How SH-AWD works: Acura's AWD system explained
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Have you been wondering how the Acura SH-AWD system differs from other
"Haldex style" AWD systems? In this video I explain how Super Handling All
Wheel Drive differs from Audi's Quattro, BMW's x-Drive and the other
transverse AWD systems on the market.
Aside from the fact that Honda/Acura doesn’t have a RWD drivetrain to
borrow, the benefit main benefit to a transverse engine layout is improved
“Super Handling All Wheel Drive” may not have been the best name for
the system, but it is arguably the best AWD system you can tack onto a
transverse FWD platform. The systems used by Infiniti, Lexus, Volvo,
Lincoln and just about everyone out there that had an AWD system tacked
onto a transaxle has no center differential. Instead the power flows from
the final gearset of the transmission to the front diff and the rear diff
via gears at a fixed 1:1 ratio. Between this gear arrangement and the rear
diff is a clutch pack that allows the car to connect, disconnect or have a
varied connection between the transmission and rear axles. When fully
connected the power is split 50/50 assuming all wheels have traction.
SH-AWD also uses the same arrangement but adds a unique differential unit
in the rear that does two things. First, it has a gearset to “speed up”
the rear wheels so that when they are connected, they spin 1.7% faster than the fronts. (The old RL used a
variable ratio system but it is no longer used.) Next it has a torque
vectoring unit that is capable of slitting power 100:0/0:100 left to right.
In a straight line, “overdriving” the rear wheels gives the MDX a more
RWD feel than otherwise possible and in corners the system is capable of
sending up to 70% of the power to the outside rear wheel helping the
MDX’s cornering manners and masking the “plowing” tendencies normal
in a front heavy car. For 2014 Acura took this a step further and uses a
system to brake wheels selectively to improve neutral handling. This is
beyond stability control because the system is always active rather than
active only when things are going pear-shaped.
2009 Acura TL Reviewed - DSTV Live #3
Driving Sports reviews the 2009 Acura TL. Is this 280 horsepower, executive sport
sedan the right car for recently bailed out bankers? Includes the live
studio follow-up from the January 21 2009 show. Watch Driving Sports LIVE
every Wednesday at 10pm pst at www.drivingsports.com.