Two specially prepped hybrids will compete in the Time Attack class

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.

Continue reading to learn more about the story.

Why it matters

Acura NSX To Make North American Racing Debut At Pikes Peak High Resolution Exterior
- image 679052

Production cars and racing technology have been going hand in hand for several decades and it’s not surprising that Acura is using the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to showcase its most spectacular road-going sports car yet. While some might argue that Acura should’ve settled for a Nurburgring record attempt, which would’ve been quite popular with enthusiasts, we think the company made the right choice by signing up for one of the most difficult motorsport events in the world. Pikes Peak is the kind of race that puts a sports car through its paces, and if the NSX manages to climb up the hill and post a good result, it will prove that its race-spec configuration is more than just PR talk.

Acura NSX

2016 Acura NSX High Resolution Exterior
- image 640464

Read our full review on the Acura NSX here.

Press Release

Acura will field a pair of 2017 Acura NSX supercars in the 100th Anniversary of the running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26, marking the North American racing debut of Acura’s next-generation NSX: the pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance and the only supercar made in America.

Acura NSX To Make North American Racing Debut At Pikes Peak High Resolution Exterior
- image 679052

The two Acura NSX supercars will compete in the Time Attack 1 and 2 classes and will be piloted by brothers James and Nick Robinson, respectively, both from the company’s North American engineering team. In addition, Acura will campaign an NSX-inspired prototype vehicle in the Electric Modified Class, featuring a further evolution of the experimental all-electric, 4-motor Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) powertrain that won last year’s Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition class.

"Pikes Peak is like no other race in the world and offers a unique opportunity to showcase the power and performance of our products," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura Division. "We are excited for this year’s ’Race to the Clouds’ to test the endurance and engineering of the Acura NSX and our advanced powertrain technologies – as well as an expression of our racing spirit."

A team of North American R&D engineers has been working on both NSX entries, which feature the same three-motor Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive powertrain (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD) as the production NSX. This powertrain features a twin-turbo V6 engine mated to a 9-speed dual clutch transmission and Rear Direct Drive Motor, and a front Twin Motor Unit with a world’s first electrically powered torque vectoring capability in the supercar realm. Modifications to the NSX competing in the Time Attack 1 class included chassis lightening and a custom high-flow racing exhaust.

The NSX competing in the Time Attack 2 class is a production car with the required safety equipment for competition. The Time Attack 1 NSX will be driven by James Robinson of the company’s North American powertrain development group, who drove a first-generation NSX in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb from 2012 to 2015. His brother Nick Robinson, an engineer in charge of the new NSX’s dynamic performance during its development, will drive the Time Attack 2 NSX. Nick is also the reigning PP250 winner from the 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

Acura NSX To Make North American Racing Debut At Pikes Peak High Resolution Exterior
- image 679053

The supercar-inspired 4-Motor EV Concept will be driven by Tetsuya Yamano, who campaigned last year’s CR-Z-based electric prototype. The EV Concept is the ultimate embodiment of the all-wheel-drive Electric SH-AWD powertrain featuring a world’s first technology that enables four-wheel independent torque allocation. The Electric SH-AWD powertrain, an evolution of the CR-Z prototype powertrain, produces three times the total system output of last year’s electric prototype and is mated to the NSX body.

As Official Pace Car sponsor, Acura will feature three pace cars – the NSX, the seven-passenger MDX performance-luxury SUV and the TLX sports sedan. President of Polyphony Digital and Producer of the Gran Turismo series Kazunori Yamauchi and Pikes Peak legends Randy Schranz and Leonard Vahsholtz will lead the field of 100 entrants to the top of the 14,115-foot Colorado peak.

For Pikes Peak race attendees, the NSX and other pace cars will appear at a number of pre-race activities, including the popular Fan Fest in downtown Colorado Springs, 5 to 10 p.m. MDT Friday, June 24.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: