1998 Acura SLX -- Introduction

To maintain its position at the leading edge of the luxury sport utility vehicle market, the new Acura SLX has been thoroughly redesigned and upgraded for 1998. To address the trend toward more powerful and luxurious vehicles, the 1998 SLX is available in a single lavishly appointed sport luxury model that features an all new powertrain with a sophisticated Torque-On-Demand four-wheel-drive system. The new model also features a bold new front-end design for a modern look, while numerous features upgrades and enhancements ensure owners of a top-rated vehicle. The SLX provides a level of ride quality, comfort and luxury amenities typical of fine imported luxury sedans, combined with the ruggedness, utility, all-weather handling and off-road capability of a top-rank four-wheel-drive vehicle.

In addition to its state-of-the-art engineering, impressive performance, solid construction and overall quality, the Acura SLX also offers the high-end SUV buyer with a true luxury ownership experience, from the courteous treatment offered by Acura dealers to the Acura TLC Customer Satisfaction Program, which provides 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service, trip planning and many other owner benefits.

The Acura SLX is intended to compete with the Mercedes M-Class, Land Rover Range Rover and Discovery, Lexus LX450, Infiniti QX4, and new entries from other luxury brands, as well as the higher trim levels of domestic SUVs such as the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevy/GMC Blazer. The SLX is built for Acura by Isuzu Motors, Ltd., and is manufactured in Japan.

CONCEPTS AND GOALS
The SLX is designed to provide:

  • A remarkable level of comfort and luxury amenities.
  • Ride and handling qualities more typical of a luxury sports sedan than an off-road vehicle.
  • A larger, more powerful engine with abundant torque for impressive acceleration, effortless cruising, reliable towing, excellent performance and predictable response.
  • Torque-On-Demand, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive with the touch of the button.
  • High level of safety performance with strong box-section frame construction,
    4-wheel anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes, dual SRS air bags, and other safety features.
  • Spacious lavishly appointed interior and best-in-class cargo space and convenience.
  • Contemporary exterior styling.

OVERVIEW
The Acura SLX is available exclusively in a 6-door body style, with four conventional passenger doors and a convenient 70/30 two-sided rear door for ease of loading. Every SLX is equipped with a new all-aluminum, 3.5-liter, double-overhead-camshaft V-6 engine with four valves per cylinder, producing 215 horsepower and 230 lbs-ft of torque that does not require a tune-up for 100,000 miles. The lightened engine utilizes several new features to maximize performance, including double-overhead camshafts and variable length induction system.

A sophisticated new Torque-On-Demand 4-wheel drive system applied to the 1998 model features a shift-on-the-fly function that is engaged with the touch of a button. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard on every SLX.

A double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension deliver generous travel and compliance for smooth, controllable off-road driving and confident, comfortable highway response. Ventilated disc brakes are used all around, with a 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) standard.

The steel frame of the SLX uses box-section members for added strength and rigidity; these are much stiffer in torsion and bending than the U-channel members used on many competing SUVs. Overall, the Acura SLX offers a remarkably smooth, quiet ride and exceptional highway handling response, with the full complement of amenities and safety features, such as dual SRS air bags, expected in a luxury sedan.

The SLX also offers excellent off-road performance, with abundant ground clearance, double-wishbone front suspension, a full complement of skid plates for component protection and a powertrain engineered for highly usable power delivery.

The 1998 SLX is available in a single lavishly appointed model featuring amenities such as leather seating surfaces, heated power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats, AM/FM/CD cassette audio system, air conditioning, power moonroof, keyless entry and more.

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