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Discussion Starter #1
I just ordered an MDX (July delivery) for my wife. I have a couple of questions that I didn't ask (know to ask) the dealer.

1. I have read reports on the 2001 model that say the four wheel drive only works up to 18 mph. Is this true for the 2002 as well?

2. I hear rumors that the 2003 will have more horsepower. True?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

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Not Really & Not Sure

Good questions and I'll try to help. The confusion about the 18 mph is that IF you manually LOCK in the fixed ratio VTM switch (transmission must be in D1 or D2) it will disengage automatically at 18 mph. Since this is something you usually only do if you are truly stuck - if you get up to 18 mph it is a reasonable assumption that you are now unstuck.
Otherwise, in normal driving, the VTM-4 engages automatically and transparently when needed (wheel slippage - acceleration etc) at an automatically determined front/rear ration. As far as I know that is not limited to 18 mph.
Will the 2003 have a higher horsepower rating? It's a pretty persistent rumor but then again it was a pretty consistent rumor for 2002. Many believe that it will be an option in 2003 in order to get better separation between the Pilot and the MDX. I've not heard any official announcement however.
Personally, unless you are 1) gonna tow a very large boat through the mountains or 2) just have a real need-for-speed, I don't think you will care. I think the acceleration is already superb and it ties the X5 for 0-60. Fifth gear is pretty tall so the acceleration above 55 won't throw you in the back seat but it does really help with the gas mileage. Speaking of which, there is one BIG reason I'm not looking for a bigger engine.
Meep Meep
 

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RR's correct. 18max is for locked diff in 1/2/R only. VTM4 works at all speeds (automatically) otherwise.

HP rumor = rumor @ this point. Wouldn't be surprising, tho.
 

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Puzzled1, puzzled no longer...

The VTM-4 essentially operates in three modes (same for 2002 as 2001), they are:

1) Torque is sent to the rear wheels proactively whenever you accelerate - called acceleration torque control mode (ATC) - this diminishes the possibility of front wheel slippage.

2) Whenever slippage (spinning wheel) of one of the front wheels is detected by sensors, torque is sent to the rear wheels to enhance traction.

3) Engaging the "VTM-4 lock" switch. This is used when the vehicle is stopped and stuck. The transmission must be in 1 st, 2nd or in reverse for this mode of operation to engage when you depress the "VTM-4 lock" button. The rear axle becomes "locked" so torque is sent to the rear wheels (in addition to the front wheels) up to a speed of 18 mph. If you exceed 18 mph this mode of operation automatically disengages until you reduce your speed to below 18 mph. As you increase your speed above 6 mph up to 18 mph (in this mode) the ratio of front/rear torque gradually increases. This mode of operation may only be used on slippery or loose surfaces.

Please note that under normal operation ("VTM-4 lock" switch off) the VTM-4 is not a "full time 4-WD" system. Once you achieve a constant speed, torque is only sent to the front wheels when you drive down the street or highway. This improves gas mileage.

Regarding a new engine with more horsepower for 2003, I've seen that reported in the media (AutoNews), but this has not been confirmed by Acura. Until they do, it's nothing more than a rumor.
 

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Some People NEED the Horsepower

When at the dealership for my 30K service this weekend, my salesman friend said that he has one MDX owner who keeps asking about the HP increase for 2003. He says he'll trade up immediately. Seems this guy towed a very large ocean-going boat (probably close to 2 tons) through the Smokey Mountains. and noticed "it seemed to strain a little". :D :D
You Reckon??
Anyway, it reminded me of a picture I did last year.
Meep Meep
 

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It's Charleston After All

Well, this is Charleston after all and we do take our boating mighty seriously..................................

And have for a looooooooong time;)
 

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regarding the engine upgrade, new round of rumors has it postponed till the 2004 model year... if you do a search on the topic in this forum, you can find more detailed rumors on the topic...

IMHO, bigger engine == more fuel consumption == lower MPG == more money out of my pocket...

plus, i think acura is going to bump up the MSRPs for the '03 MDX... just look at what they've done to the MSRPs of the TLs in the past three years....

good luck...
 

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Car & Driver Says It's Enough HP

Puzzled1,
One last input on the question of horsepower. It should be noted that one auto magazine, known for it's emphasis on performance had this to say:
Car and Driver
From: "Car and Driver 10Best" - January 2002
Author: Csaba Csere
"Motivation is provided by a 240-hp V-6 that can slingshot the MDX from 0 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. That's quick enough to dust off all its V-6 competitors and several eight-cylinder luxo SUVs as well."

If it's good enough for C&D, it's good enough for me.
Meep Meep
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info. I am interested in HP/torque because I live in Colorado. We need all the juice we can get to pull the hills at altitude.
 

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Colorado is FUN!

I understand - well torque is one of the best parts of the VTEC. For what it's worth I ran up and down Gold Camp Road on ice with a full load of passengers and it was great - scary but great:D Took her up Pike's Peak too and she didn't seem to mind. In fact, RoadRunner loved the Colorado Mountains - more than me because I turned out to be allergic to Aspen and I thought I was gonna die sneezing.:rolleyes:
Meep Meep
 

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