Concept Cars

Acura turns the RDX A-Spec up to 345 horsepower for SEMA

Carbon-fiber accents and lowering springs further up the SUV's sportiness.

2019 Acura RDX GRP concept

Want more power from your luxury crossover? Acura and Graham Rahal Performance have you covered.

Acura

The SEMA show is a celebration of extracting more horsepower out of all sorts of vehicles, and Acura wants to remind us that luxury crossovers are no exception to that rule. The automaker said today it worked with Graham Rahal Performance (founded by the eponymous IndyCar racer) to develop an Acura RDX A-Spec concept good for an extra 73 horsepower over the factory-issued version.

GRP based its engine modifications on lessons learned tuning the Honda Civic Type R, which, like the RDX, has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. All told, the SEMA-bound RDX boasts 345 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque, up from the factory ratings of 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. Tweaks include a new turbocharger, downpipe, exhaust and intake, plus a new intercooler from PRL Motorsports and fresh engine-computer programming from KTuning. As in the stock version, that power goes through a 10-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels, courtesy of Acura's SH-AWD -- that's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive.

In terms of turning and stopping, the Acura RDX also scores StopTech brakes with six-piston front calipers and new Eibach suspension springs that lower the crossover by two inches. HRE supplied new 21-inch wheels, which are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

From the outside, you'll also spot the RDX A-Spec's exclusive apex blue pearl paint, offset by carbon-fiber mirrors and a carbon-fiber grille, as well as a SEMA-ready graphics wrap package. The cabin has similarly been spruced up for show-car duty, starting with a custom steering wheel and extending to exposed carbon fiber almost everywhere in the cabin. It's a fair bit different than the standard RDX you might buy at your Acura dealership. We'd expect nothing less of a vehicle headed to SEMA, of course.