The MDX Sport Hybrid uses a 257-hp, 3.0-liter V‑6. Joining the engine in powering the front wheels is a 47-horsepower electric motor located in the transmission housing. There are two additional 36-horsepower motors mounted side by side between the rear wheels. Each rear motor powers a single rear wheel and they operate independently of each other. A lithium-ion battery powers the three motors. When the vehicle is decelerating, the motors charge the battery.
- During hard acceleration, the engine and three motors combine to produce 321 horsepower66.
- The EPA Fuel Economy Ratings97 are 26 / 27 / 27 MPG (city /highway/combined).
- A Power Distribution Unit located under the center console monitors driving inputs, load levels and vehicle status to determine the necessary power requirements from the engine and three electric motors and distribute the power to the front and each rear wheel.
- Generally, starts from a stop using just the rear motors. Continued acceleration brings in engine power and the third motor, though low speed cruising can continue to use electricity only.
- For highway efficiency, high speed, steady cruising generally has the front wheels driven by the engine, which is likely running on just three cylinders due to the Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) system. Acceleration from a highway speed adds three more cylinders and/or the power from the motors depending on conditions.
- A start-stop system can automatically shut the engine down when the vehicle is stopped and then seamlessly restart it when the brake pedal is released.
- All transitions between engine and motor power use are transparent to the driver and passengers.