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Honda unveils MD-X off-roader

Suave mud-raker: Honda's Acura MD-X off-roader concept seems to draw its inspiration from the BMW X5.

Honda has unveiled a new off-roader to tackle the likes of the BMW X5 and Audi Allroad

12 Jan 2000

HONDA yesterday took the wraps off its MD-X four-wheel drive concept at the Detroit motor show.

The rakish off-roader is expected to start rolling out of Honda's Alliston assembly plant in Canada around mid-year and hit US showrooms in October.

Unfortunately, there are no plans to sell the vehicle here as it is purely part of Honda's upmarket Acura range - sold only in North America.

But Honda Australia spokesman Mr Ron Hammerton says there is a remote chance the vehicle could be offered here in two to three years if right-hand drive versions become available.

Mr Hammerton says the MD-X is more in line with the BMW X5 and Audi Allroad than Mercedes-Benz's more rugged M-class, but it is likely to be a lot cheaper than the German off-roaders.

The MD-X is expected to be powered by a modified version of the 3.2-litre V6 available in the latest Odyssey.

The four-wheel drive system will be fully automatic and the ride and handling have been benchmarked against the Lexus RX300, which will be its main rival in the US.

The newcomer shares some of its platform components with the latest Odyssey people-mover but its suspension and drivetrain elements will be different.

Although the four-seater concept car rides on eye-catching 18- inch alloy wheels, production versions will use smaller wheels and have at least five or six seats.

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