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What Is the Difference Between AWD & SH-AWD?

by Alexander Eliot

The SH-AWD drive train system was developed by Honda Motor Co. SH-AWD is featured on some of Honda and Acura's top-model SUVs, allowing them to achieve optimum traction and handling performance. To better understand how Honda's SH-AWD system works, it is helpful to know the basics of an AWD system.


All-wheel-drive systems, including Honda's SH-AWD, feature drive trains that direct the engine horsepower to all four of the vehicle's wheels. This gives the vehicle maximum traction, as well as safe and stable handling, especially during inclement weather.


SH-AWD differs from a conventional AWD system by incorporating a special electro-magnetic clutch mechanism for the rear wheels. This clutch mechanism is electronically controlled, allowing the SH-AWD system to alter torque delivery to the rear wheels at all times.


The rear clutch mechanism in the SH-AWD system will direct an increased amount of power to the outside wheel when cornering. When the system senses that the inside wheel is losing traction, it will direct that excess power to the vehicle's outside wheel.


The modified torque delivery at the rear wheels allows for an increased amount of traction when cornering. This helps keep the vehicle stable, and it can also increase cornering speeds for performance-oriented driving.

About the Author

Alexander Eliot has been a professional writer since 2006. He holds a B.A. in English literature from the University of Cincinnati. His academic background allows him to write articles in all fields of education, as well as science and philosophy. Eliot once worked for a performance auto center, an experience he draws from to write informative articles in automotive theory, maintenance and customization.

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