2010 Acura ZDX

The Acura ZDX prototype shares many design cues with the controversial TL sedan, though the execution is thankfully much less cartoonish. In fact, the production version, which will differ on in minor detail, will arguably be the best looking vehicle in the Acura range when it goes on sale this fall.

In the ZDX function is secondary to form. The C-pillars have been pulled dramatically inward to give the ZDX a pronounced shoulder over the rear wheel.The B-pillar has also been moved rearward compared with Acura's MDX SUV. (It's built on the same platform and shares its powertrain, all-wheel-drive layout, and high seating position with the MDX.) As a result, the rear door aperture is relatively narrow, and tall passengers will find the rear seat headroom a little tight. With rear vision likely to be somewhat restricted, its no surprise to learn the production ZDX will come standard with an all-new blind spot warning system and a multi-view rear camera that will offer wide angle and top-down views. It's a big vehicle. Overall length is 192.4 in. and overall width is 78.5 in. It rides on a 108.2-in. wheelbase and stands 61.8 in. tall. The rakish roofline is key to the ZDX's sports coupe pretensions. The rear door handles have been hidden to emphasize the coupelike profile. The roof features black-tinted glass panels, which continue right through the backlight and onto the vertical surface of the rear hatch, just like an old CRX. The through bumper exhaust outlets are a first for Honda.

Honda officials won't confirm all details of the production version yet, but logic suggests this range-topping, sporty Acura will be available with the punchy 305-hp, 3.7L V-6 offered in the TL. The engine will be mated to an all-new six speed automatic transmission with a sequential sport-shift mode. All weather traction is courtesy of Honda's complex, heavy but effective Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.