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As the automotive industry continues to evolve towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly options, hybrid and electric vehicles have become increasingly popular. Acura, Honda’s luxury vehicle division, has also ventured into the world of hybrid technology, producing a range of hybrid and plug-in hybrid models over the years. However, they made the decision to stop offering them in 2022.

In this article, we will explore Acura’s journey into hybrid vehicles, including when they started, their most recent models, and why they ceased production after the 2022 NSX. Additionally, we’ll take a glimpse into the future with the upcoming 2024 Acura ZDX all-electric SUV.

Acura’s hybrid beginnings

Acura entered the hybrid vehicle market in the early 2000s with the introduction of the RSX Hybrid Concept. However, it was the Acura NSX that truly marked the brand’s foray into the hybrid performance vehicle segment.

The NSX Sport Hybrid, introduced in 2016, blended a twin-turbocharged V6 engine with three electric motors to deliver impressive power and handling while offering improved fuel efficiency compared to its non-hybrid counterparts.

Final Acura hybrid models

Before discontinuing its hybrid lineup, KBB reports that Acura offered a couple of notable hybrid models: the 2022 NSX, the 2020 MDX Sport Hybrid, and the 2020 RLX Sport Hybrid.

  • 2022 NSX:  A hybrid supercar that came to an end with the 2022 Acura NSX Type S. Top speed is 191 mph, and the engine has a total horsepower of 573 to 600 horsepower as well as a hike in maximum torque from 476 to 492 lb-ft.
  • 2020 MDX Sport Hybrid: The MDX Sport Hybrid featured a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with an electric motor, producing a total of 290 horsepower. It came standard with front-wheel drive with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive optional on any model.
  • 2020 RLX Sport Hybrid: Acura’s flagship sedan, the RLX, also featured a hybrid option. The 2020 RLX Sport Hybrid combined a 3.5-liter V6 engine with electric motors, one driving each rear wheel, to produce a combined 377 horsepower. 

Why Acura stopped making hybrids

Dave Gardner, Honda’s executive vice president of business and sales, Acura has decided to forgo hybrids altogether. CNET reports that he said, “Our Honda and our Acura brands are going to play very different roles.” Honda will slowly transition from gas-only cars to hybrids and then to fully electric vehicles. Acura, meanwhile, will “bypass hybrids altogether and move directly to zero-emission vehicles.” 

With strict emissions goals on the horizon, Honda is focusing on making its best-selling cars electric first. Honda sold about 1.3 million cars in the US in 2021, while Acura only sold 157,408 cars in the same year.

The 2024 Acura ZDX: A glimpse into the future

Acura is getting ready for an electric future by bringing back an old name: ZDX. The first ZDX came out in 2010 with a gas engine and a fastback design that was, in some ways, ahead of its time. The new 2024 ZDX SUV, on the other hand, has a more traditional two-box SUV shape.

The entry-level ZDX model is the single-motor A-Spec, which has a 340-horsepower motor and drives the rear wheels. This model has an option for a second motor, which does not add more horsepower but does add all-wheel drive.

The most interesting model is the sportier Type S, which comes standard with two motors and all-wheel drive. The electric motors in the Type S are tuned to make a total of 500 horsepower. It also has a 22-inch wheel size, a Brembo brake system, and an air suspension system with adaptive dampers.

Acura’s venture into hybrid technology showcased its commitment to blending performance and sustainability. While the brand has ceased production of hybrid models after the 2022 NSX, it is poised to enter the electric vehicle market with the 2024 Acura ZDX.

As Acura continues to innovate, it will be exciting to see how the ZDX shapes the brand’s future in the electric vehicle space.


Come On! Acura Got the NSX Type S Right and Then Killed It