The Structural Excellence of the 2019 Acura RDX

The 2019 Acura RDX has received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK+, and the structural soundness of the vehicle went a long way to achieving that.

This is the double ring rear frame structure for the 2019 Acura RDX, which features two interconnected structures, one that uses the C-pillars, rear wheel arches and floor area, and the other a pillar structure above the rear suspension dampers, roof and floor area, an integrated system that improves torsional rigidity for the crossover:

2019 Acura RDX Rear Double Ring Load Path Construction

This is the overall body structure of the RDX, which also features a two-piece ultra-high strength steel front door ring made with 1500-MPa hot-stamped steel that’s laser welded that improves collision safety performance while reducing weight (it is 28 pounds lighter than the previous design):

2019 Acura RDX Body-In-White

Weight reduction was an objective of the RDX development team, and the unibody of the 2019 vehicle is 41 pounds lighter than the previous generation RDX yet the overall rigidity is up 38.3 percent, thanks to a variety of measures, including the use of 112 feet of structure adhesives.

This is the RDX put together, just in case you were wondering:

A-Spec Beauty & Details

Why this interest in the RDX structure?

Because the vehicle just received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK+, and the structural soundness of the vehicle went a long way to achieving that.

According to IIHS: “The Acura RDX excelled in our six crashworthiness evaluations”—things like driver side small overlap front, moderate overall front, side, etc.—“including the roof strength test. Our testing apparatus applied over 21,000 pounds of force to the RDX’s roof before it crushed five inches. That’s more than five times the weight of the vehicle.”

Also contributing to the rating is the AcuraWatch suite of technologies that are standard, including collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and road departure mitigation.

But that structure (including the Advanced Compatibility Engineering approach that facilitates crash energy management) is certainly key.