2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car
The 2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car is a unique version of the Acura NSX that serves as the official pace car for the 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Essentially a production model fitted with pace-specific features, the 2019 NSX is the fifth consecutive Acura to pace the "Race to the Clouds." The second-gen NSX first served as the pace car for this event in 2015.
The Japanese pace car will be driven to the Pikes Peak summit by David Donner. A six-time Pikes Peak champion, Donner is also the current holder of the Time Attack 2 Production class record. The pace car will be joined by five other race entries, including two NSX cars. James Robinson will drive one in the Time Attack 1 class, while Nick Robinson will drive the second in the same category. Acura also fields the TLX GT in the Open class, the RDX A-Spec in the Exhibition class, and the MDX Sport Hybrid in the Exhibition class.
Acura Has One Hell of a Line up for the 2019 Pikes Peak Hill Climb
For the eighth consecutive year, Acura is returning to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a lineup of would-be conquerors, determined to build off the automaker’s dominant run in last year’s event when it set numerous records in multiple classes and categories. This year, Acura’s Pikes Peak lineup includes four home-grown models that will be driven by the automaker’s very own research and development engineers. A fifth car, the Acura TLX GT, will be driven by driver Peter Cunningham, who’s as motivated as anybody to eclipse the record-setting time of 9:27.352 that he set last year with that year’s version of the TLX GT. As five models aren’t enough, a separate Acura NSX will serve as the event’s resident pace car for the fifth consecutive year, having first taken that role in 2015. As other automakers have come to identify specific races as their own, it’s hard to argue against Acura staking claim to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Not only has it established numerous records in the annual race, but it has also set itself up as the dominant force in the race over the last few years. If past performances hold firm, this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb could once again turn into Acura’s very one showcase.
Acura Plans To Race Up Pikes Peak With A 400 Horsepower MDX Sport Hybrid
Known as the ’Race to the Clouds,’ the annual Pikes Peak International Hillclimb event is arguably the best well-known of its kind and one of the hardest to master. That’s why Acura is deploying a five-car time at Pikes Peak this year although we’ll be focusing on just one of them: a modified MDX Sport Hybrid three-row SUV that’s said to put out 400 horsepower without the exterior appearance (minus the Acura livery, of course) suggesting it means business.
The 12.42-mile-long strip of road that climbs all the way up to 14,115 feet and forms the course of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb was once covered in dirt from one end to the other. Then, as time went by, asphalt started replacing dirt and, now, there’s tarmac everywhere. But this hasn’t stopped all sorts of people showing in all sorts of cars which, on the face of it, seem very unfit for the (potentially deadly) challenge that is the race in Colorado. An SUV might now be the first thing that you’d bring to climb the mountain, but with there being such a big mountain for these high-riding vehicles, it’s become quite appealing for some manufacturers to show up and try to beat the SUV record. The Pikes Peak isn’t the "new" Nurburgring with everybody bragging about how fast they can go around there, but it may become soon enough.
2018 Acura ARX-05 DPi
Launched in 1986, Acura has come a long way in 30 years, evolving from a small two-car lineup into a full-fledged automaker with no fewer than six offerings in 2017. Acura also entered motorsport very early, hitting the race tracks in 1991, just five years after its launch. So far, it has raced in some of the most important motorsport series, including the SCCA, IMSA GT, and the American Le Mans, scoring class wins at Daytona and Sebring. In 2009, the brand produced its very first LMP1 prototype car, the Acura ARX-02a. Come 2017, and the Japanese firm is joining the IMSA SportsCar Championship with its latest DPi prototype, the ARX-05.
Developed for the 2018 season, the ARX-05 will join the top tier of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where it will go against Cadillac, Mazda, Ligier, and Nissan. A new team will bring together Acura Motorsports and Team Penske in an effort to win the championship against Cadillac, which has dominated the 2017 season. The multi-year DPi program will be headed by Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm for both Acura Motorsports and Honda Racing in North America. The ARX-05’s official debut will take place at the season-opening Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2018.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura ARX-05 DPi.
Acura NSX GT3 To Be Sold Globally
In case you were somehow unaware, let me be the first to tell ya – GT3 racing is an awesome spectacle. Imagine a long line of production-based competition vehicles hailing from some of the biggest names in automotive performance. Forget the V-8-powered metal shells of NASCAR and the unobtanium spaceships of Formula 1 – GT cars are actually somewhat recognizable as iterations of their street-legal counterparts, plus the requisite aero enhancements, of course. For well-heeled individuals interested in playing race car driver, the GT3 class makes for a tempting adventure, especially with all the customer racing options now offered direct from the factory. Now, Acura is sweetening the pot with this – the NSX GT3 race car, available to anyone with an extra $500,000 to burn and an insatiable need for speed.
Offered for purchase globally in anticipation of the 2018 race season, the NSX GT3 is close in spec to the street machine, but with some notable differences – for example, the hybrid AWD system was replaced with RWD and gas-only power. Honda Performance Development is taking orders now, starting at 465,000 Euros, or $546,491 at current exchange rates (07/28/2017). North American buyers are directed to browse AcuraClientRacing.com, while MUGEN2 is handling sales in Japan. Buyers in the rest of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East are advised to contact JAS Motorsport. Acura and Honda are also offering customers access to “parts and service,” as well as “training and engineering services,” if needed. Read on for more info on the car.
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Acura’s Preparing For a Full-On Onslaught at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Over the past five years, Acura has been a staple at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It’s done quite well for itself there, including last year when it sent three modified NSX supercars, scoring the Time Attack 2 win with a time of 10 minutes and 28 seconds. This year, the Honda-owned automaker will make it six years in a row at Pikes Peak, and once more, it’s bringing with it some heavy-hitting machinery, including a GT3-inspired NSX, a TLX GT racer, and a debuting TLX A-Spec racer.
All three cars will be competing in Pikes Peak, so don’t expect these machines to be run of the mill. Each have been prepared specifically to handle the rigorous hill climb, arriving at the event packing aerodynamic, engine, and suspension upgrades. Pikes Peak isn’t your typical race track after all, so you can be sure that all three cars are getting ready to stake their names in the race. Beyond having these racers, Acura’s involvement at Pikes Peak also extends to pace car duties since the company is the Official Pace Car sponsor at this year’s race. On top of that, Acura is also participating in a handful of pre-race activities to showcase all of the four-wheeled racing hardware it’s bringing to the event and hosting an MDX Rookie Orientation in the lead-up to the race. It’s going to be a busy weekend for Acura when the flags start flying on June 23.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Acura NSX GT3 Race Car
The Acura NSX went on sale just a month ago, on February 25th, 2016, with the launch of its online configurator. With that being the case, it’s pretty easy to assume that we’ve heard the last news about the NSX for a while, but then Acura decides to throw us a curve ball. It showed up at the New York Auto Show with a GT3 variant of the new Acura NSX. Along with the debut of this new model comes Acura’s intent to homologate the model as an FIA GT3 class race car this fall.
As you probably know, this isn’t Acura’s first rodeo, as it has ran campaigns in the 1991 through1993 IMSA Camel Lights championships, the 2009 American LeMans championships – in LMP1 and LMP2 classes – and is currently running a couple of TLX GT cars with Real Time Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge. Should the NSX GT3 pass its current testing with flying colors, it will partake in GT3 racing later this year.
The NSX GT3 was initially developed by Acura’s Japanese race engineering team and has already tested on various circuits in Europe and Japan. The car is now undergoing testing in Santa Clarita, California, under Honda Performance Development – Acura’s North American race engineering group. Art St. Cyr, the president of HPD, said, “The NSX was designed as a pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance, and we’re looking forward to proving out its ultimate performance capabilities in GT3 racing.” He continued, “We’ll be working with the NSX engineering teams in Ohio and Japan to bring our dream of a truly world-class new Acura NSX race car to fruition.”
Given the overall acceptance and fan base of the new Acura NSX, it’s no surprise Acura is so quick to jump on the GT3 wagon. While the NSX GT3 shares a lot of commonalities with the road-going NSX, it also features its own unique differences that make it ready to take on the GT3 class. With that said, let’s take a look at the new NSX GT3 and what it will bring to the race track later this year.
Update 07-30-2016: We’ve created a new video to cover the highlights of the new Acura NSX GT3. Let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura NSX GT3 Race Car.
Acura NSX GT3 Program on Schedule; Surprise Public Testing Session this Week
When Acura showed up at the New York Auto Show with the 2017 NSX GT3 in its booth, all of us here at TopSpeed went a little crazy. We’ve known that the plan was to homologate the car as an FIA GT3 racer this fall, and so far, it looks like everything is on schedule. In a press call today, Acura announced a number of things, including a surprise public testing session during the Pirelli World Challenge practice session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The car will be driven by Peter Kox, who has been named as the official NSX GT3 development driver and has driven various GT3 vehicles in Europe in the past. The NSX GT3 will take its turn on the 2.25-mile, 14-turn course on Thursday, July 28 and on Friday, July 29. According to Art St. Cyr – the President of Honda Performance Development, the car is “pretty much a stunner” and steady progress has been made thus far.
“Based on a very successful test program, we’re taking the next logical step in seeing how we stack-up against the competition,” Said St. Cyr. “Mid-Ohio seemed like the perfect opportunity, given the demands it places on a racecar and its proximity to NSX R&D and manufacturing.”
During the press call, it was stressed that this car isn’t in finalized form, which means there could be any number of changes before we see the finalized version, including changes to the cockpit. The car you see here in these pictures is the primary development car, so don’t expect to see Kox get too wild behind the wheel. As Art St. Cyr put it, they aren’t racing the car so they are “limiting the risk that it will get smashed up.”
2016 Acura EV Concept
Rumored ever since the first-generation model was discontinued in 2005, the new Acura NSX made its official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show after many delays. But, the wait was definitely worth it. Designed to modern standards with an aggressive exterior and sporty, yet classy interior, the second-gen NSX received a state-of-the-art drivetrain that combines a twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine, three electric motors, and a nine-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Built almost entirely from lightweight materials, the NSX is both a high-profile sports car and a full-fledged track toy for speedy weekends at the track.
In production for only a couple of months as of June 2016, the NSX has already spawned a couple of race cars specifically modified for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. With the 2016 "Race to the Clouds" just around the corner, Acura has announced that it has used the NSX as a basis for an all-electric race car as well. Dubbed EV Concept, it will be campaigned in the Electric Modified Class of the 2016 Pikes Peak. Unlike the other NSX-based racers, the EV Concept uses a different drivetrain and a further evolution of the experimental four-motor Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.
"We’ve been tuning the car for several weeks at Pikes and have advanced its performance significantly," said Tetsuya Yamano, who will be driving the NSX. "We’re honored to be running at Pikes in this historical, anniversary year – an event respected by racing fans all over the world," added the driver who campaigned last year’s CR-Z-based electric prototypes.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura EV Concept.
Acura NSX To Make North American Racing Debut At Pikes Peak
After several years of rumors and delays, the second-generation Acura NSX finally made its official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and went on sale in early 2016. With the first example having rolled off the assembly line in May, Acura is getting ready to put on a show at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Specifically, besides providing an NSX as one of official pace cars, the company will also run two specially prepped sports cars in the Time Attack classes.
The event, which celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the iconic "Race to the Clouds," will also mark the North American racing debut of the second-generation NSX.
The two vehicles will compete in the Time Attack 1 and 2 classes and will be driven by brothers James and Nick Robinson, respectively. Both are part of Acura’s North American engineering team and Nick will tackle his fifth Pikes Peak race in an Acura. Between 2012 and 2015, he drove a first-generation NSX.
Both vehicles have been modified to meet regulations in their respective classes, but changes were restricted to safety equipment, chassis lightening, and a custom, high-flow racing exhaust for the Time Attack 1 car. Other than that, and the colorful liveries, the sports cars are as stock as they get, including the hybrid drivetrain.
In addition to the NSX racers, Acura will campaign an NSX-inspired prototype vehicle in the Electric Modified Class, featuring the further evolution of the experimental, all-electric, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system that won last year’s Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition class.
The 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place on June 26.
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Honda hasn’t been shy about showing off racing versions of the upcoming 2016 Acura NSX supercar, but it seems that an actual customer race version of the car might be in the works. This would mean the car is compliant with either GT3 or GTE FIA classes of racing. It would be a way to move beyond the racing prototypes Honda has for publicity purposes now, and get into real-world track experience and feedback from customers. This is becoming a more and more regular thing for automakers, and it would keep future versions of the car competitive.
Honda, or more accurately Acura, already has a customer race car in the form of the 2015 Acura TLX-GT. This car was built specifically to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge, but this whole series is looking to undergo a rule change to bring it in line with FIA GT3 regulations, and updating the TLX-GT would be a big job for Honda; not one that would necessarily be worth it. So starting over with a new car might be a better way to go, and this new car would also then be eligible for other GT3-classes.
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For a car which only just began production, we sure have seen an awful lot of the new 2016 Acura NSX. But we don’t hear anybody complaining, and soon we’ll get another good look, as the NSX will be the official pace car of the 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This is not the full-on racing version of the car which Honda has also shown off recently, again ahead of the car hitting showrooms, and as a pace car it won’t really get to open up the throttle. But since seeing the car at all is pretty special at this stage, it’s fine if it’s not hitting its top speed.
The car will be driven by Sage Marie of American Honda Public Relations, who also has some racing experience, including two runs at Pikes Peak. The car will be prominently displayed when not actually being driven, for those in attendance to look at. Also, Honda is setting up cameras all along the course in order to post shots of the car in motion all over social media. The car’s livery is new, but the heritage black, white and red color scheme is always used for the new NSX.
Continue reading to learn more about the new Acura NSX pace car.
About a year after the introduction of the 2015 Acura TLX GT racecar, Acura got its first win in the Pirelli World Challenge series, and the luxury automaker has equally lofty expectations for its newest racecar set to commence competition in the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) series. Introduced at the New York Auto Show, the Acura ILX Endurance Racer is based on the updated 2016 Acura ILX, and it has all of the racing goodies needed to compete in one of the top semi-pro racing series in the U.S.
Acura has its sights set on winning at NASA’s flagship race, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. This race is run at the three-mile Thunderhill Raceway Park in California, and it is the longest endurance race in America.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Acura ILX NASA Endurance Racer.
Honda is bringing some awesome hardware to run up the mountain in this year’s Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. Honda has a storied history on the mountain including records for EV racers in ’94 and ’99 and last year Honda set the record for fielding the most O.E.M-sponsored vehicles in the most classes. They ran 11 cars in 10 separate classes.
This year Honda is returning to Pike’s Peak and it is bringing one of my favorite sports cars of all time, the first-gen Acura NSX. As one of the few Japanese supercars, it already deserves praise, but when you consider Honda used F1 racing legend Ayrton Senna to help design and sort the chassis, you have a true driver’s car for the ages.
It would have been amazing to see Honda field a new NSX prototype, but with the constant back and forth regarding that vehicles production, I doubt Honda even has enough parts together to create racing mule if they wanted to.
Apart from the NSX, Honda has planes to run a Fit EV, a B-Spec class Fit racer, a CBR600RR motorcycle and a TRX450 ATV in the event. Honda is also quick to point out that much of their ATV equipment is also being used by race officials to travel around the mountain.
While I am most interested in the NSX, Honda is also helping to power a Norma M20FC entrant in the Unlimited class. It looks like Honda is going all-in on Pike’s Peak, and that makes us super happy.
Click past the jump to read more about some of Honda’s Pike Peak entrants.
We are all patiently awaiting the release of the Acura NSX, which we all anticipate launching in 2015 featuring a hybrid-drive system of some sort. If you consider trying to dig up any little bit of information possible to satisfy our cravings as being ”patient.” As we wait, a report from Speed points toward Honda working on motorsport plans for its upcoming supercar as early as 2014.
Speed interviewed Steve Erickson, the vice president of Honda Performance Development (HPD), about this potential and he said “In America, there’s only a couple of sports car options for us. But certainly, I think Le Mans is ultimately where it make great sense to have a car to show its prowess. But I think it all depends on where the regulations go in the future.”
From that quote, we can only think that he is talking about entering the NSX into the American Le Man Series (ALMS), which recently announced a merger with Grand Am. The issue with the regulations is the fact that ALMS does not allow hybrid drive in its GTE class, but Grand Am had already announced that it would launch a GX class for hybrids in 2013.
So the final decision on that depends on whether the new merger adopts the GX class plans of Grand Am, or retains the ALMS ban on hybrid drive.
Another point that HPD is trying to hammer out is whether this will be a full-factory endeavor or if HPD will simply develop the cars and sell them to private customers for racing.
According to Erickson, the decision is “down to internal discussions” and they are trying to figure out “where does it make the most sense to race it?” From those two excerpts we can tell that the new NSX will see time on the race track, it’s just a matter of which race track we’ll see it on and when it will show up.
The NSX Concept unveiled by Acura at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show is powered by a VTEC 3.5-liter V6 with direct-injection combined with a built-in electric motor. The production version will be offered with exactly the same powertrain, but other versions may be coming out of the woodwork. In an interview with Autoguide, an individual involved in Honda’s motorsports efforts announced that Acura is also taking an NSX supercar under consideration and this version could be powered by a conventional gasoline engine. Before you get too excited, know that this model may only be built for racing competitions.
The same Acura insider announced that the company is aiming for a possible competition in North America, highlighting the Grand Am series as one option. However, if the company wants to race in this competition, they will have to come equipped with a gasoline engine because hybrids are not allowed to race in the series.
Acura PR manager Gary Robinson said: "we do intend to race the new NSX… it is much too early to discuss where or what the specifications might be." Robinson did, however, rather decisively shoot down the rumor, commenting that, "You can expect that any plans we make will be consistent with the concept and purpose of the car."
Speaking of ambitious car building efforts, when a team decides to go racing there is almost nothing that can sand in their way, not even having to build a complete race car from scratch. When Patrón Highcroft racing driver Scott Sharp totaled his Acura ARX-02a LMP1 car heading into turn 3 during a practice session for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the fun loving tequila drinking team was faced with that very task. After making sure that Sharp was still on point and stripping the wrecked Acura for whatever was still race worthy, all that the Acura racing team could do was wait.
The brand new carbon fiber tub arrived directly from Honda’s Performance Development center in California at the racetrack in Atlanta, Georgia at 9:30 AM on Friday morning and after 15 and a half hours of non stop wrenching, the ARX-02a’s 4.0 Liter V8 was fired at around 1:00 AM the next day. About six hours later the Acura took the shape of an LMP car and was on the track and race ready by 9:45 AM Saturday morning. It might have been a tall order, but remember what we said about how nothing can keep a racing team from competing.
Crash video after the jump.