Skip to main content

We’re starting to see the fruits of Honda’s and GM’s partnership behind the Ultium platform and batteries. Cadillac’s Lyriq, the first big SUV to get the Ultium treatment, shares a similar platform and it’s gaining fans for its power, smoothness, and style. We’re expecting the 2024 Acura ZDX SUV to share in some of that love. Though we’ll have to wait for 2024 to see the ZDX on the road, it looks like Acura’s first EV is worth waiting for.

The ZDX represents the brand’s future

A front view of the Acura Precision EV Concept in blue.
A front view of the Acura Precision EV Concept in blue. | Acura

The ZDX will be Acura’s first zeroemissions SUV and the name pays homage to a previous Acura model of the same name, which was the first vehicle styled from the ground up in the Acura Design Studio which opened in Los Angeles in 2007. But, more on that below.

Regardless, Acura wants to be a fully-electric brand and it wants to start with a bang, so we’re expecting big things from the new ZDX when it debuts.

It’s as much design study as it is SUV

A rear view of the Acura Precision EV Concept.
A rear view of the Acura Precision EV Concept. | Acura

The ZDX is based on the Acura Precision EV concept. The Precision EV previews Acura’s design language for its first generation of electric vehicles. Everything about the concept says “I’m an electric car,” with virtually no need for engine vents or other combustion-engine cues. Instead, it’s smooth, full of LED lights, and the traditional chrome Acura V grille is reimagined on the front in blue lights.  

The one drawback in the Precision EV concept is the dopey steering yoke instead of a steering wheel. It looks cool, but we expect (and hope) the production version will have a real steering wheel. But, the company says that it should have a lower driving position that evokes racer cars, while keeping the sightlines of an SUV.

There will be a Type S version of the ZDX

A red 2024 Chevy Blazer EV is parked.
The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV | Chevrolet

For several decades, the way to spot a hot Acura has been the Type S badge. That badge means that the car or SUV has some extra punch. While GM is promising SS versions of, for example, the Blazer EV shown above, with more than 500 horsepower, Acura it seems will use the extra battery packs for Type S versions of the new ZDX. GM is promising some quick zero-to60 times for the Blazer SS, and we expect the Type S to have similar capabilities.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq from the side
The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Debut Edition | Cadillac

Have you seen the sleek Cadillac Lyriq? It’s Cadillac’s svelte, modern all-electric SUV that the brand is just now delivering to dealers. Well, Honda and GM teamed up to design that SUV’s platform, which is called Ultium, and it, too, will underpin the ZDX. GM and Honda designed the Ultium platform to fit a variety of vehicles, from small sportscars to the new Silverado EV truck.

The Lyriq SUV, however, is gaining fans. J.D. Power, for example, drove one and praised its massive torque and its smoothness. That bodes well for the ZDX.

But … that ZDX name

The ZDX name wasn’t the first we’d have picked for the new SUV. IN 2010, Acura launched the first ZDX, a weird car/suv mashup that worked about as well as the Pontiac Aztek. The idea, which others have pulled off successfully (think BMW X4), was to make a sportier version of an SUV. Sure, it had a hot version of Acura’s 3.7-liter V6 that made 300 horsepower, but that was about its only redeeming feature.  

If you see one on the road, however, nod because the 2010-2013 ZDX is about as rare as a Lamborghini. In 2013, Acura only sold 642 ZDXs.


What Happened to the Short-Lived Acura ZDX?