Acura reboots 1996 SLX SUV with latest tech for retro car show

Acura is going back to the future.


The Honda-owned luxury brand has rebooted its first SUV with the technology from its latest.

The donor truck was originally green.

The donor truck was originally green. (Acura)

An engineering team took a 1996 Acura SLX, which was based on the Isuzu Trooper, and rebuilt it with the motor and all-wheel-drive system from a 2019 Acura RDX.


The body-off rebuild included adding an independent rear suspension and Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive while swapping the original 3.2-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic transmission for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder tuned to produce 350 hp and a 10-speed unit.


The exterior and interior of the car were preserved largely intact, with the subtle addition of paddle gear shifters on the steering wheel, SH-AWD badges and a hard shell spare tire carrier on the tailgate. Even the new wheels were designed to look like the originals.

The truck will be making its public debut at the 1980s/1990s themed RADwood car show in Los Angeles on Dec. 7, and Acura produced a retro sci-fi comedy-style promotional video to go with it.

Acura hasn’t announced any plans to bring the SLX back to the lineup, but the new Honda Passport resurrected a name first used in the 1990s, so you never know what to expect.

Certainly, no one expected Acura to build this.