Acura is late to the EV game but it has a plan. Instead of hedging its bets like Toyota by cranking out hybrids while transitioning, it wants to leapfrog straight to EVs. Realizing it can't do it all by itself, it has enlisted the help of GM and the first fruit of the collaboration will be the 2024 Acura ZDX, a mid-size premium performance SUV based on the GM BEV3 EV platform and using Ultium battery technology.
And now we have learned that a new 2024 Acura ADX compact SUV is also afoot and will presumably slot in below the ZDX because Acura has filed a trademark for the name. These will be Acura's first two EVs in the USA since the cute little Honda-e is not available here. Banking on GM may prove to be a wise move, as it will give the ADX competitive performance and range credentials, right out of the box. As for the second half of the 2020s, Acura might lean on parent Honda's future in-house EV platform for its subsequent models. For now, information on the compact ADX is rather thin on the ground.
All we know is that the release date of the Acura ADX will likely be in the second half of 2023, so it will be coming out as a 2024 model, most likely just after the 2024 ZDX, if not alongside it. Since both SUVs are built on common GM underpinnings, it makes sense that Acura would want to hit the ground running with two products of different sizes at the same time in the lucrative SUV space.
Whereas the larger ZDX is expected to compete in the $55,000-$80,000 price range, its more compact sibling should have a sub-$50k starting MSRP. The indications are currently that the entry-level 2024 Acura ADX's price will be around $45,000-$50,000, with the most expensive version unlikely to overlap much with the cheapest ZDX. Such a cost structure would make sense for the five-seat ADX since the seven-seat Tesla Model Y starts at around $53,000. A smaller version of the modular Ultium battery pack should make that price feasible.
While the ZDX and the Acura Precision EV Concept provide us with enough styling cues to form an idea of what the new ZDX might look like, we have virtually nothing to go on when it comes to the 2024 ADX. Expect Acura to come up with typically sharp-edged and sporty Acura styling, combined with the kind of clean-cut and grille-less front end we expect from an EV. We show the Precision EV Concept in the photos alongside this story because it gives us the best indication of the styling direction Acura will be taking for its electric SUVs, so expect to see its styling features - inspired by Italian powerboats - on both the SUVs.
Since we don't even have proper speculative renders or any teasers whatsoever even from Acura itself, the finer styling details will remain a secret for now but clearly, Acura wants to make a splash with its first EVs in the US and the arresting exterior will probably go hand in hand with a palette of intense new hues too. If the Precision EV Concept's vivid Double Apex Blue is an indication of what's to come, or is one of the actual colors for the Acura ADX, we're certainly on board. How many of the concept's more exotic flourishes like its "Particle Glitch" front and rear lighting, or its illuminated Diamond Pentagon grille, will make it to the production car remains to be seen.
The exterior dimensions of the Acura ADX are likely to be smaller than those of the ZDX. How much smaller, we don't know for sure, but it's fair to assume that it will probably fall into the compact class, along the lines of Acura's RDX and the upcoming Porsche Macan EV. With the ICE-powered compact RDX currently starting at just over $40k, the expected price of under $50k for a compact EV in this class makes sense. Some sources have suggested a subcompact SUV that's around the same length and width as the latest Honda HR-V, but we find that unlikely, because it's difficult to price a subcompact EV competitively, and the compact premium class is a very hotly contested segment where we're sure Acura would want to compete.
The Ultium cars are available in various configurations, with GM offering electric motors of varying outputs used either in combination or by themselves, so there's no telling which configuration has been decided on for the Acura ADX's electric motors. Being an Acura and not a Honda, it will likely stick with a sportier setup, which may mean AWD models only in preference to 2WD - and around 300 horsepower, if we have to hazard an educated guess. Dual motors are expected to provide AWD ability, but we cannot discount that Acura might launch a base-level 2WD model with a single motor at a lower cost.
For comparison's sake, the 340-hp single motor in the larger and heavier Cadillac Lyriq with the 102-kWh battery pack is good for a 0-60-mph sprint of 5.7 seconds in that car. Shorn of a third of its battery capacity and with a correspondingly lighter weight, an ADX with a similar output could easily dip under five seconds. With Acura planning a Type S version of the ZDX, we could possibly expect the fastest version of the ADX to also carry that nomenclature.
Until we know more about the powertrain and battery pack expected to be fitted to the ADX, we can only speculate. We'd imagine that Acura would be aiming for what is regarded as the minimum acceptable range for a premium EV nowadays, namely around 300 miles. Based on the Ultium architecture, the ADX should also be capable of a charging rate of up to 190 kW, meaning that owners would be able to add around 76 miles of range in ten minutes. Expected efficiency should pan out to around 90-100 MPGe, slightly below rivals such as the Audi Q4 e-tron, but still well short of troubling the class-leading Model Y's efficiency of over 120 MGPe. The battery won't be the same 102-kWh item as the Lyriq and we're guessing a capacity of around two-thirds that size.
With not so much as a spy shot, teaser, or any official admission from the manufacturer to go on, we have nothing firm in terms of what the interior or trunk space of the Acura ADX will be like except for the concept sketches of the Precision EV Concept's interior as a lead. What we can be fairly certain of is that the number of seats in the Acura ADX will be five, unlike the Model Y which provides optional seating for an additional two children. Being an EV with a skateboard chassis and no engine, cargo space should be generous in the fashion of most space-smart EVs; overall passenger and cargo space inside the cabin should be as much or more than what the current RDX offers - which is to say rear legroom of around 40 inches and a trunk of between 30 and 40 cubic feet.
In terms of the materials used, expect the recycled aluminum and 100% biomass leather used in the interior of the Precision EV Concept to be an indicator of the green approach Acura will also follow with the ADX.
Acura is likely to retain its own infotainment systems. This will likely mean a touchscreen that can also be controlled via a touchpad and plenty of tech on offer, including full smartphone integration, Wi-Fi capability, a powerful ELS Studio 3D audio system, and the latest AcuraWatch driver assists. The system has proven a bit of a challenge to master in the past, so we're hoping that Acura will continue to refine and simplify it.
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