Acura all-wheel drive: All there is to know

Acura all-wheel drive: All there is to know

What exactly is the Acura SH-AWD system? How does it work? Which vehicles are equipped with it?

Desjardins Acura, your Acura dealership in Montreal, tells you more about this Acura all-wheel drive system!

How does Acura all-wheel drive work?

The SH-AWD system (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) developed by Acura, is a sophisticated power management system designed to improve the vehicle’s stability, performance and maneuverability levels. Acura vehicles with all-wheel drive –like the RDX and MDX SUVs, for example- come with this AWD system as standard offered equipment on all trims.

The Acura all-wheel drive system is also found on the performance TLX sedan (all trims), and on the stunning NSX, whose extremely limited production stopped last year in 2022.

The difference between permanent and temporary all-wheel drive

The difference between temporary and permanent all-wheel drive is found in the way the system distributes power among the wheels, and in the circumstances in which each type of system is best adapted to.

Simply put, permanent all-wheel drive sends power to all 4- wheels without interruption and –depending on the driving mode, road or weather conditions- the way power is distributed to the wheels can vary. This makes it possible to drive effortlessly on a variety of different terrains and road conditions, including winter driving.

In the case of temporary –or on demand- all-wheel drive, the vehicle works with 2- wheel drive in normal driving conditions, in order to maximise fuel efficiency.

However, once the system detects loss of traction or when the road conditions change, the system will switch to all-wheel drive in the fraction of a second, in order to improve and optimize performance and grip levels.

The advantages of all-wheel drive on your Acura: Do I need it?

Sure, the advantages offered by a 4- wheel drive system, like the Acura all-wheel drive system, are undeniable. However, if you drive mainly in the city, on paved streets and in moderate weather conditions, an all-wheel drive system is definitely practical, but not essential.

On the other hand, if you live in the mountains or if you often have to face harsh weather conditions or unpaved roads, then an all-wheel drive system becomes a truly advantageous option, and even a must.

Similarly, if you love driving off-road or enjoy regular outdoor adventures that have you driving off the beaten path, then an all-wheel drive system will allow you to take full advantage of optimal stability and traction. The same thing is true if you often have to carry heavy loads; this system will then help you better manage the load while providing you with adequate grip levels.

But first and foremost, choosing between a 2- or 4- wheel drive vehicle is a very personal choice; it is up to you to see which type of system you prefer!

Rear view of SH-AWD

SH-AWD system: What you need to know

The Acura all-wheel drive system permanently monitors road conditions, the vehicle’s speed, the steering angle, accelerations and other parameters, in order to determine the perfect torque distribution among the wheels. The SH-AWD system makes instantaneous decisions according to the type of terrain and conditions you are faced with, so that it can adapt in milliseconds to the new conditions.

If and when needed, the SH-AWD system can also distribute power between the rear wheels according to the driving conditions; up to 70 % of the available torque can then be sent to the rear wheels, if required, which will allow you to better navigate difficult winter weather conditions, for example. In more stable conditions, 90 % of the torque is sent towards the axle that needs it most.

Moreover, by sending more power to the wheels that have the best levels of grip, loss of traction is minimized and energy efficiency is improved.

If you would like to find out more about the different Acura models, the SH-AWD system and the advantages it offers, or if you would like to take one of our vehicles out for a test drive, come and visit us at Desjardins Acura today!

3/4 front view of acura 2023 on a hill at dusk