Acura begins taking reservations for its first all-electric model, the ZDX, ahead of its official sales launch early next year.
While the Japanese luxury brand isn’t offering final numbers it said Monday the base 2024 Acura ZDX A-Spec package will “start in the $60,000 range,” while the more powerful twin-motor ZDX Type S “is expected to start in the $70,000 range.”
Acura and its parent, Honda Motor Co., are late to the EV party. Honda did offer an all-electric version of its Clarion sedan, but it offered limited range and was not available through the Acura brand.
The ZDX will become the luxury brand’s first long-range package, with the A-Spec delivering an estimated 329 miles per charge.
Acura Energy Key Card
The automaker plans to take a different approach to marketing the ZDX, noting in a statement, “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.”
Additionally, Acura said all reservations holders will get “exclusive access” to a series of upcoming events sponsored by the automaker, including the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, as well as the 2024 Acura Grand Prix in Long Beach, California.
Owners also will be eligible for discounts for other entertainment events as well as audio gear and other benefits from “partners” such as Topgolf and Bang & Olufsen.
They’ll also have access to three charging packages as part of the vehicle purchase.
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 ealed 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 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 340 horsepower and 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 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 hp, 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 102-kWh 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 kilowatts 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 240-volt 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 6-piston yellow calipers.
A Look Inside
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 & Olufsen 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.