The ZDX is the upscale sibling of Honda’s new Prologue EV and will be offered in two separate packages. This includes a sporty two-motor ZDX crossover that punches out nearly as much power as the second-generation NSX supercar.
With the exception of Nissan, which introduced the world’s first mainstream battery-electric vehicle, the Leaf, a decade ago, Japanese automakers have been slow to embrace pure EV power. That includes Honda, which has long focused on hybrids, plug-ins, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
The third-largest of the Japanese automakers has had a recent change of heart, however, led by new CEO Tohihiro Mibe, who wants to have pure electric models generate 40% of U.S. sales for the Honda and Acura brands by 2030.
This transformation gets underway during the 2024 model year. Honda is bringing to market the Prologue, while Acura plugs into the EV market with its ZDX crossover. The 2024 Acura ZDX makes its debut this week during the annual Monterey Car Week highlighted by the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
2024 Acura ZDX Design
The ZDX draws its design influence from Acura’s latest Precision Crafted Performance concept, starting with a relatively flat “floating roof.” A long, creased hood flows into deeply sculpted body panels. And the back end echoes the angular shape of the front end.
Up front, the ZDX adopts a number of familiar Acura design cues, including “Chicane” daytime running lights and “Jewel Eye” headlamps. The “Diamond Pentagon” grille, meanwhile, is sealed since there’s no need to drive air under the hood.
As has become the norm with today’s EVs, key powertrain components, including the battery pack and motors, are mounted under the load floor.
A Little Help From a Friend
Acura took a critical shortcut to get ZDX to market quickly — as did Honda with the Prologue. Both EVs are based on the same Ultium “architecture” used for new General Motors battery-electric vehicles including the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet Blazer EV.
They also use GM’s Ultium batteries, electrical architecture, and a version of the Detroit automaker’s Super Cruise technology. Here renamed Hands Free Cruise, it will permit ZDX drivers to lift their hands off the wheel on over 400,000 miles of U.S. and Canadian roads — though they’ll have to stay focused on the road and be ready to retake control, if necessary.
Powertrain, Battery, and Charging
The 2024 Acura ZDX will be offered in two configurations, starting with the A-Spec model. In its “base” package, the electric crossover will feature a single, rear-mounted motor producing a peak of 340 horsepower and be capable of delivering up to an EPA-estimated 329 miles. A two-motor A-Spec will be available, as well, though Acura has yet to release power and range numbers.
The sporty ZDX Type S will only come in a twin-motor configuration, the second motor up front helping create an all-electric version of the automaker’s familiar Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive. Output jumps to 500 horsepower, just 73 less than the NSX supercar, which relied on three electric motors as well as its twin-turbo V-6. The added motor and higher performance do take a toll on range, however, which drops to an estimated 288 miles on a full charge.
Acura offered only a few details on what it takes to recharge the 102kWh lithium-ion battery pack, noting motorists can extend range up to 81 miles in 10 minutes. The GM-derived system can handle up to 190 kW of power from a public DC quick charger. And, the similarly sized pack in the Cadillac Lyriq needs about 40 minutes to go from a 20% to 80% state-of-charge. Expect to stay plugged in overnight using a 240V Level 2 home charger.
ZDX Type S
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 shod 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.
The Type S also gets a height-adjustable suspension and performance-tuned adaptive dampers, which — along with engine and transmission settings — can be tuned by using the driver’s mode control.
To scrub off speed, Acura went with big 15.6-inch Brembo front brakes with six-piston yellow calipers.
One of the benefits of a skateboard-like EV platform is that Acura was able to take “full advantage of the increased styling and packaging freedom EVs offer,” said design chief Dave Marek. Two key benefits: a flat floor and more space for passengers and cargo.
The layout has an open feel, though Acura went with a driver-oriented cockpit that features an 11-inch reconfigurable digital gauge cluster that changes depending upon the mode a driver chooses. A second, 11.3-inch touchscreen serves infotainment duties.
ZDX is the first Acura model to go with the new Google built-in technology. That means constantly updated maps, among other things — and adds features such as the ability to plot out a route showing when and where to recharge, as well as how long the vehicle should remain plugged in.
As has become the norm for EVs, especially premium models, there’s plenty of technology onboard, including numerous USB ports and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A new, 18-speaker Bang & Olufson package even includes four speakers built into the front headrests to create a more immersive sound experience.
On the safety front, there’s that Hands Free Cruise, as well as the latest iteration 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 system.
2024 Acura ZDX: Pricing & Availability
Acura will begin taking advance orders for the 2024 ZDX in the coming months, but the first vehicles won’t be delivered to customers until sometime early next year, it said.
Pricing, the automaker noted, is expected to start in “the $60,000 range” for the A-Spec. No pricing information was released for the Type S.