How to Increase the Horsepower of an Acura MDX

by Scott EilersUpdated November 07, 2017

The MDX is a midsize SUV/Crossover manufactured by Honda under the Acura brand name. It was first sold in 2001 and remains in production today. MDX models from 2001 to 2006 are considered the "First Generation" of the MDX and come with a 3.5L V6 engine which makes the output for 2001 and 2002 models 240 horsepower and 265 horsepower in 2003 to 2006 models. Models from 2007 and later represent the "Second Generation" of the MDX and come with a 3.7L V6 engine which makes for output of 300 horsepower. All versions of the MDX can be made more powerful through aftermarket modifications.

Install a performance aftermarket cold-air intake system to replace the factory cold-air intake system. The cold-air intake system sucks in air from the environment, cools it, and directs it into the air/fuel mixture within the engine. Performance aftermarket cold-air intake systems engage this process more efficiently. This results in an increase of roughly eight to 15 horsepower, depending on the manufacturer of the cold-air intake system and which version of the MDX it is installed into. Cold-air intake systems typically cost between $100 and $200 and can be installed at home.

Install a performance aftermarket exhaust system to replace the factory exhaust system. Exhaust systems direct airflow out of the engine bay and out of the vehicle itself. Factory exhaust systems restrict airflow in order to minimize engine noise and emissions. Adding a performance aftermarket exhaust system will enhance airflow from the engine. This results in an increase of about 10 to 15 horsepower in the Acura MDX. Aftermarket exhaust systems typically increase engine noise, so be aware that your vehicle may sound louder if you opt for this upgrade.

Install a nitrous oxide injection system. Nitrous oxide systems inject nitrous oxide into the fuel system when a button or lever is pressed by the driver. Adding nitrous oxide to the fuel system provides a tremendous boost of horsepower, but only for a brief period of time because it is quickly used up. Nitrous oxide injection systems are typically designed with straight line performance, with activities such as drag racing in mind. Nitrous oxide systems can also be very hard on your vehicle if used frequently or improperly.

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