2007 RDX - Body & Chassis

Overview

The RDX is a fusion of SUV functionality and sports sedan handling. Together in one package, these qualities create Acura's first urban adventure crossover vehicle - the perfect compliment to a fast-paced urban lifestyle.

The RDX's crossover body styling simultaneously supports several agendas. First, its lines have a taut, muscular presence that promises energetic driving performance. But this performance edge doesn't come at the cost of functionality, as evidenced by the versatile 5-door exterior format and generous interior storage space. Overall, the RDX has an urban-friendly size that's both maneuverable and personal. Finally, while satisfying stylistic goals, the RDX is designed to provide a high level of crash safety performance.

Design Concept

To suit the dynamic (and sometimes hectic) urban setting, the RDX wears what its designers call "athletic armor," a design approach that suggests the powerful image of a football running back, outfitted in protective gear. The look is muscular, taut, and poised for acceleration and agile split-second maneuvering.

Starting with the front end, the signature Acura grille has an aggressive flair with a sharply creased leading edge. This first theme in the body form decisively sets the tone for the rest of the design, which follows with a long 104.3-inch wheelbase and wide track (61.9-in. front, 62.6-in. rear). Elegant and decisive style lines run the length of the body, with muscular wheel arches and short overhangs further adding to a poised, powerful look.

In exterior dimensions the RDX is most similar to the BMW X3.

2007 Acura RDX 2006 BMW X3
Overall length, in. 180.7 179.7
Overall width, in.(excludes mirrors) 73.6 73.0
Overall height, in. 65.2 66.0
Wheelbase, in. 61.9/62.6 60.0/60.7
Turning diameter, ft. 39.2 38.4
Curb weight, lbs. 3,924
(3,935 w/Tech Package)
4,067 (AT)
Tire size P235/55VR18 P235/55HR17

Form Follows Function

The overall size of the RDX matches the needs of the urban commuter. Key functional points for the RDX include a low hood line that improves forward visibility. A high eye point for the driver and front passenger further improve outward visibility and add to a sense of confidence and control. New "skin-mount" exterior mirrors have specially designed compact housings that improve the A-pillar area visibility, providing good outward visibility for urban intersections. And finally, the excellent approach and departure angles pay dividends when approaching or leaving steep driveways, or parking garages.

RDX Design Elements include:

  • Dynamic urban style
  • "Athletic armor"
  • Sharp body lines
  • Standard 18-inch wheels and tires
  • Tailgate surface flush with bumper

Aerodynamic Efficiency

The RDX marries aggressive styling with function. The windswept front fascia features a main opening that feeds the aluminum engine radiator. The top inlet, located above the bright Acura badge, is a separate cold-air inlet for the large aluminum turbocharger intercooler, which is horizontally mounted above the engine. This fully functional inlet takes in ambient-temperature air as the RDX moves forward, routing it through a duct in the hood and then down through the intercooler. A separate cool-air intake leads to a large-volume intake airbox and high-volume cartridge air filter.

Additional details that contribute to the RDX's aerodynamic efficiency include a spoiler above the tailgate, which helps air separate cleanly off the body at speed, strakes located in front of the rear tires, and the streamlined "skin-mount" mirrors.

Key Styling Features

High-intensity discharge (HID) low beam headlights command the front corners of the fascia and fenders. Their design compliments the angular and elegant pattern set by the trademark Acura grille. Fog lamps are standard as well.

Both front and rear wheel arches are bold and broad, further adding to the dramatic appearance of the standard 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, the first application for an Acura. The RDX's beltline rises visibly from the sharply raked A pillar back to the substantial C and D pillars.

Door dimensions were selected to enhance the RDX's primary mission as a driver's vehicle while retaining high usability for children or adult passengers in back. The front doors have long proportions for easy ingress and egress, while the rear doors are shorter.

Tailgate Trim

In styling the rear portion of the RDX body, Acura designers introduced a unique new design element. Instead of a conventional rear tailgate panel positioned above a large protruding bumper, the RDX tailgate panel drops cleanly downward and terminates smoothly at the trailing edge of the body. This creates a custom look for the rear of the body.

For accident repairs, the rear tailgate uses a replaceable resin lower panel that has a far lower replacement cost than an entire conventional metal tailgate. Without a thick bumper to reach over, loading and unloading cargo in the RDX is also easier. The tailgate design is another way the RDX creatively balances style, safety and convenience.

Hid Headlights

A powerful combination of HID low-beam and halogen high-beam headlights provides lighting firepower for the RDX. Contained within aerodynamic headlight units, the inner lens of the HID unit glitters, making the headlights more distinctive. The RDX also features Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which enhance its visibility to other drivers and can help reduce accidents during daytime driving.

Body Protection

Designed for arduous driving conditions, the lower door panels of the RDX incorporate a wide molding to help protect the lower body sides from chipping. This molding extends down past the body side sills, ensuring that the sills stay clean to avoid soiling clothing when passengers enter and exit the vehicle.

Construction

A rigid structure enables designers to maintain tight body-panel fit tolerances, tune the suspension for precise ride and handling, keep the ride squeak- and rattle-free, provide long-term durability and high levels of crash protection for the occupants. The widespread use of high-tensile steel enables the RDX to meet all of these challenges.

Polygonal-shaped frame members, which are computer designed to disperse and absorb forces in a collision, are located behind the front bumper beam. These high-strength steel frame members send collision forces upward and rearward where they can be absorbed by the main structure. In the event of a rear collision, polygonal-shaped high-tensile steel frame members direct the loads forward and outward. These rear frame members also use a "wave shape" design, which provides high strength, yet deforms controllably in a collision.- In a side impact, large longitudinal high-tensile steel side sills extending front to rear underneath the vehicle, along with lateral high tensile steel cross members, absorb energy (see Tab 4 - Safety for more information).

For greater steering precision and handling stability, RDX designers paid particular attention to improving body rigidity around the front and rear suspension. These reinforcements are comprised of side-to-side bracing behind and above the firewall and inside the tailgate area.

High-Tensile Steel

The use of varying grades of steel in the unit body is key to its stiffness, performance in a collision, and light weight. HSS780 grade steel is used in the "box" section of the front, side, and rear frame members at the bottom of the body. Additional high tensile steel (HSS780 and 590) is used in other areas under the floor, and in the A and B pillars and roof rails. By utilizing high strength steel (39% by weight) the RDX exceeds the BMW X3's torsional rigidity while keeping vehicle weight under control.

Exterior Detail

Specially designed wiper arms with flat blades ensure that the driver cannot see the stowed wipers from inside the vehicle. The hidden design also reduces wind noise and adds to the RDX's clean lines. Even the washer nozzles are located underneath the trailing edge of the hood, improving both their performance at high speeds and the exterior look of the vehicle. Elimination of rear quarter glass panels in the doors gives RDX a cleaner appearance, with large 1-piece side windows that provide a more wide-open feeling.

Tailgate

Designers spent a significant amount of time with the RDX's target audience in order to understand how they use their vehicles. One of the messages designers heard was that a high degree of functionality is essential. As a result, the RDX's thoughtful design is evident even in small details, like the tailgate hinges that are hidden at the top rear edge of the roof. This makes the body lines smoother, while allowing for a higher tailgate opening.

The RDX's clean exterior look is further enhanced by the use of an electronic tailgate switch, which replaces a traditional outside handle. Touching the switch releases the tailgate, which can then be easily lifted open thanks to the counterbalancing effect of the gas-filled struts, tuned to suit the forward hinge positioning.

Noise, Vibration And Harshness

The city is a challenging environment and a great test of a vehicle's NVH. Varied street surfaces, construction zones, potholes and other navigational hazards mean the body structure - together with tire and suspension tuning - has to address a wide range of NVH issues.

Engineering rigid front and rear suspension mounting points was key to achieving a low NHV character in the RDX. The low road noise allows easy conversation between the driver and all seats. Internal Acura tests measured the RDX at 71 decibels during city driving speeds, similar to other luxury vehicles.

Power Windows

Front power windows with auto-reverse are standard. The RDX's front power windows also incorporate a 1-touch auto up/down feature for convenience. Window operation is retained for 10 minutes after the ignition is turned off, until the front doors are opened. Tinted glass reduces eyestrain and the sun load on the inside of the vehicle.

Power Door Locks And Remote Keyless Entry

For owner convenience, the RDX has standard power door locks and remote keyless entry. A retractable ignition key is built into the transmitter fob, and can be folded for easier carrying.

Power Moonroof

The large power moonroof with auto-reverse can be opened or closed with one touch of the ceiling-mounted switch. A timer allows it to be operated for 10 minutes after the ignition is shut off, unless the doors are opened first. The moonroof's flush-fitting glass panel reduces turbulence and wind noise, and an inside sliding shade is provided to block the sun.

Exterior Mirrors

A sleek "skin-mount" mirror design that maximizes the mirror area while minimizing the size of the mirror housing provides good outward visibility in the A-pillar area. Both the driver and passenger-side mirrors are heated, and the passenger-side mirror has a reverse auto-tilt (five degrees) feature.

Paint Colors

The 2007 Acura RDX is available in a choice of seven pearl and metallic colors. All are topped with deep-looking durable clear-coat finishes that resist scratching and urban pollutants.

Exterior Color Paint Type Interior Color
White Diamond Pearl Pearl Ebony Taupe
Carbon Gray Pearl Pearl Ebony Taupe
Alabaster Silver Metallic Metallic Ebony Taupe
Royal Blue Pearl Pearl Ebony Taupe
Moroccan Red Pearl Pearl Ebony Taupe
Nighthawk Black Pearl Pearl Ebony Taupe
Carbon Bronze Pearl Pearl Ebony Taupe

Chassis

A challenging and varied urban driving landscape steered development of the RDX chassis. In an urban driving environment, the ability to accelerate, turn and brake quickly - with stability and control - are essential capabilities. But the RDX was also designed to excel on wide-open highways, sweeping mountain roads, and long stretches of Interstate.

The design goal for the RDX chassis was to provide the sporty handling of the Acura TSX sports sedan with the versatility of an SUV. These difficult goals for dynamic performance were not easy to achieve because the RDX needed to provide a high eye-point (seating position) to provide the driver and passengers better visibility in urban traffic conditions. And the higher the center of gravity a vehicle has, the more difficult it is to provide responsive and nimble handling like a sports sedan.

Acura designers answered this challenge by giving the RDX a low center of gravity, SH-AWD™ for superb cornering capability (see Tab 2 - Powertrain), and overall chassis specifications rivaling those of a sports sedan. The result is an especially confident experience when changing lanes or cornering.

Acura RDX Chassis Goals includes:

  • Responsive steering
  • A "Sports AWD" ride and handling
  • High dynamic performance
  • Low Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)

Best-In-Class Cornering

The RDX achieves its mission to provide sports sedan handling, and one-ups its rivals. When tested on the skid pad, Acura internal measurements show the RDX achieves a maximum cornering force of 0.85g. This exceeds the cornering performance of the BMW X3 in the same test conditions.

Much of the credit for the RDX's cornering performance goes to the SH-AWD™ system (see Tab 2 - Powertrain). As a result, the RDX provides sharp steering through intersections, direct and linear response on winding roads, and high speed stability on highway.

Suspension

Engineers wanted to create a vehicle that transcended the traditional SUV driving experience. So rather than target SUV driving characteristics, they benchmarked the dynamic characteristics of the Acura TSX. As a result, the RDX is at the top of its class for acceleration, turning and stopping, while delivering excellent ride quality. The SH-AWD™ system plays an important part in this, but so does the 4-wheel independent suspension, which provides crisp, confident handling in the city and stable, reassuring handling on the highway.

Front Suspension

The RDX front suspension is a specially designed and tuned MacPherson strut arrangement with compact packaging, ride comfort and the long wheel travel and ruggedness necessary to meet harsh urban roads. The geometry has been optimized with both a high caster angle and "trail," to provide sharp on-center response and stability.

Additional specifics of the front suspension that help to achieve sports sedan-like handling include:

  • High-friction upper strut mount provides a good on-center steering feel, along with increased linearity while reducing steering shimmy
  • Asymmetrical coil springs improve steering quality
  • Large-diameter lower arm compliance bushing reduces NVH
  • Optimized kingpin layout enhances steering feel and linearity
  • Large-diameter steering gearbox with rigid bushings adds stiffness and improves linear steer feel
  • 21mm front stabilizer bar helps control body roll for flatter cornering

Front Suspension

Rear Suspension

A independent multi-link rear suspension system with aluminum knuckle fits compactly underneath the rear seating and storage areas while providing excellent ride and handling characteristics, with low NVH. The suspension uses large-diameter trailing arm bushings to reduce harshness and improve ride comfort. A special steel suspension subframe with large "floating" bushings markedly reduces NVH while maintaining stability. Front and rear stays increase the subframe mounting point rigidity, improving stability and steer feel.

Rear suspension features:

  • Anti-squat geometry to reduce pitching under acceleration
  • 19mm rear stabilizer bar contributes to flatter cornering

Rear Suspension

Steering

The Acura RDX has quick-ratio (15.1:1) power rack-and-pinion steering for steering response like that of a sports sedan. The hydraulically assisted steering is engine-speed sensing, for easy maneuvering at low speeds and maximum feel and driving enjoyment at higher speeds. The turning diameter is 39.2 feet, curb to curb.

To improve steering precision, a stay (or stiffener) supports each end of the steering rack, further improving steering rigidity. In addition, the rack-and-pinion gearbox has aluminum mounting brackets. When a severe crash occurs these aluminum brackets are designed to break off when the engine is pushed rearward into the rack-and-pinion gearbox. This helps reduce intrusion into the interior.

Wheels & Tires

The 2007 RDX is the first Acura with standard 18-inch alloy wheels and tires. RDX comes with 18x7-1/2 JJ aluminum alloy wheels paired with P235/55R18 99V Michelin M+S high-performance all-season tires. These high-performance all-season tires are exclusively designed for the RDX, and have optimized sidewall rigidity that maintains vehicle stability in all load conditions. The low-profile tires also provide top class traction and braking in all weather conditions. In addition, an optional dealer-installed 19-inch wheel and tire package is available.

4-Wheel Disc Breaks

RDX features 4-wheel disc brakes, 11.7-inch diameter in front and 12.0-inch diameter in the rear. Besides providing highly fade-resistant performance, the RDX brake system has a firm pedal feel with linear response.

A four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) is standard on the RDX. ABS helps the driver retain steering control during hard braking. EBD automatically proportions brake power to the rear brakes according to the vehicle load and driving conditions, improving stopping performance.

The RDX also has brake assist, which uses a microprocessor that recognizes the driver's intention to quickly and forcefully apply the brakes in a panic stop situation. In this case, brake assist immediately supplements the braking force, enabling the best braking performance in the moment when it's most needed. Brake assist only supplements the driver's intentions, and its function terminates immediately when the driver releases the brake pedal.

Vehicle Stability Assist With Traction Control

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) is included as standard equipment. By continually monitoring the vehicle's operating parameters (such as vehicle speed, throttle position, steering angle, individual wheel speeds, lateral g, and yaw rate), VSA® detects if the vehicle is about to oversteer or understeer. To help correct either of these situations, 4-channel VSA® automatically reduces the engine's torque output as needed, and applies one or more brakes individually, to help stabilize the chassis. The response is so quick that the instability may be corrected even before the driver knows it's occurring. Traction Control is integrated into the VSA® and in cooperation with SH-AWD™ helps the RDX accelerate smoothly on slippery surfaces.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Acura RDX has an onboard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that warns the driver if the air pressure decreases significantly in any tire. The system helps reduce the chance of damaging a tire or losing control of the vehicle due to low air pressure. This is important because a slow leak, such as one that might be caused by a nail or road debris, might not be easily detectable but could cause significant air loss, loss of grip and potentially a blowout.

TPMS uses a sensor mounted on each wheel that continually monitors tire pressure and sends a coded signal to the TPMS electronic control unit (ECU). The process begins with a signal initiator located inboard of each tire on the chassis. The initiator sends a unique signal for each TPMS sensor. Then the TPMS sensor sends tire pressure data to the TPMS ECU, which compares the values for each tire's pressure against an acceptable range of pressures.

On the RDX the Multi-Information Display (MID) shows the location of the tire with significant pressure loss.

On the RDX with Technology Package the system can also display the air pressure in all four tires simultaneously via the MID, making it simple to locate a low-pressure tire.

Fuel Tank And Driving Range

The RDX's large 18-gallon tank is located in a protected position under the body and forward of the rear wheels. Based on Acura's estimated combined fuel economy of 21 mpg, the RDX can cover over 375 miles on one tank of fuel, farther than the BMW X3.

1,500-Pound Tow Rating

For added utility, the RDX has a 1,500-pound tow rating, when equipped with the available towing package. That makes the RDX capable of pulling a small camping trailer, personal watercraft or motorcycle trailer.

RDX Exterior Accessories

A wide range of exterior accessories has been developed for the 2007 Acura RDX. Because of this simultaneous engineering, the accessories are guaranteed to fit right, work right, and have the lasting durability and value that Acura customers expect. When selected at the time of vehicle purchase, they are also covered by Acura's 4-year/50,000-miles basic warranty.

  • Front spoiler
  • Rear diffuser
  • Sport running boards
  • Full nose mask
  • Splash guards
  • Hood air deflector
  • Roof rack
  • Body Side Molding (color matched)
  • 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels
  • Class 1 towing package (1,500 lbs.)Moonroof visor
  • Back-up sensors(color matched)
  • Rear bumper applique
  • Gold emblems
  • Wheel locks

Ecology

Like all products from Honda of America Manufacturing's facility in Marysville, Ohio, the RDX follows strict guidelines for environmental care - both in manufacturing and in the actual vehicle components. Following is a partial list of significant environmental processes used in creating the RDX and reducing its long-term environmental impact.

  • More than 90% of RDX component parts are made of recyclable materials
  • The use of non-chromed tanned leather in leather-equipped models reduces hazardous waste generation during the tanning process, and can be composted at the end of the vehicle's life
  • Elimination of PVC material in most interior parts (door lining, seat trim, shift knob, etc.) and exterior parts (roof and door moldings, weather strips and tubes) improves recyclability
  • Halogen is eliminated from fire-retardant materials, and wheel balance weights and electro-deposition paints contain no lead
  • Use of molded-in color plastics reduces paint use and factory emissions
  • Replacement of ABS plastic with polypropylene material in the center console, instrument panel and doors reduces emissions during plastic manufacturing

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