgate. When opened, the 64.1-inch cargo bed is lengthened by an additional 26.1 inches, effectively extending it to 90.2 inches. The Atlas logo is integrated into the tailgate, which also features distinctive wrap-around, animated lighting. Red LED strips on the upper and lower areas of the tailgate transition into three-dimensional LED taillights on the sides. The VW logo is illuminated in white, and there is a white LED stripe in the cargo bed rail, which, when activated, illuminates the cargo bed. The lower part of the rear body is designed both as an underbody shield and a diffuser. Above each exhaust tailpipe sits a rugged towhook.
      Interior
      The Atlas Tanoak concept is designed as a very spacious five-seater. Sporty, contoured seats are used in front, which offer very good lateral support during tough off-road duty. The same applies to the rear seating, with the passengers in the second row sitting on individual seats that match the ergonomic and design quality of the front row.
      The instruments, center console, and multifunction steering wheel are heavily redesigned from the Atlas SUV. The majority of functions, including the air conditioning, are operated digitally in the Tanoak. The touchscreen infotainment system is positioned high up for easy operation, almost alongside the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. Both these screens and the controls for the air conditioning merge to form a digitalized cockpit environment. Ambient lighting integrated into the instrument panel and the roofline console immerse the interior in yellow or blue light at night, depending on whether the vehicle is in Off-road or City mode.
      Arranged on the center console between the driver and front passenger are the newly designed shifter grip for the eight-speed automatic transmission and the redesigned 4MOTION with Active Control, with mode selection via a metallic slider. It was intentionally designed to be very sturdy, so that it can be operated everyday by people who are used to driving a pickup, even while wearing work gloves.

      View full article
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