The image you see has probably left you scratching your head. Why does this Isuzu Trooper have an Acura badge on it? For those who don't know, Isuzu made Troopers for Honda back in the 90's, tarted them up and badged them as Acura. It's an interesting bit of somewhat forgotten automotive history, but Acura wants us to remember that.
It was called the SLX, and it was touted to go up against the Lexus LX 450. It was Acura's first SUV and, to put it lightly, it didn't sell very well. Over 20 years since it's launch however, Honda's luxury division decided to breathe new life into it. How did Acura do it? They totally re-engineered it from the ground up.
But before we tell you what they did, let's briefly look at the the original SLX. It was powered by a 3.2-liter V6. The SLX never came with a diesel, and yes, Isuzu made gas V6 engines. That was good for 190 PS and 255 Nm of torque, which wasn't too shabby for 1996. The only real difference it had with the Trooper was a unique grill, Acura badges, and a whole lot of leather inside.
What Acura did was chuck out the Isuzu V6, drop the four-speed automatic, ditch the live rear axle, reworked the entire front suspension, and even gave it a new four-wheel drive system.
Powering the SLX is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and no, it's not the exact same one found in the Civic Type R. In fact, it's more powerful than the one found in the hot hatch. Instead of 310 PS and 400 Nm of torque, this SLX lays down 350 PS and 460 Nm of torque. Acura didn't mention any acceleration numbers, but we're certain it's faster than the '96 model's 0 to 100 km/h time of about 10 seconds. Out went the four-speed automatic, and in went the 10-speed automatic from the RDX crossover.
As for the chassis, it gets MacPherson struts in front, replacing the double-wishbone setup of the 90's model. They also made it wider, perhaps to give it better handling. As for the rear, the live axle (which is also the same on the Trooper) makes way for a custom multi-link independent set up. Brakes were upsized too, and they even included the electronic parking brake. Also, the shift on the fly four-wheel drive system was thrown out, bolting in Honda and Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system (SH-AWD).
But from the outside, they kept the upright, boxy look of the original article. There are little hints that it's packing that much power under the hood, or the fact that it now uses a new all-wheel drive system. It does have a wider stance, a set of custom wheels, and an SH-AWD badge on the tailgate.
As for the interior, it's a throwback to the 90's. No touchscreens here; it's all buttons and dials on the dashboard. Acura kept it period correct, right down to the CD player and cassette deck. The only differences are the gear selector and a standalone display for vehicle information.
Sadly, the SUV is a one-off but it's great to see a manufacturer showing their fun side with projects like these. Besides, the idea of a Trooper making more power than a Type R sounds like a fun proposition.