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A display of Acura's SH-AWD in Action

To the lay-person all all-wheel drive systems do the same thing in that they drive all four wheels of a vehicle. However, with the slew of different acronyms and abbreviations given to these systems, it can be hard to realize when there really are important differences at work.

This test shows that with a more conventional all-drive system, even one with a fancy name and electronic knob, can fail to get one out of a low-traction scenario. The issue here is that the entire powertrain system doesn't work in a way that will allow the vehicle up a ramp. The AWD system is working, but the engine control is thwarting the vehcile's ascent.

Acura's Super Handling All Wheel Drive solution features torque-vectoring. If you know what a vector is, you know it means a force as a direction and a magnitude. Simply put, the rear wheels on a SH-AWD Acura can be electronically commanded to send a varying amount of torque to either of the rear wheels, enabling the wheel with grip to propel the vehicle up the incline.

The cool thing is, the SH-AWD system really was designed to make so-equipped Acuras some of the best-handling cars available. The low-traction capability is a huge bonus.


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