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 interior packaging.

"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.
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Comments

    • philip sedlmair
      philip sedlmair

      This is a VERY good explanation of SH-AWD!  I will be sending my Acura Clients to your video!  Thank you very much!

      about 28 days ago
    • JoeU2Bee
      JoeU2Bee

      Excellent description. Thank you for taking the time to share! :-)

      about 1 month ago
    • Saquib Hussain
      Saquib Hussain

      I would ask, isn't the newest Audi A5, a direct competitor to this vehicle, also using torque vectoring in this recent generation? And the engine mount is probably same as the RDX? Can you confirm?

      about 1 month ago
    • Steve
      Steve

      Still an excellent video, but needs to be updated as SHAWD has changed a little, and so have others. I would love to see one because I could never explain to others what SHAWD with the ease that Alex does.

      about 1 month ago
    • Abdul Karim Koroma
      Abdul Karim Koroma

      I want to know how to solve SH-AWD problem when the rear wheels are disconnected from the system

      about 3 months ago
    • aboriginal lone wolf
      aboriginal lone wolf

      Dude I got a 2014 shawd that fucker is bad ass the tires wont slip even on wet surface in the snow when I gas it it just go no slip no traction control light flickering or anything else this fucker is a beast I'm proud of yall and my self for buy n it😂😂😂

      about 4 months ago
    • Andrew Schultz
      Andrew Schultz

      Told ma' mechanic we wanna put them straight gears in place of them angle gears, makes more efficent! He tol' me " that'll be $2000.00" - OyO !!! why so spensive???

      about 6 months ago
    • David Rummel
      David Rummel

      I am a little confused by the remarks about BMW X5M. Is there a benefit one system over the other or are the differences nullified by simply being the better solution for the platforms they are used on? I am attempting to flesh out the better AWD system for use on vehicles that were never born with them as a mental exercise. I am down to the symmetrical system in the Subaru STI and SH-AWD in the RL but have failed to consider the BMW X platforms.

      about 8 months ago
    • World Peace Deathray
      World Peace Deathray

      The SH-AWD is no joke. My 2012 MDX demolishes corners. And it actually off roads really well too. Catch me wheeling with the Jeeps at Hollister or going double the speed limit with the BMW's on highway 35. (CA)

      about 9 months ago
    • Carlos Silva
      Carlos Silva

      Great video 👍

      about 9 months ago
    • alpineope
      alpineope

      This is one of the best and most concise explanations I’ve seen. Great video! I will hit subscribe next!

      about 9 months ago
    • Vera Oburoh
      Vera Oburoh

      Hello Alex, I need advise, I got the acura tl 2012, in my Country, we have extremely shirty bad road, how well will it fair and is it good for off-road use cuz that's the best description for our roads.

      about 9 months ago
    • stephen wooldridge
      stephen wooldridge

      The sh-awd systems don't have center differentials, the rear diff does it all

      about 9 months ago
    • 2PlayBrasil
      2PlayBrasil

      You should use animations to explain it. very good.

      about 9 months ago
    • 87037244
      87037244

      whatever times the wheel speed is increased, the same times of torque is reduced. Might not matter in on-road or slippery conditions. But just keep in mind it might not be the system you want if you get stuck under an incline.

      about 9 months ago
    • Skylin Megas
      Skylin Megas

      Been a while ..hi old Alex .. current Alex is doing great and have come along nicely made new friends and has become a staple of go too guys for solid info .


      Keep on enjoying your day bro .

      about 10 months ago
    • Ram power sport
      Ram power sport

      Alex, can you do a video on Lexus Ls, Mercedes S class and Audi A8 AWD system comparison?

      about 10 months ago
    • Destroyer of Evil
      Destroyer of Evil

      More concise and informative to the point than any engineerimg explained video I've ever watched, and i just found this guy and have been watching EE for years

      about 10 months ago
    • Erik Giovani
      Erik Giovani

      1:48 imma snakey snake

      about 1 year ago
    • Timothy Castle
      Timothy Castle

      she has big hands for a woman

      about 1 year ago
    • Evil emperor
      Evil emperor In reply to Timothy Castle

      Timothy Castle lol..he is a man

      about 10 months ago
    • Rob Crossley
      Rob Crossley

      WOW what an excellent explanation, I drive to Northern California up PCH last summer and the MDX handled the curves perfectly.

      about 1 year ago
    • Alexander Juskov
      Alexander Juskov

      The Mitsubishi Asx diesel has something similar. Put it in 4WD lock mode and it will send more power to the rears at higher rpm or when theb computer thinks it needs it

      about 1 year ago
    • AhhMishMoneypenny
      AhhMishMoneypenny

      Very informative having just purchased a UK Honda Legend. Good work.

      about 1 year ago
    • Gustavo Castillo
      Gustavo Castillo

      Please talk about the fifth gen Prelude SH/Type S! The original which Acura's was based off! Active Torque Transferring System, or ATTS, is what made the SH and Type S shine

      about 1 year ago
    • John in CA
      John in CA

      Just picked up a 2011 MDX from family member, who kept the car in really good shape, and discovered it had the SH package. Bonus!
      Thanks for the explanation on how SH works, well done.

      about 1 year ago
    • Craig Silver
      Craig Silver

      Alright, that was thorough and actually informative.

      about 1 year ago
    • Javier Labastida
      Javier Labastida

      Acura TL woooow !!! No problem !

      about 1 year ago
    • Shikhar Shah
      Shikhar Shah

      Absolutely excellent video

      about 1 year ago
    • Payehn
      Payehn

      I have a 2007 acura mdx. 135k miles and going strong. I live in the cascade mountain range i have to say, there is nothing else on earth that is better in the snow and icy conditions than this vehicle. I have driven a lot of vehicles and i used to think nothing could be better than my little toyota. Japanese vehicles are on a whole different level when it comes to reliability and quality. My girlfriends 2012 ford focus makes me want to puke

      about 1 year ago
    • roccorostagno
      roccorostagno

      I have a question...why the hell wont acura do a rwd platform? A sportier drive

      about 1 year ago