2018 Acura RDX Prototype teaser image

Acura RDX Prototype

During the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, we discovered that, in Honda's world, the difference between a "concept" and a "prototype" (both are near-production models) is the latter has an interior you can crawl around in - as was the case with the "prototype" version of the second-generation 2013 RDX unveiled that year during media days.

We'll find out soon enough if this still holds true as Acura has announced that a prototype of the third-generation RDX will be unveiled in less than two weeks.

In a press release announcing its debut, Acura noted that the new RDX would come with a new interior and exterior design representing the "most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade."

It also appears that the Japanese manufacturer is attempting to further separate the RDX from the Honda CR-V.

Both the first second generation RDX models shared a platform with the CR-V, although the second-gen Acura differentiated itself from the Honda with a body that was 5 inches longer, 2 inches wider, and featured a 2.6-inch longer wheelbase.

The third-gen model will "be built on a new, Acura-exclusive platform" and the first RDX to be designed and developed in America. It will also feature exterior and interior design elements drawn from the Acura Precision Concept and Acura Precision Cockpit, respectively.

Acura has yet to announce what we'll find under the hood, but here's where it gets interesting.

Back in 2013, Acura eighty-sixed the first-gen's turbo four (the first-ever application of a turbo in Honda's lineup) with a 273 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6. But right now, other than the base LX, all current CR-V models come equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Will Acura keep the V6, or will the new RDX come with a larger and more powerful turbo-four?

We'll find out the answer to that question at 11:05am on Monday, January 15, when Acura unveils the new RDX in Detroit. For those interested, the event will also be Live Streamed through Acura social media channels Facebook.com/Acura, YouTube.com/Acura and Twitter.com/Acura.