The Acura ZDX is back, and this time, it’s electric (and not ugly) | Top Gear
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The Acura ZDX is back, and this time, it’s electric (and not ugly)

There’s even a 500hp Type S version

Published: 17 Aug 2023

Okay, truth time: we did not think the production Acura ZDX would look this good. Last year’s Precision EV concept gave us an idea of what to expect, sure, but we (wrongfully) assumed the ZDX would rely more on the show car’s weird, kinda-boat-like styling elements. Instead, with its rad grille design, slim headlights, short overhangs, and tri-tone paint job, we’re really taken aback. This SUV looks great.

The ZDX is Acura’s first fully electric vehicle, but it’s actually a shared effort with General Motors. Underneath that sharply styled skin is GM’s Ultium battery technology, and this platform will soon spawn an SUV for Honda – Acura’s parent brand – called the Prologue.

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Acura will have three versions of the ZDX at launch, all powered by a 102kWh battery pack. The base ZDX A-Spec has a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle, which actually makes it Acura’s second rear-wheel-drive vehicle ever, after the original NSX supercar. (Feel free to share that fact at your local bar trivia night, it’ll impress everyone.) In this configuration, the ZDX is estimated to have 340hp, and Acura is targeting a driving range of 325 miles, which isn’t bad.

You’ll be able to buy the ZDX A-Spec with a dual-motor setup if rear-wheel-drive isn’t your jam. Acura doesn’t yet have a power figure for this model, though the company says the all-wheel-drive ZDX’s range will drop slightly, down to 315 miles. Regardless of how many motors your A-Spec has, it’ll ride on 20-inch wheels with all-season tires, and will be able to tow up to 3,500 pounds. So, like, a couple of jet-skis.

Now, if you’re thinking, “to hell with range, I just want power", Acura will also offer the ZDX Type S. This one only comes with two motors and all-wheel drive, and ups the SUV’s output to 500hp. The Type S has adaptive air suspension, 22-inch wheels, and big Brembo brakes. And, you know, the driving range doesn’t actually take too big of a hit: the Type S should be able to go 288 miles on a full charge.

The ZDX’s maximum DC fast-charging speed is 190kW, which is good but not great, especially as more and more 350kW public chargers become available. At least you’ll be able to comfortably cocoon yourself inside a plush cabin while you’re chilling at public charging stations, cranking some tunes on the ZDX’s standard 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

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On that note, here’s a big win: Acura ditched its True Touchpad “absolute positioning” multimedia interface, and now you can just touch the 11.3-inch screen with your grimy fingers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are built in, and Google Maps runs the navigation system, which can also be displayed on the 11-inch digital gauge cluster. Google Maps are the best maps, after all.

The new ZDX arrives later this year, and Acura said it’ll only be sold through an “omni-channel digital sales process", which sounds fancy and complicated. The base ZDX A-Spec will start in the $60,000 range, with the Type S costing about $10,000 more. We’ll have the final details later this year, ahead of the first customer deliveries in early 2024.

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