Honda and Acura Play Catch Up in EVs

Mention the names Honda and its upscale sister Acura brand and the word innovation comes to mind with the Japanese automakers. But one area where these automakers have oddly been absent has been electric vehicles, which despite recent growing pains is a market that industry analysts continue to monitor as a barometer of an automaker’s future direction.

At the New York International Auto Show taking place this week, showgoers are being treated to a preview of two electric SUVs—Honda’s Prologue and Acura’s ZDX. But before passing judgement on what these automakers did or did not do with these vehicles, keep in mind both cars are not clean sheet designs from the companies. Rather, the vehicles come out of a partnership with General Motors and are based on the Chevy Blazer EV.

Both the Prologue and ZDX use the same Ultium battery pack used in the Blazer. The Prologue has a single motor drivetrain standard that generates 212 hp with a range of 296 miles for the front-wheel drive version and 273 hp for the all-wheel drive version. The ZDX comes in a single motor configuration rated 358 hp with a 313 mile range, and several dual motor configurations generating up to 500 hp and a range of 278 or 304 miles.

While the underpinnings of both EVs are shared with General Motors, Honda and Acura tried to impart their cabins with more of a Honda/Acura feel.

Honda does have big plans to develop electric vehicles over the next few years. However, the carmaker needed a stopgap move to make sure it is not shut out of the EV market altogether in the interim.

You can view a video of the Acura ZDX being introduced at the Auto Show below.