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Acura ZDX
Courtesy of Acura


Acura ZDX Electric SUV Debuts At Monterey Car Week

The Acura ZDX is the most powerful SUV from the brand in its history. It can be ordered online and deliveries start early next year.

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Honda and its premium brand, Acura, have been slow out of the gate at the start of the electric car revolution, but both are now preparing to join the fray, starting with the vehicles Americans crave most — SUVs. Honda says its first electric cars will be built at GM’s factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and use GM’s Ultium EV platform, but it is also building its own battery factories and planning for EV production at various factories in Ohio.

Now, Acura has introduced its first battery electric offering — the ZDX — at Monterey Car Week 2023. In base trim, which the company calls A-Spec, the car has a single rear motor rated at 340 horsepower and an estimated EPA range of 325 miles. An up-rated ZDX Type-S offering has dual motors with a combined output of 500 horsepower and an estimated EPA range of 288 miles. Both versions feature a 102 kWh battery and a 3,500 pound towing capacity.

Prices for the A-Spec ZDX will start at around $60,000, according to the company. Acura says there will be a dual motor option for the A-Spec car but has offered no specs about it other than to say the EPA range will be 10 miles less than for the single motor version. The ZDX Type-S is expected to list for around $70,000 and will include upgraded front brakes from Brembo and air suspension.

The company said in a press release that all Acura ZDX sales will take place through a new, omni-channel digital sales process, ensuring a simple and intuitive shopping experience from home or at an Acura dealership. Pre-sale activities for ZDX will start later this year, with first client deliveries slated for early 2024.

“The arrival of the new ZDX is an exciting moment for the Acura brand,” said Emile Korkor, assistant vice president of Acura National Sales. “It signals our transition to a zero-emissions future and demonstrates our commitment to Precision Crafted Performance in the electrified era.”

The exterior and interior styling was led by a team at the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles. For those fixated on such things, the company says, “Low and wide with a sleek silhouette, long wheelbase and high contrast surfacing, ZDX expresses Acura’s intense focus on performance from every angle. Distinct design details include the evolution of Acura’s signature front fascia, with the brand’s iconic Chicane DRLs, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, and seamless Diamond Pentagon with 3-D embossed diamond pattern and illuminated surround.” Be still my beating heart!

Acura ZDX

Courtesy of Acura

“As Acura moves into an exhilarating, electrified future, we will continue to push the forward-thinking design and proportions of our products as we take full advantage of the increased styling and packaging freedom EVs offer,” said Dave Marek, Acura’s executive creative director. “Embracing that creative liberation, our team was energized designing ZDX, Acura’s new modern expression of performance.”

CNET says, at just under 200 inches long, the Acura ZDX is essentially the same size as the Honda Pilot and Acura MDX. The key differences are that a 10″ longer wheelbase and lower roof height give the car are more sporty appearance.

Google Built In

Acura ZDX

Courtesy of Acura

The ZDX will be the first Acura to feature Google built-in software, which will power its 11-inch digital instrument cluster and 11.3-inch main touchscreen with an Android-based operating system that integrates Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store as the primary infotainment software. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also supported with convenient wireless connectivity.

A recently announced Bang & Olufsen collaboration brings a new premium audio system to the ZDX’s cabin. The design includes brushed aluminum grilles and the Danish luxury audio brand’s signature acoustic lens technology.

A Dedicated Charging Network

Of more interest to EV drivers than brushed aluminum speaker grilles is a charging network that is extensive and that works when it’s supposed to. Acura says it has that part covered. All ZDX models will be capable of accepting up to a 190 kilowatt DC charge — enough to add around 81 miles of range in just 10 minutes. That’s not the fastest charging available, but it will be sufficient for most drivers.

Along the way, drivers will be able to search for stations on most nationwide DC fast charging networks and pay for charging sessions through an Acura smartphone app. The Google Maps app also now shows the location of EV chargers. Eventually, the ZDX will gain access to the recently announced seven-automaker joint-venture high-speed CCS charging network launching in the US and Canada in 2024 and eventually expanding to 30,000 charge points by 2030.

As part of its introduction of the ZDX, Acura is also launching its Acura Home Electrification program, which will connect buyers with vetted local installers for setting up home charging for their new EV. That service opens the door for customers to potentially include the cost of getting a home charger installed in their monthly purchase or lease payment — a major convenience for many.

Driver Assistance Features

Every ZDX comes standard with AcuraWatch™, a suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, including Acura’s first applications of Rear Cross Traffic Braking and Blind Zone Steering Assist. The ZDX Type-S introduces Hands Free Cruise driver assistance technology to the Acura lineup, enabling true hands-free driving on up to 400,000 miles of compatible roads, helping to make long drives and commutes more comfortable. AcuraWatch™ 360+ also features the first Automatic Parking Assist system in an Acura, which helps take the stress out of parallel parking.

CNET points out that the claim of hands-free driving on up to 400,000 miles of compatible roads is very close to how General Motors describes its SuperCruise system. Since the ZDX will be built on the GM Ultium platform, this suggests the collaboration between the two companies may run deeper than originally thought.

The Takeaway

The Acura ZDX is an appealing electric SUV in a size many shoppers want. Honda and Acura have many loyal customers who will certainly appreciate the opportunity to consider an electric car from a brand they trust. The ZDX certainly seems to tick more boxes than the rather insipid Toyota bZ4X.

Current Acura owners will probably feel right at home in the ZDX — an important point for those who are somewhat nervous about making the transition to an electric vehicle. Acura may be a tad late to the party, but it has fielded a contender. Now let’s see how the market responds to the prospect of the most powerful Acura SUV ever offered.

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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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