2022 Acura MDX Type S: Breaking Ground as The Fastest & Best-Handling Acura SUV Yet

The 2022 Acura MDX Type S made its first appearance as the official service vehicle of Team Acura at the 2021 Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb event. It’s the first Acura SUV in history to wear the Type S badge, and the Japanese premium automaker claims the MDX Type S is the fastest and best-handling SUV it has ever made.

Acura has been churning out brilliant products left and right, part of its much-awaited rebirth in the luxury-performance category spearheaded by the genuinely astonishing TLX Type S, the new RDX, and the return of the Integra nameplate.

2022 Acura MDX Type S: What’s New?

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The 2022 Acura MDX Type S has all the elements of a sporty and fun-to-drive seven-seat family SUV. Based on the all-new fourth-gen MDX unveiled earlier in 2021, the MDX Type S inherited the same 3.0-liter turbo V6 of the TLX Type S sedan. Featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection, it has 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. of torque, enough for it to become the most potent and fastest-accelerating Acura SUV.

The engine sends power to all four wheels via an optimized 10-speed automatic gearbox and the brand’s legendary Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. The latter is now in its fourth iteration and features active torque vectoring. The drivetrain can send 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, and 100 percent of that can go to either the left or right rear wheels to improve traction, grip, and handling on any road.

“The MDX Type S is for people who want to drive.” said Emile Korkor, assistant vice president, Acura National Sales. “It delivers an unmatched combination of thrilling dynamics, premium features, and family-friendly accommodations.”

Sporty Exterior Design

The 2022 Acura MDX Type S has the usual array of performance-enhancing body mods. It has a redesigned Diamond Pentagon grille with more prominent side vents to allow 10 percent more airflow while simultaneously cooling a pair of sub-radiators on either side of the engine bay. It has a new rear diffuser with two round exhaust outlets. It even has bespoke 21-inch wheels (in either gray or black) wrapped in Continental ContiSeal performance tires. It’s the first Acura to come with self-sealing tires from the factory.

2022 Acura MDX Type S
2022 Acura MDX Type S. Photo: Acura.

Standard Air Suspension

The 2022 MDX Type S is the first Acura vehicle to have a standard adaptive air suspension. Acura claims the suspension system offers a sportier driving feel with more feedback across all seven driving modes – including a new Type S-exclusive Sport+ driving mode. Furthermore, the MDX Type S has a new Lift mode that raises the ground clearance by two inches for snow and rugged terrain. The air suspension also permits automatic load leveling and programmable parking heights like a more expensive (and German) premium SUV.

Meanwhile, the anchors are Brembo four-piston calipers gripping 14.3-inch rotors. The MDX Type S features an electro-servo braking system first developed for the second-gen NSX. The result is a brake pedal force that feels similar to Acura’s hybrid supercar, said the automaker.

Posh Interior

The more we talk about it, the more we’re convinced that Acura has a winner in the 2022 MDX Type S. It has a potent turbo V6 engine, an intelligent drivetrain, and the legs to deliver a comfy or sporty ride. However, the MDX Type S is also a seven-seat SUV, and it has more than enough luxury features to impress the most discerning client.

The cabin features a flat-bottom, three-spoke steering wheel, contrast stitching, and soft-touch Milano leather seats with Ultrasuede accents. It has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch high-definition center display. As it turns out, the Type S also has Acura’s True Touchpad Interface, a love-it or hate-it feature, depending on who you ask.

In addition, the MDX Type S with the Advance Package takes it up a notch with top-grade full Milano leather upholstery with fancy quilting, an optional Azurite Blue leather combo, interior ambient lighting, front massaging seats, and an exclusive ELS Studio 3D Signature Edition audio system with 25 speakers, two amplifiers, carbon speaker cones, and illuminated speaker grilles.

2022 Acura MDX Type S ELS Studio speaker.
Photo: Acura.

Standard Acura Watch

All 2022 MDX variants (including the Type S) receive an expanded suite of Acura Watch driver-assist and advanced safety features. The list of driving aids includes road departure mitigation, traffic jam assist, driver attention monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and autonomous emergency braking, to mention a few.

Also standard is an innovative front and rear low-speed braking system that uses sonars to detect obstacles and stop the vehicle when driving forward or reversing between one and 6 mph. All MDX trim models (including the Type S) earned a Top Safety Pick + rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

2022 Acura MDX Type S: Pricing & Availability

Production for the 2022 Acura MDX Type S will be in East Liberty, Ohio. The first deliveries will arrive at U.S. Acura dealerships this December. Pricing remains forthcoming, but expect the MSRP to start around $60,000.

Fancy a new Acura MDX or MDX Type S? Our free and easy search tool* will help you get started by showing you which Acura dealerships are offering the best deals.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: Acura.

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