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New York show: Honda joins SUV coupe trend

Rakish: The Acura’s coupe-like roofline and accentuated wheelarches are reminiscent of the segment-busting BMW X6.

Honda’s luxury Acura brand reveals new BMW-style ZDX crossover SUV, but not for Oz

9 Apr 2009

BMW created the market segment it called Sports Activity Vehicle with its controversial X6 model, but Honda has been quick to jump on the bandwagon in the United States with the Acura-branded ZDX.

Released in concept form at the New York auto show last week, the ZDX will go on sale in the US later this year, but a Honda spokesman told us that the SUV crossover will not be sold outside North America.

It was styled by young American designer Michelle Christensen at Acura’s new studio in Torrence, California and Honda’s luxury brand will have it on sale in the US fall (about October).

Few technical details were released at the show, but the US-built four-door ZDX will be powered by an alloy V6 petrol engine (likely to be 3.7-litre capacity), driving all four wheels via Honda’s SH-AWD system and what is described as an all-new six-speed automatic transmission.

The prototype rides on 20-inch machined alloy wheels and, like the BMW X6, features a sharply-raked roofline and a large glass tailgate while the rear doorhandles are concealed to emphasise the coupe-like styling.

125 center imageAcura vice-president of sales Jeff Conrad described the vehicle as a “luxury performance coupe – plus”, which fits with the brand’s upmarket aspirations, and said it breaks new ground for Honda’s luxury brand.

“The emotional coupe styling, coupled with a luxurious and dramatic interior and surprising versatility, allows the ZDX to define its own segment and attract an entirely new customer,” said Mr Conrad.

The leather-upholstered interior features a dual-cockpit layout separated by a black monochromatic centre stack and textured metallic centre console, heavily-bolstered sports seats, a thick leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters and a panoramic glass roof that runs the entire length of the vehicle.

Other features include a Volvo-style blind spot information system, a multi-view rear camera that provides wide-angle and top-down views, a navigation system with voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity and a premium surround sound system.

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