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Acura Vehicles: SH-AWD Technology


Acura Vehicles: SH-AWD Technology

All-wheel-drive systems deliver power to four wheels instead of only two, but not all all-wheel drives are created equal. Whereas many systems merely split power between the front and rear wheels, Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive actively manages power in multiple ways to deliver a secure and thrilling driving experience.

Maximize Fuel Efficiency During Constant Speeds

When maintaining a constant speed, SH-AWD technology transitions into a near-front-wheel-drive system in order to maximize fuel efficiency. Although the system technically remains in all-wheel-drive mode, it shifts 90 percent of the engine’s power up to the front two wheels. The result is an increase in fuel efficiency -- which is something that most all-wheel-drive systems struggle with.

Importantly, the front-wheel focus doesn’t result in compromised traction if all four wheels are needed. All of the changes that the SH-AWD technology makes are made on a moment-by-moment basis as the system continually monitors driving conditions, driver input, weight distribution and other factors. Should more rear-wheel power be needed on a slippery patch of pavement, power will instantly be moved back to the wheels with the best available traction.

Increase Traction During Hard Acceleration

When accelerating hard off of a full-stop, SH-AWD technology increases traction both to ensure on-pavement control and to reduce the likelihood of burning rubber.

In this situation, the force of acceleration pushes a lot of the car’s weight back onto the rear wheels. To take advantage of this natural weight shift, the SH-AWD system moves up to 45 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. The result is a near-equal power distribution that keeps the tires properly in contact with the pavement as they quickly begin to spin.

Improve Control During Hard Cornering

When cornering around a turn or bend, SH-AWD technology uses a similar concept to likewise maintain control.

In a hard cornering situation, power isn’t shifted to both rear wheels as much as it’s directed specifically to the outside rear wheel. This is the wheel that bears the brunt of the vehicle’s momentum during a hard turn, and the all-wheel-drive system will direct as much as 70 percent of the engine’s output to the one tire.

By giving the wheel that’s bearing the most weight the majority of the engine’s power, this shift both enhances control when cornering and improves turning capabilities. Even on dry pavement, the shift results in a noticeable thrill as you round every bend.

At the same time, the outside rear wheel is also sped up -- it can rotate as much as 2.7 percent faster than the other three. This further enhances control and turnability, and it specifically reduces the chance of understeering.

Experience SH-AWD Technology

To experience what SH-AWD technology feels like firsthand, come to McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago and take an SH-AWD Acura for a test drive. There are lots of Acuras with SH-AWD technology in stock at the dealership’s 1301 N. Elston Ave. location in Chicago, which isn’t far from Cicero, Oak Park or several other area communities.

Stop by Monday through Saturday, and feel for yourself what it’s like to drive a sublime all-wheel-drive vehicle. Even if you’ve had all-wheel drive before, you’ll notice a difference in the system’s capabilities while cruising, accelerating and cornering on the test drive.

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