A year after first revealing plans to launch its first long-range all-electric vehicle, Acura is finally lifting the covers on the 2024 ZDX during Monterey Car Week, the annual auto extravaganza anchored by the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Two versions of the EV will be offered, the single-motor 2024 Acura ZDX A-Spec, as well as the sportier ZDX Type S. The latter, twin-motor crossover will punch out a hefty 500 horsepower, only slightly less than what the last-generation Acura NSX supercar delivered.
“The arrival of the new ZDX is an exciting moment for the Acura brand,” Emile Korkor, assistant vice president of Acura National Sales, said in a statement ahead of Thursday unveiling. “It signals our transition to a zero-emissions future and demonstrates our commitment to Precision Crafted Performance in the electrified era.”
Acura plugs in
Acura, like its parent Honda, was an early pioneer of “electrification,” but it has been far slower to embrace all-electric powertrain technology, preferring to focus on hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. But that’s about to change under Toshihiro Mibe, who was appointed CEO of Honda Motor Co. CEO last year. Mibe is calling for EVs to make up at least 40% of combined Honda and Acura U.S. sales by the end of the decade.
Late to the party, Honda turned to General Motors for a helping hand. Both the Acura ZDX and the Honda Prologue are based on the same Ultium technology — platform, batteries and electrical architecture — used in such vehicles as the Chevrolet Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq.
Power, performance, charging
Prologue was the first of the Honda EVs to be revealed. Now it’s time for the more upscale 2024 Acura ZDX — which Honda has been teasing for the past month. The base model will be available with either a single, rear-mounted electric motor producing 340 horsepower, or a twin-motor option. Acura said the base version will deliver an EPA-estimated range of 325 miles. Specs for the two-motor A-Spec have not been released yet.
The ZDX adds a second motor on the front axle to produce the all-electric alternative to Acura’s familiar Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive, or SH-AWD, system. And it bumps power up to a more impressive 500 ponies. To put that into perspective, the main version of the old NSX delivered 573 hp by combining the output of a twin-turbo V-6 with three separate electric motors. Range for the ZDX Type S is listed at 288 miles.
Power for all versions of the 2024 Acura ZDX comes from a 102-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The system can handle up to 190 kilowatts of power using a public DC quick charger, and Acura claims a motorist can add up 81 miles of range in 10 minutes. While specs aren’t available, the system is essentially identical to what’s in the Cadillac Lyriq which can go from a 20% to 80% state-of-charge in as little as 40 minutes.
While similar in size to the Cadillac Lyriq, Acura has adopted a unique exterior design. It boasts a longer front end than on many of the latest EVs, a design cue meant to give it a more athletic stance, or as design chief David Marek calls it, “Acura’s new modern expression of performance.”
The front fascia adopts many of the details found on other Acura crossovers, such as their “Chicane” daytime running lights and “Jewel Eye” headlamps. But the “Diamond Pentagon” grille is actually sealed, as there’s no need to drive air under the hood. Most key powertrain components, including the battery pack and motors, are mounted under the load floor.
As the sportier of the two ZDX packages, the Type S adds features such as 22-inch machine-finished alloy wheels, the largest ever on an Acura. They’re shot with wider 275/40ZR22 self-sealing tires, while high-performance summer tires are available with gloss-black wheels. That’s a rarity with EVs, though there will be an impact on range.
Other features unique to ZDX include “height adjustable air suspension, performance-tuned adaptive dampers and massive 15.6-inch Brembo front brakes with eye-catching 6-piston yellow calipers. Drivers can customize the driving experience with multiple drive modes, including a Sport mode for maximum acceleration and response,” Acura said in a statement.
All versions of the ZDX use a multi-link suspension, front and back.
The cabin features a modern, open layout, taking “full advantage of the increased styling and packaging freedom EVs offer,” thanks to their skateboard-like platforms,” said design chief Marek. Among other things, that translates into a flat load floor and more space for passengers and cargo.
The instrument panel, with its “driver-oriented cockpit,” features an 11-inch digital gauge cluster and 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. All models use the new Google built-in technology. Maps, for one thing, can be displayed on both screens. The navigation system also can plot out a route including recommended charging stops and necessary charging times.
While Acura has, for a number of years, has utilized the ELS audio system, the 2024 ZDX migrates to an 18-speaker Bang & Olufson package — with four of the speakers built into the front headrests.
The 2024 ZDX also gets the latest version of the AcuraWatch 360+ suite of advanced driver assistance and safety features including Rear Cross-Traffic Braking, Blind Zone Steering Assist and Rear Pedestrian alert. It also gets Acura’s first Automatic Parking Assist sysemt.
And the new Hands Free Cruise technology — based on GM’s Super Cruise — allows hands-free operation on up to 400,000 miles of U.S. and Canadian roadways.
Pricing and availability
The 2024 Acura ZDX will start in “the $60,000 range,” according to the automaker. The first vehicles expected to be delivered to customers early next year.