Adding to what will be dozens of so-called "crossover" utility vehicles coming to the market in the next few years, Acura unveiled its highly-anticipated RDX compact SUV at the Detroit Auto Show. The RDX joins Mazda's new CX-7 and Ford's Edge in what's expected to be a highly competitive segment in the years ahead.

But thanks to its upscale branding and powerful engine, Acura is hoping to win a few customers away from BMW's X3. For the first time in an Acura, the RDX features a turbocharged engine. The 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine, presumably a derivative of the K-series used in the RSX and TSX, produces 240 horsepower and a beefy 260 lbs./ft. of torque. The prototype was shown with a 5-speed automatic transmission with SportShift paddle shifting on the steering wheel. This will likely be the standard and only available transmission on the production model. Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, first showcased on the flagship RL will be standard on the RDX.

The show car featured 19-inch alloy wheels, which may not make the cut to the production vehicle, except possibly as a dealer-installed accessory. However, following the pattern of the TSX and RL, the dual exhaust tips and HID headlights probably will. The generously-sized center console allows for hidden and lockable storage of a briefcase or laptop computer. The high-tech gizmos such as a voice-recognition navigation system, AcuraLink real-time traffic updates, and a Bluetooth telephone interface will probably carry over to the production model, at least as options. The production model is expected to go on sale Summer 2006.