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Acura Confirms 2023 LMDh Program

Acura Confirms 2023 LMDh Program

The brand is set to continue in IMSA with the partnership with ORECA likely to be renewed

Acura, Honda’s North American luxury brand that’s been active in the world of sportscar racing and beyond for years, will continue being a part of the scenery in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship’s prototype class for years to come with the automaker formally announcing today that it will build a car to the new-for-2023 LMDh ruleset. The car, as ever a product of Honda Performance Development (HPD) will debut in 2023 and will likely face Porsche, Audi, and GM products on the track, although Acura hasn’t spoken yet of the chances of running at Le Mans.

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The Acura NSX Sets Pikes Peak Record for Hybrid Production Cars

The Acura NSX Sets Pikes Peak Record for Hybrid Production Cars

Race-spec versions of the 2021 TLX also did well in the Race to the Clouds

Acura has been in peak form at the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The Japanese automaker showed up at Race to the Clouds with a 2019 NSX and a pair of race-spec 2021 TLX sedans to make a statement in a highly competitive field. Consider that mission accomplished as the NSX, with driver James Robinson behind the wheel, set a new record for production hybrid models with a time of 10:01.913. The new record is 0.5 seconds quicker than the old record, which Robinson also set in 2018 with a 2017 NSX. The pair of 2021 TLX sedans also performed well, finishing fifth and sixth in the Exhibition class with drivers Jordan Guitar and Justin Lombard piloting the race-prepped sedans.

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2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car

2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car

Acura paces the Race to the Clouds for the fifth time in a row

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.

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Acura Has One Hell of a Line up for the 2019 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Acura Has One Hell of a Line up for the 2019 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

It’s hard to imagine another automaker or a race team beating this kind of lineup

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.

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Acura Plans To Race Up Pikes Peak With A 400 Horsepower MDX Sport Hybrid

Acura Plans To Race Up Pikes Peak With A 400 Horsepower MDX Sport Hybrid

When you picture cars designed for hillclimbing, an SUV that can seat seven will never cross your mind

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.

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Take A Ride Around Laguna Seca In An Acura NSX GT3 Race Car: Video

Take A Ride Around Laguna Seca In An Acura NSX GT3 Race Car: Video

Climb onboard for a few flying laps down the Corkscrew

When Acura revealed the second-generation NSX at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, we were smitten. Sporting a hybrid 3.5-liter V-6 boosted by two turbochargers and no less than three electric motors, the new NSX carries the torch of its predecessor as a high-tech ground-bound spaceship capable of warp speed on the track. As such, we think it made perfect sense for Acura to offer a competition-spec iteration. Honed by Honda Performance Development, the NSX GT3 builds on the baseline of its street-going sibling with more aggressive aerodynamics, a stripped down interior, hardcore suspension bits, and nearly 600 horsepower at the rear axle via a six-speed sequential transmission. The advanced AWD system was ditched to meet homologation standards, and the result is a car that’s more raw, more brutal, and more in your face than ever before. It’s the perfect fit for tackling a beast like California’s Laguna Seca race track, as evidenced by this onboard footage from our friends over at Racer.

Shot from the driver’s helmet point of view, the five-minute clip was taken during testing for the 8 Hours of California endurance race set to take place this weekend. At the helm is Acura factory driver Ryan Eversley, who wheels the NSX around the challenging circuit with precision and unflappable poise, blasting around slower traffic with relative ease. All very impressive stuff, and we can’t wait to see where the Acura team will end up when the checkered flag flies this weekend.

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2018 Acura ARX-05 DPi

2018 Acura ARX-05 DPi

Is Cadillac finally getting a worthy rival?

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.

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Acura NSX GT3 To Be Sold Globally

Acura NSX GT3 To Be Sold Globally

Wanna go racing in a Japanese rocket ship? Now’s your chance

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

Acura’s Preparing For a Full-On Onslaught at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Three spec racers from Honda-owned automaker will be competing in the 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.

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2017 Acura NSX GT3 Race Car

2017 Acura NSX GT3 Race Car

Acura hopes to homologate the NSX into the GT3 race class by fall of this year

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.

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Why Acura Needs to Build a Road-Legal Version of the NSX GT3

Why Acura Needs to Build a Road-Legal Version of the NSX GT3

Because awesomeness, that’s why!

The return of the Acura NSX means more than just having a second-generation model of one of the greatest sports car ever built. The new NSX also means that Acura is finally committed to offering high-performance hybrid drivetrains, as well as returning to high-profile motorsports. The latter will be achieved through the NSX GT3, an all carbon-fiber race car unlike anything the luxury company has built so far.

The second-gen NSX will also spawn a higher-performance model, the Type R, which should be downright amazing, but I think that Acura shouldn’t stop here. Now that it has a proper sports car for the road and what’s appears to be a potent race car for the track, Acura should take things up a notch provide us with a road-going version of the FIA-spec GT3.

It might sound a bit ludicrous given that the Type R will be a significant step up in terms of performance and looks, but in today’s market an extreme, track-ready model is mandatory for a company like Acura. And, here’s why.

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2017 Acura NSX GT Car

2017 Acura NSX GT Car

Even though it hasn’t hit the streets yet, the 2016 Acura NSX is already in its second season of competition in the GT500 class of Japan’s Super GT series (where it races as a Honda), and now it’s looking increasingly likely that the NSX could race elsewhere, in either the GT3 or GTE classes or possibly both. But to understand Honda’s intentions, it’s also important to understand the sometimes confusing world of GT racing.

GT racing is currently in the middle of renaissance, and Honda isn’t the only company getting in on the action. The FIA’s GT3 class in particular has exploded in popularity, with countless series in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. There are no factory teams. Instead, the cars are sold directly to racing teams, but the corporate proxy battle between Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Lamborghini, Nissan and McLaren has been raging for years, with Bentley and Lexus joining the fray more recently. The cars are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain, which makes them ideal for privateer teams.

The FIA GTE class, on the other hand, is more often the reserve of factory-backed racing teams, and includes the 2014 Chevy Corvette C7.Rs and 2013 Porsche 911 RSRs that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the GTLM class in the United SportsCar Series. Despite having a similar appearance, they’re more complex and expensive than GT3 cars. They’re thought to be bit quicker too, but that’s far from certain, since the two classes rarely compete at the same venue.

Sportscar365 recently asked Honda Performance Development VP and COO Steve Erikson where he thought the NSX GT will end up. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” said Eriksen. “It was one of the reasons I was at a recent race at Road America, to try and get a sense of what the options are and how well those options fit with American Honda’s plans of promoting the car.”

Acura currently runs its 2015 Acura TLX-GT in the Pirelli World Challenge series. Several GT3 cars currently compete in the series, but it’s slated to adopt full GT3 rules for the 2016 season, which would make the all-wheel-drive TLX-GT ineligible. With a new GT3 spec NSX, the company could continue to compete in that series and potentially even sell a few to customer teams. A GTE NSX, on the other hand, would be eligible to compete in high-profile endurance races, like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other World Endurance Championship rounds.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into what we might expect from an NSX GT race car.

Continue reading to learn more about the Acura NSX GT Car.

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Acura Plans To Develop NSX GT Car For 2017

Acura Plans To Develop NSX GT Car For 2017

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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