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First Drive: 2024 Acura ZDX Type S – GM DNA Helps Create Acura’s Spearhead EV

by | May 2, 2024

Acura’s 2024 ZDX is out to prove that Acura can compete in the EV wars. But does its combination of style, performance, and luxury have what it takes to help the ZDX emerge as a top contender in a segment that’s not only expanding but also navigating rough seas in sales.

The all-new 2024 ZDX, the first-ever electric Acura comes in a base A-Spec, and a performance model called Type S. In Acura-speak, Type S is their performance division like BMW has M, Hyundai has N, Mercedes-Benz has AMG, and so on.

Developed in conjunction with General Motors, the ZDX rides on the Ultium platform that is also shared with the Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Blazer, and Equinox EVs. But that is where Acura strongly says the difference ends as they have added performance bits-and-pieces to the ZDX that makes it unique from the others. Acura brought the automotive media to Santa Barbara to experience the ZDX S Type, where we drove it through mountains and vineyards testing the performance, ride, and handling.

Acura’s Performance EV

Marketed as a performance SUV the ZDX Type S is civil enough to handle all daily driving needs
while at the same time being the fastest Acura SUV ever built, and the fastest model they
currently offer. Acura has not released official performance numbers but with driver-selectable
drive modes of Normal, Individual, Snow, Lift, and Sport, and when in the latter it should turn 0
– 60 times in the high 4-second range.


Going fast in itself is fun, but add in the Acura-designed air adaptive suspension and torque
vectoring and handling gets interesting when attacking the twisties. The all-wheel drive (AWD)
ZDX Type S, weighing in at 6,052 pounds, is planted solidly to the ground with the batteries
placed below the seats delivering a low center of gravity and a 50:50 weight distribution. Ask
any race car engineer the importance of getting the weight low to the ground.

Quincy Tam, Acura product planner, says “The ZDX Type S falls within the line-up of performance
EVs that has the capability of driving dynamics. Many manufacturers are shooting for the 0-60
data, but that’s not all we are. For Acura, performance is about how it maneuvers, the braking
system, the air suspension, making up the full package of what performance means.”
Compared to the ZDX A-Spec that comes in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, the
bespoke performance pieces found on the ZDX Type S AWD versus the ZDX A-Spec AWD make
all the difference.

• Performance-tuned dual-motors
Horsepower (hp) increases 499 from 490
Torque rises to 544 from 437 pound-feet (lb-ft)
Dedicated sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers
Height adjustable air suspension
Performance-tuned adaptive dampers
Brembo 6-piston brakes
Larger front discs: 15.6” from 13.5”
Rear brakes: 13.5” for both models

Larger front and rear stabilizer bars
275/40 Continental Premium Contact 6 summer tires on 22” alloy wheels

Power and Range
There are three ZDX configurations, each with their own all-electric driving range (AER.)
A-Spec Rear Wheel Drive
358 hp
324 lb-ft torque
313 AER
A-Spec AWD
490 hp
437 lb-ft torque
304 AER
Type S AWD
500 hp
544 lb-ft torque
278 AER

On The Road

As with all EVs, acceleration is smooth, instant, and linear, so the dreaded turbo lag from a
gasoline engine is soon forgotten. At slower speeds there is a pleasant Sci-Fi whirring sound to alert pedestrians an EV is approaching. The torque vectoring provided the needed power to whichever wheel had the most demand when cornering and the electric power steering made for sharp and precise turning. The standard ABS and power-assisted ventilated front and rear solid discs were aided by electronic stability control, electronic brake-pressure distribution, and brake assist. The regenerative braking and one-pedal driving has paddles to set the force, which we had in the most aggressive level so when slowing or coasting, it didn’t require applying the brake pedal in most situations.

Whether it be around town driving or seeking-out curves like we did this is the most convenient
and fun way to drive the ZDX Type S. Diehard manual transmission and internal combustion
engine fans may find it difficult to accept that one-pedal driving in an EV is a smoother and
faster experience. It isn’t necessarily better than a manual transmission, but different, as the
speed through corners is controlled by modulating the accelerator pedal without tapping the
brake pedal.

Interior Details

The flat floor provides ample leg, shoulder, and headroom for five occupants. The driver and
passenger in the ZDX S Type get 16-way adjustable heated and ventilated seats, with two
memory settings each, that are covered in perforated Milano leather with microsuede, and an
embossed Type S Logo in the headrest. The padded center console has a handy lower storage area. The thick grip, leather-covered, flat-bottom steering wheel has switches for the cruise control, radio volume and channels, and a button to activate voice recognition. The ZDX A-Spec models get 12-way power front seats and the same leather with microsuede coverings. Wide second-row access led to comfortable 60:40 split, heated rear seats that fold nearly flat to provide additional cargo space.

There is no front trunk, or frunk, for stashing small items. Standard on all ZDX models are rear-side window shades, a panoramic power slide, and a tilt moonroof (with a power shade) and power lift tailgate that on the S Type is hands-free. The dash has an adjustable 11-inch digital instrument display and an 11.3-inch horizontal color touchscreen display that houses the 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is Bluetooth for streaming audio, a color Head-Up Display, and wireless phone charging complete the technology.

The front occupants get a 12V power outlet and USB-C ports front and rear. The AcuraLink app connects your phone and the ZDX with several convenient features such as a stolen vehicle locator, remote start and stop, and remote door lock and unlock.


The ZDX Type S comes with an extensive list of standard safety features beginning with front,
side impact, side knee, and side air curtain airbags. The Advance Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, including lane-keeping assist, blind spot, forward collision, and rear cross-traffic alert and braking. Other safety features are hill start assist, surround and blind view monitor with parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with hands-free driving, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

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Acura gives new ZDX owners three charging options; a home or portable charging unit, or charging credits through EVgo or Electrify America. Go here for the details. The ZDX Type S can be plugged into a 120V common wall plug, but expect charging times to be long and slow. The best bet for owners will be to install a Level 2, 240V home charger that will deliver 29.4 miles per hour of charging. The fastest way will be with DC Fast Charging delivering
42 minutes for a 20% to 80% battery state of charge.

• Battery Eight years/100,000 miles
• Powertrain Four years/50,000 mile
• Anti-perforation Five years/Unlimited miles
• Roadside Assistance Four years/50,000 miles
• Maintenance Program One year/12,000 miles

The 2024 ZDX Type S comes in four trim levels, with these base prices including the mandatory
$1,350 destination and handling charge.

A-Spec RWD $65,850
A-Spec AWD $69,850
Type S AWD $74,850
Type S AWD $75,850 *With the Performance Wheel and Tire Package*
The ZDX is built in Spring Hill, Tennessee meaning it will qualify for federal and state tax credits.

Final Thoughts: 2024 Acura ZDX Type S

The 2024 ZDX Type S was co-developed with General Motors utilizing their EV platform powered by Ultium batteries. While the ZDX will continue to be produced by General Motors, Acura plans to launch additional EV models starting in 2026 based on their own global e:Architecture. Styled at the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, the ZDX and future Acura EVs will be tailored for American drivers that want comfort, style, performance, and all-electric efficiency.

The performance ZDX Type S will appeal to those wanting more from their daily driver, having
the ability to test the car’s limits. As Quincy Tam, Acura product planner, told us 0 – 60 times
aren’t what Acura performance is all about. But consumers shopping for a performance EV, like it or not, use this measurement as a factor in their EV buying decision. In comparison, the ZDX Type S does quite well and is respectable when viewed alongside rivals in this regard.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N 3.1 seconds; Porsche Taycan GTS 3.4 seconds;
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance 3.5 seconds, Kia EV6 GT 3.6 seconds; and the Tesla Model
Y in 4.7 seconds may be a bit quicker but the difference between the faster of this lot and the
ZDX Type S is negligible and would be unnoticeable to the driver.

We have not driven the ZDX A-Spec RWD or AWD, but we suspect the performance will still be
quite good, and the all-electric driving range will be longer.
The 2024 ZDX A-Spec and ZDX Type S are on-sale now at Acura dealers in all 50 states. Go
check it out!

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Story and photos by John Faulkner.

John Faulkner is Road Test Editor at Clean Fleet Report. He has more than 30 years’ experience branding, launching and marketing automobiles. He has worked with General Motors (all Divisions), Chrysler (Dodge, Jeep, Eagle), Ford and Lincoln-Mercury, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota on consumer events and sales training programs. His interest in automobiles is broad and deep, beginning as a child riding in the back seat of his parent’s 1950 Studebaker. He is a journalist member of the Motor Press Guild.


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