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2022 Acura MDX Type S debuts as an awesome Pikes Peak support vehicle

The MDX Type S packs a 355-hp turbocharged V6, but Acura is bringing much hotter cars to the famed hill climb.

2022-acura-mdx-type-s-pikes-peak-tlx-nsx-113

This is a good setup.

Acura

On Thursday Acura officially unveiled the MDX Type S, the highly anticipated performance version of the automaker's redesigned three-row crossover. The new MDX Type S will serve as a tow vehicle for one of the modified TLX Type S sedans that Acura is fielding at this year's Pikes Peak hill climb on June 27, bringing it all the way to Colorado from the team's shop in Raymond, Ohio.

Acura actually released a couple images of the MDX Type S last year, but it was a sole shot of the rear and a photo of the interior that didn't show the dashboard, so this is our best look at the performance SUV. The Type S gets a new front bumper with larger air intakes and a more open grille pattern, a deeper rear diffuser housing quad exhaust tips, 21-inch wheels wearing stickier tires and blacked-out exterior trim. It looks awesome.

2022 Acura MDX

We love a yellow SUV.

Acura

The MDX Type S is powered by Acura's new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, the same one in the TLX Type S. In the MDX it produces 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, matching the sedan, and Acura says it has a max towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The MDX Type S comes standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission and Acura's torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system. Other upgrades include Brembo front brakes, a double-wishbone front suspension setup and a Sport Plus drive mode. Acura says more information about the MDX Type S will be announced closer to its on-sale date later this year. We expect the Type S to start close to $60,000.

Last year Acura brought two TLX sedans to Pikes Peak, both of which were the four-cylinder model, with a Type S prototype tagging along as a pace car. This year the company is stepping things up, fielding two TLX Type S models as well as two NSX supercars in the hill climb. Competing in the Exhibition class is a TLX Type S that's got a lowered active suspension, a big rear wing and 19-inch HRE racing wheels with Pirelli slick tires. It also has a retuned ECU and 300 pounds have been taken out of the car. This one will be driven by Jordan Guitar, who works in Acura's chassis development division and has driven Acura products in the event since 2018.

A production-spec, near-stock NSX will also be driven in the Exhibition class by Nick Robinson, an Acura R&D engineer who won his class in a Honda motorcycle in 2015, won his Time Attack 1 class in a production-spec NSX in 2016, won again in 2017 and set a front-wheel-drive record in 2018. The other NSX will be driven in the Time Attack 1 class by Nick's brother James Robinson, who has competed at Pikes Peak 10 times before and set a hybrid production car record with an NSX last year. His NSX has a stripped interior for a 200-pound weight loss, Pirelli R-compound tires, a new front splitter and rear wing and larger turbochargers that bump output to 625 hp.

Finally there's the second TLX, which will compete in the Open Division driven by Justin Lumbard, an Acura engineer that is the lead of the company's Pikes Peak program. This Type S has a larger turbocharger, an upgraded cooling system and race tuning for the engine, transmission and AWD system. It's also got a lowered suspension, racing brakes and 19-inch HRE wheels on Pirelli slicks. Acura also stripped out over 600 pounds by removing most of the interior and adding things like a carbon-fiber hood and it has a front splitter, huge rear wing and other aerodynamic enhancements that were optimized by Acura's R&D simulators.