2017 Acura MDX borrows NSX's slick Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

Acura's luxury SUV, the MDX, has had a nose job, with the 2017 MDX showing off its new look at the New York International Auto Show 2016 today. The polish also includes some work under the hood, with a new hybrid powertrain that, so Acura is predicting, will add 7mpg to the 2017 MDX's economy figures.

Most notably, it's the first opportunity to see the distinctive and angular grille Acura previewed on its Precision Concept in Detroit back in January on a production car. The automaker had promised that the redesigned snout would show up on forecourts sooner rather than later, and now we know on which model it'll appear.

In tandem with the grille, there's a new, more sculpted hood, changed fascia, and front fenders, along with redesigned LED fog lamps and Jewel Eye headlamps. More chrome has been sprinkled on the exterior, too, and there are new 20-inch wheel options.

At the rear, the bumper has been redesigned and there's a body-color matching skid garnish too. Twin tailpipes round out the massaged look.

Things arguably get more interesting under the skin, however. The big change comes with the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid, gaining a 3.0-liter V6 and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and borrowing a version of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD drivetrain we've seen used to such excellent effect on the 2017 Acura NSX.

For the MDX, the V6 gets an electric motor to help power the front wheels, while the rear wheels each get an electric drive as part of a Twin Motor Unit. That allows Acura to do true torque vectoring, introducing extra power or conversely slowing each rear wheel to tighten turns and improve stability.

Acura says the hybrid has 35 HP more than the non-hybrid version of the SUV, and expects an EPA economy rating of 25 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. The Active Sport Suspension option will throw in switchable Comfort/Normal/Sport drive modes, while Sport Hybrid models will get a Sport+ mode too.

Meanwhile, there's also AcuraWatch, with emergency braking, lane departure warnings and assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and road-departure mitigation. That means the 2017 MDX can effectively drive itself on the freeway, following the lanes and the traffic ahead.

Inside, there's now an electric parking brake with brake-hold as standard, auto high-beam lights, SiriusXM Radio 2.0, and four 2.5A USB ports. Remote engine start, power folding mirrors, a heated steering wheel, and surround-view cameras can be found on the options list, along with a widescreen rear-seat video system and the option to switch the three-seat bench in the middle row for a pair of more luxurious captain's chairs.

No word on pricing at this stage, but Acura says the 2017 MDX will arrive – in regular V6 form, initially – this summer, with the MDX Sport Hybrid following later in the year.