15 years of Super Handling All-Wheel Drive celebrated at North Shore Acura

August 13 2019, North Shore Acura

Torque vectoring SH-AWD helped revolutionize AWD

More than a decade and a half has passed since Acura introduced its innovative Super Handling All-Wheel Drive in 2004, and by so doing showed luxury buyers how all-wheel drive not only benefits four-season safety but is also a performance advantage in all types of weather.

Marking the 15-year event, Acura has produced an informative and entertaining video (see below) that highlights the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system's history and ability.

So how does it work? SH-AWD distributes engine torque between the front and rear axles actively and continually, from 70 percent in front and 30 percent at back, or alternatively from 30-percent upfront and 70 percent in the rear. What's more, in order to minimize understeer up to 100 percent of rear torque can be distributed to either the left or right wheel, which improves high-speed road holding.

Of course, Acura has refined SH-AWD in each of its four generations, plus now makes it standard or available with five of its six-model 2019 lineup.

All-new 2019 RDX features smaller and lighter 4th-generation SH-AWD

SH-AWD is now into its fourth generation, with the most recent version debuting in the totally redesigned 2019 RDX last year. Changes include 40 percent greater torque capacity at the rear axle, quicker torque transfer from front to rear, and 30 percent faster torque transfer between the rear wheels. The new design is also more compact and lighter.

With the advent of the RLX Sport Hybrid in 2014, Acura introduced an innovative Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system for its burgeoning electric-powered lineup. Things quickly heated up in 2017 when the second-generation NSX arrived, while that same year Acura infused the same supercar-proven Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system into its more family-oriented MDX Sport Hybrid.

Innovative Sport Hybrid SH-AWD utilizes dual electric motors for torque vectoring

How can one system work in three very different types of vehicles? To clarify, the mid-engine NSX sports car features a unique design with three electric motors, two of which become part of its Twin Motor Unit (TMU) that diverts torque separately to the front wheels.

In contrast, both RLX and MDX models turn that process around by placing the gasoline-electric hybrid engine up front and the TMU in back, with the latter sending electric motor torque to each rear wheel as needed. The result works much the same as with the mechanical SH-AWD system.

Therefore, despite having two opposing driveline configurations, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system combines near-identical technologies with many of the same components in order to deliver superb performance to a 573 horsepower mid-engine supercar, a 377 horsepower luxury-sport sedan, and a 321 horsepower luxury crossover SUV, while also providing all three with exceptional fuel economy.

Almost one million vehicles using SH-AWD worldwide

Fifteen years of SH-AWD success isn't the only milestone North Shore Acura will be celebrating this year, because Acura will soon surpass one million global sales of SH-AWD-equipped models.

SH-AWD was initially introduced on Acura's 2005-2012 RL flagship luxury sedan, a model that was followed by the 2007-2015 MDX, 2007-2012 RDX, 2009-2014 TL, and 2010-2013 ZDX, which featured second-generation SH-AWD incorporating Hill Logic, VSA and TCS, while the 2015-present TLX and 2016-present MDX utilize the even more advanced third-generation system that houses a 25-percent lighter rear differential. Lastly, the 2019 RDX uses Acura's fourth-generation SH-AWD, and the 2015-present RLX Sport Hybrid, 2017-present NSX, and 2017-present MDX Sport Hybrid provide innovative HEV leadership with their unique Sport Hybrid SH-AWD systems.

To find out more about all the Acura models utilizing Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, or to personally experience how SH-AWD provides better all-weather handling for a more enjoyable and safer driving experience, contact North Shore Acura by calling (604) 929-6736 or dropping by the showroom at 828 Automall Drive, North Vancouver.