Future Cars

First Look: 2009 Acura ZDX Concept

No longer can we call the unique. Acura‘s ZDX concept, shown at the 2009 New York auto show, also mixes sports coupe DNA with that of a sports-utility.

In Acura-speak, this particular crossover segment is called `luxury performance coupe-plus.’ According to Jeff Conrad, Acura’s vice president of sales, the mix of sports coupe and SUV allows the RDX to create a “new” segment.

How `new’ that segment is may be up for debate, but it’s certainly carte blanche for Acura itself. Its previous crossovers looked decidedly truck-like, but the ZDX resembles a TSX sedan in most areas. The sloping fastback roof is breathtaking, and its tinted glass surface is seamlessly blended into the blacked-out rear valiance panel and taillights.

Designer Michelle Christensen says she wanted the ZDX’s exterior to draw you into a rich interior, and we have to say she’s succeeded. The sculpted instrument panel is a typical Acura design trait, but its two-tone scheme, trimmed in stitched leather, is nothing short of sumptuous.

What lurks beneath that interior is a bit of a mystery. Acura says the ZDX concept uses an all-aluminum V-6 with VTEC, a new six-speed automatic, and the brand’s trademark SH-AWD system. We imagine a similar setup will make its way into the production ZDX, which reaches dealers this fall.