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Popular Acura MDX Luxury SUV Adds Sportier Styling, Side Curtain Airbags And Even More Horsepower for 2004 Torrance, Calif. - 9/3/2003

The 2004 Acura MDX luxury sport utility vehicle receives updated styling, new safety systems, additional horsepower and an assortment of new features. The new 2004 MDX sports redesigned front and rear fascias, redesigned alloy wheels, a new Side Curtain Airbag system that helps to protect occupants in all three rows, and interior upgrades including enhanced interior lighting and, on models with the available Touring Package, power-adjustable driver's lumbar support.

"The public knows a great thing when it sees it and the MDX has been one of the most sought after luxury SUVS on the market since it was introduced in 2001," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, auto sales. "With the numerous changes we've made to the 2004 model, it should be hotter than ever."

The 2004 MDX features sportier styling designed to more accurately reflect the strength of its high performance powertrain. The signature Acura family grille, which now sports a sophisticated satin chrome finish, serves as the centerpiece for a new, more tapered front fascia. A redesigned headlight treatment features a leaner, more angular design and new projection-type headlights that enhance illumination while accenting the new styling. The front bumper has been redesigned with a new, more integrated chin spoiler that accents the sporty styling and moves air smoothly to the sides of the car for increased aerodynamics. The rear fascia has been updated as well with a new, more sophisticated taillight treatment, and dual exhaust tips. Two new exterior colors, Aspen Pearl White and Burnished Bronze Metallic join the MDX palette for 2004.

The 2004 MDX's 3.5 liter, 24-valve, all-aluminum, VTEC V-6 engine benefits from a new, dual exhaust system that boosts horsepower from 260 to 265 and torque from 250 lbs-ft to 253 lbs-ft. This exhaust system utilizes two close-coupled primary catalytic converters, a secondary underfloor catalytic converter, and larger diameter exhaust pipes. In addition to adding horsepower, the new exhaust system helps the MDX meet stringent ULEV-2 emissions standards. With estimated city/highway ratings of 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway, the MDX delivers better combined fuel economy than most of its luxury competitors.

The MDX features a compact 5-speed automatic transmission with components engineered to provide the durability needed for on-road, off-road and towing use. A wide-ratio design affords a first gear with extra pulling power to start heavy loads and a high top gear for quiet highway cruising. This 4-shaft gearbox utilizes a unique shaft layout that not only reduces size, but also trims gear noise, clutch drag and hydraulic friction.

The 2004 MDX employs a drive-by-wire throttle system that evolved from the NSX supercar. This innovative system eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the accelerator pedal and the engine, and modulates the throttle during transmission shifts for improved smoothness. It also allows for throttle control to be seamlessly incorporated into the MDX's VSA logic and directs the vehicle's cruise control function.

The 2004 MDX utilizes a unique VTM-4 four-wheel drive system designed to enhance traction on low friction surfaces. Unlike conventional automatic 4WD systems, which react only to wheel slippage, VTM-4 proactively apportions torque from the front to the rear wheels before wheel slippage can occur. When cruising, the system automatically reverts to front-wheel drive for improved fuel economy.

In addition to ample power, the MDX delivers sport sedan-like handling and a smooth, compliant ride. It features a 4-wheel fully independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-channel ABS, dual piston calipers in the front, standard 17-inch alloy wheels and specially designed P235/65R-17 all-season tires to provide stability and responsiveness. Front and rear stabilizer bars, a wide track and a low center of gravity give the MDX predictable cornering response and help maximize cornering capabilities.

Handling is further enhanced through the application of a standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system that works in concert with the VTM-4 and drive-by-wire throttle systems to provide enhanced control during acceleration, braking and cornering. This 4-channel system orchestrates the throttle and each of the vehicle's four disc brakes to seamlessly integrate traction control, Anti-lock braking, and stability enhancement for increased driver control during acceleration, braking and cornering.

The MDX's interior emphasizes the vehicle's versatile yet refined character with standard-setting levels of luxury and functionality. Three uniquely transformable rows of seats allow the MDX to comfortably seat up to seven passengers. A convenient walk-in feature provided at the right (curb) side of MDX's second-row seat slides the whole second seat forward with the touch of a lever. This feature has been improved for 2004 by extending forward travel 40 percent, making entry and egress to the third row even simpler. Second and third row seats split and fold flat into the floor providing 82 cubic feet of cargo room. Even with all three rows in use, the MDX still offers 14.8 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row seats.

For 2004, a variety of enhancements have been made to the MDX interior including the addition of brushed metal-look trim on the instrument panel, ambient foot lights, and welcome illumination. A new, Side Curtain Airbag system has been applied to help reduce injury to occupants in all three rows of seats during a sufficient side-impact collision. It deploys from a module in the roof in the event of a sufficient side impact, providing an important and significant level of head protection in the window area. This system also includes a series of rollover sensors designed to trigger the system in the unlikely event of a rollover. Should the MDX begin to tip, the rollover sensors monitor the rate of roll and deploy the side curtain airbags accordingly.

The MDX also features dual-stage, dual-threshold driver's and front passenger front airbags. The driver's airbag adjusts deployment force to one of two rates according to input from sensors which monitor the severity of the impact, seatbelt usage and the position of the driver's seat. The front passenger airbag's deployment takes into account the severity of the crash, seatbelt usage and the passenger's weight. The MDX also offers driver's and front passenger's side airbags with occupant position sensors in the passenger's seat; and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system on the second row of outboard seats to simplify child seat attachment.

New for 2004 is a direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System that uses sensors in the valve stem of each wheel to alert the driver when tire pressure drops significantly below the recommended level. If the system detects that tire pressure is low (32 psi is recommended), the low pressure indicator notifies the driver, while a schematic of the vehicle located in the center meter housing the speedometer indicates which tire or tires require air.

While the MDX is already one of the most comprehensively equipped vehicles in its class, an optional Touring Package adds a variety of premium features. These features include a roof rack; exclusive alloy wheels (redesigned for 2004); an upgraded, eight speaker Acura/Bose Music System with 6-disc, in-dash CD changer; two-position memory for the driver's eat and sideview mirrors, and a front passenger's 8-way power seat. For 2004, the 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat now features power-adjustable lumbar support. The Acura/Bose Music System receives a more powerful 225 amplifier and revised speaker tuning for superior sound reproduction.

The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition is available as a factory-installed option on models equipped with the Touring Package. This state-of-the-art

navigation system includes a menu of 217 voice commands, a comprehensive destination guide with over 7 million points of interest, turn-by-turn guidance and coverage of virtually every road in the continental United States. For convenience and safety, the system also includes a rearview camera incorporated into the tailgate, which transmits a rearview picture to the navigation screen when the MDX is in reverse gear.

The Acura DVD Entertainment System is also available as an option on Touring Package-equipped models. The 7-inch LCD screen is mounted to the headliner, just behind the front seats for use by rear seat passengers. The DVD player mounts below the standard audio system and plays over the MDX's sound system or through a pair of cordless infrared headphones. The system can be controlled either by using the MDX's audio controls or from the rear seats through the use of a remote control or the screen's control panel.

Like all Acura vehicles, the MDX comes equipped with a comprehensive 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty that includes Acura's customer service package.

For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please go to www.acuranews.com.