Acura’s vision for EVs is an SUV concept inspired by F1 and luxury Italian power boats

The premium performance brand is prepping for an EV SUV in 2024

Acura is preparing for the EV future in the same way most other automakers are planning out their transition to electric car manufacturers, with an SUV.

The awkwardly named Acura Precision EV Concept made its debut at the annual Monterey Car Week festivities with a nod toward the boating and F1 worlds. It’s an odd combination, but the automaker seems to have pulled it off.

Acura and its parent company Honda haven’t embraced the coming EV evolution as quickly as other brands, especially in the United States. But it’s a marathon, not a sprint to replace gas-powered vehicles. While it’s only a concept, the design language of the Acura Precision EV Concept does give us a good glimpse of what to expect in 2024 when Acura begins building its production electric SUV.

Acura EV Concept Monterey Car Week

Image Credits: Roberto Baldwin

During its reveal, Acura said its future production EV will be called the ZDX (the Z stands for Zero Emissions). In addition to a regular version, Acura will release a Type S variant.

The first production EV from Acura will use GM’s Ultium platform beginning in 2026. However, the automaker will use its own e:Architecture system. Regardless of the platform, Acura’s brand officer Jon Ikeda told TechCrunch “As we step into an electrified world, we have a lot of confidence that we continue to provide and continue to push that fun to drive narrative that a lot of our customers are looking for.”

The concept itself is a sleek SUV with a long hood line that dwarfs what we see on the automaker’s current MDX and RDX vehicles. The company said it looked to luxury Italian boats — specifically how these high-end crafts combine “elegance, artistry and harmony of form and function” when it designed the Acura Precision EV Concept. We don’t know the “form and function part” yet since this is just a concept. However, you see some of the boat-esque design cues in the SUV’s wide, athletic stance and sharp lines.

Acura EV Concept Monterey Car Week

Image Credits: Roberto Baldwin

As with most vehicles that’ll never be sold, the concept has an impressive front fascia light signature (called Particle Glitch) that illuminates the automaker’s Diamond Pentagon grille.

The Acura Precision EV Concept does slightly resemble the Honda Prologue electric EV. Both vehicles are scheduled to appear in 2024. The Prologue will be built using GM’s Ultium EV platform and Acura confirmed Thursday evening that its first production EV will also roll on General Motors batteries.

Acura hasn’t disclosed the range or battery capacity of the concept or the upcoming production vehicle.

Inside, the concept has the usual minimalistic design layout. A sleek interior filled with eco-friendly materials including marbled plastic trim, biomass leather and milled FSC certified wood that’s been responsibly harvested.

A curved infotainment screen with a driver-focused tilt sits alongside a yoke steering control. Acura says this along with the low-slung sitting position are a nod to F1 racing. Tesla has famously put its own yoke controls in its Model S and it’s been polarizing to say the least. Acura, while a performance brand, will likely replace the concept control with a more traditional steering wheel.

For those moments when driving isn’t ideal (traffic), Acura’s concept will drive itself and transform the interior of a race-inspired cockpit into what it calls a Spiritual Lounge. Red ambient lighting will make way for a soothing and warming interior with “soothing scents” and an “under water” projected animation to help relax the passengers.

While the more outlandish portions of the vehicle will not be included in Acura’s electric SUV coming in 2024, the overall design of the concept will be the blueprint of what we can expect from the performance brand.

Acura might be a little late to the EV game, but as long as what it is bringing continues to focus on the brand’s performance lineage, its boat (and race)-inspired SUV could be exactly what fans of the brand are looking for.

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Updated with information on the production EV Acura intends to make.