Honda’s premium subsidiary Acura has teased its first fully electric vehicle, the ZDX crossover, ahead of an official unveiling at Monterey Car Week in California on August 17.
Both a base model and a Type S performance variant are due in 2024.
Providing a shadowy view of the model’s front end, Acura has revealed only that the exterior design of the ZDX has been heavily influenced by the Acura Precision concept car revealed last year.
From what can be seen in the teaser, the same ‘Diamond Pentagon’ grille from the concept model, as well as the chicane-style lighting graphics, have been carried over.
While Acura has remained tight-lipped about any technical specification, it has confirmed the model will be the first in the lineup to integrate Google built-in and Bang & Olufsen audio systems as standard.
The collaboration with the Danish audio specialists will equip the model with an ‘elevated in-vehicle audio experience’, which will eventually be recreated across the brand’s lineup.
On top of voice-activated Google Assistant, the infotainment system will also house an enhanced version of Google Maps featuring optimised route planning for recharging, estimated charging times, and battery preconditioning for reducing charge times.
Although official images of the interior haven’t been revealed, Acura has confirmed the model will feature a digital instrument cluster for the driver alongside a large central infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, plus wireless phone charging.
The brand has also confirmed the ZDX will benefit from continuous enhancement thanks to over-the-air (OTA) updates.
According to Acura, it will serve as ‘the tip of the spear for digitalisation at American Honda,’ with all of its electric vehicle (EV) sales happening online starting with the ZDX launch.
“As the most powerful and quickest accelerating SUV in the brand’s history, the ZDX Type S will deliver on this promise and bring an exhilarating driving experience to the electric vehicle market,” said Emile Korkor, assistant vice president of Acura National Sales.
Acura’s lineup currently consists of the Integra liftback, TLX sedan, and the RDX and MDX SUVs. It has been rolling out sporty Type S variants across its range, with only the RDX yet to receive one.
The American-made Acura line-up isn’t currently available in Australia, and Acura currently only sells cars in the US, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and Kuwait.
It also retails vehicles in China but will leave that market by the end of 2023.
Co-developed with General Motors (GM), the model will use that company’s EV platform powered by Ultium batteries, which will also underpin the Honda Prologue SUV.
However, Acura says that after this model it will launch its future EVs on Honda’s own e:Architecture from 2026.
The ZDX and future Acura EVs are just a small part of Honda’s broader move towards electrification, which also involves market-specific models like the e:NS2 and e:NP2 for China and the N-VAN-based commercial mini-EV for Japan.
However, Honda Australia plans to make the transition to EVs much more gradually, confirming it has no plans to introduce any electric vehicles over the next five years.
Honda’s global target is to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, which it intends to reach by ensuring 100 per cent of North American models are battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles by 2040.
“The Acura ZDX represents the start to what will be an accelerated path toward electrification by the end of the decade and the key role the Acura brand will play in our company’s global goal to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050,” said Emile Korkor.
This actually isn’t the first time that the ZDX nameplate has been used.
The original ZDX debuted in 2009 as a coupe SUV counterpart to the three-row MDX and a rival to the BMW X6.
It was discontinued in 2013 due to poor sales.