The fourth-generation Acura MDX will go on sale early next year, but before that, the luxury division of Honda is previewing the all-new, three-row SUV with this, the MDX Prototype. Despite the name, what you see here should be pretty close to the final production model, and it’s certainly quite striking to look at.

Sharper in appearance compared to the outgoing MDX, the prototype features an upright grille leading into a long, sculpted bonnet. Slimmer “Jewel Eye” headlamps with “Chicane” LED daytime running lights also adorn the new face, along with an angular bumper that sports side vents and integrated fog lamp housings.

The body of the prototype is longer, lower and wider, with a wheelbase that has grown by 76 mm over the current MDX. Along with bulging shoulders, 21-inch wheels and a greenhouse that is set further back, the MDX shows off a more aggressive profile, which is further heightened by the Liquid Carbon and Performance Red finishes.

Inside, the MDX takes cues from the RDX and TLX, with the redesigned cabin adopting the company’s Precision Cockpit. This sees a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster being placed in front of the driver, while the True Touchpad Interface system also comes with a 12.3-inch central display.

The improved infotainment is said to offer better performance thanks to a new CPU, and there’s an ELS Studio premium audio system that delivers 1,000 watts of power through its 25 speakers.

Further tech includes seats that offer 16-way power adjustment and an ambient lighting system with 27 different lighting schemes. No shortage of fancy materials either, as you’ll find open-pore wood with infused metallic flake, polished aluminum and soft-touch Milano leather scattered throughout the cabin.

On the safety front, the MDX will be offered with the AcuraWatch suite of systems, which include Road Departure Mitigation, Traffic Jam Assist and Low Speed Braking Control, among others.

The upcoming MDX will be built on a new light truck platform that is not only more rigid but marks the first time the model adopts a double wishbone front suspension – this is meant to support Type S-levels of performance like some of its siblings.

On that note, the MDX will be offered in Type S guise, powered by a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 that will produce an estimated 355 hp and 480 Nm of torque. This is sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. The performance variant will also have Brembo four-piston brake calipers at all four corners.

Lesser variants that are set to arrive earlier in 2021 will get a 3.5 litre V6 instead, also with a 10-speed auto. The MDX’s Intelligent Dynamics System (IDS) will give drivers the chance to cycle through different drive modes using the dial prominently display in the centre console.