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2017 Honda NSX-GT

2017 Honda NSX-GT

The race-spec NSX gets updates for 2017 Super GT season

The second-generation Acura NSX (Honda NSX outside the U.S.) made its global debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and entered production much later, in May 2016. Even though the actual road car was launched for the 2017 model year, it was preceded by a concept car in 2014 and was advertised as early as 2012. In 2014, the first NSX hit the track in Japan, in the form of a GT500-spec racer for the Super GT series.

Essentially a beefed-up version of the road car with a comprehensive aero kit to help with downforce and cornering, the Honda NSX-GT replaced the HSV-010 GT, which in turn replaced the first-generation NSX. Honda’s new race car scored its first win during its maiden season, but ended 2014 with only two victories in a championship dominated by Nismo. A similar scenario followed in 2015, with Autobacs Racing Team Aguri and Team Kunimitsu bringing Honda two wins. Nismo once again won the championship with the Nissan GT-R.

In 2016, things took a turn for the worse, with the Honda NSX-GT failing to win during the six events of the season. With two races left on the calendar by the end of the year, Honda has already unveiled a new car for the 2017 season. Although based on the same NSX, the revised race car brings significant changes on the outside, mainly due to the new regulations introduced for 2017. Join me in my review to find out what sets the new NSX-GT apart from its forerunner.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Honda NSX-GT.

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2016 Honda Civic Red Bull GRC

2016 Honda Civic Red Bull GRC

New season, new car for title-hungry Olsbergs MSE team

The Global Rallycross may not have the prestige of Formula One or the following of NASCAR, but it sure has made a name for itself as one of the most exciting racing series in the world. A handful of automakers, including Ford, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Chevrolet already have racers that compete in the series, and for the 2016 season, another one is joining in on the fun.

Honda is entering the fold this season as the new race car provider of the Red Bull Olsbergs MSE team, considered in the Rallycross circle as the most accomplished team in the series’ short history, having won four of the series’ first five championships. In fact, the only one it lost was the 2015 title, which likely brought about the change in race cars. Whatever its reasons are, Olsbergs MSE has traded the Fiesta ST as the team’s official racer for the Honda Civic Red Bull GSR.

The race car is essentially a loosely based version of the production Civic Coupe. It’s been completely recalibrated by Olsbergs and Honda Performance Division for rallycross use, right down to the prevalent use of Red Bull livery. 2014 GRC champion Joni Wiman and 2015 runner-up Sebastian Eriksson will once again race for Olsbergs MSE. While they did have a lot of success with the Fiesta ST, they’re going to be entering the opening round of the 2016 Red Bull GRC in Phoenix, Arizona with a new car that the team hopes can vault its drivers back to the top of the championship standing.

The 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season starts off in May 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Civic Red Bull GRC.

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2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC

2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC

Having lost the 2014 British Touring Car Championship to MG, Honda Racing Team returns to the series with a new race car based on the newly launched Civic Type R. The beefed-up hatchback replaces last year’s Civic Tourer model, which became the first wagon to win a BTCC event. Unveiled during testing at the Brands Hatch track, the new Civic Type R race car will be driven by Gordon Shedden, the 2012 champion, and Matt Neal, a three-time BTCC winner, meaning Honda will retain the same driver lineup for the sixth consecutive season.

Honda Racing had very few details to share about its new race car, but the Japanese manufacturer has high hopes for 2015. "Our car for 2015 is going to win races. The shape of the new road going Civic Type R has allowed the team to build on the design and take it forward to be a championship winning car," said Barry Plowman, technical director at Honda Yuasa Racing.

The unveiling of the new BTCC-spec car comes to confirm Honda won’t pull out of the series, as it has been initially rumored due to its Formula 1 entry with McLaren. Honda will be looking to win its fifth BTCC championship. The Japanese achieved their previous four wins between 2010 and 2013.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Civic Type R BTCC.

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2015 Honda Indy Car Aero Kit

2015 Honda Indy Car Aero Kit

Having switched to a common chassis supplied by Dallara starting 2012, the IndyCar series seemed to move toward becoming an increasingly restricted sport due to the sanctioning body’s new cost-control methods. But after three years of acquiring both chassis and aero kits from Dallara, IndyCar finally allowed manufacturers, until now commissioned only as engine suppliers, to develop their own body packages. As a result, both Chevrolet and Honda spent most of 2014 working on aero kits to replace the previous DW12 kit, the results of which have been presented ahead of the new IndyCar season.

With Chevrolet-powered teams having been introduced to their new aero kits in February, Honda has now revealed its own aerodynamic package, which will grace the bodies of no fewer than 13 cars throughout 2015. Six teams will receive the aero kit ahead of the season’s opening race on March 29th: A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Andretti Autosport, Bryan Herta Autosport, Dale Coyne Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Schidt Peterson Motorsports. Will Honda have what it takes to prevent Chevy from winning yet another manufacturer’s championship?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Honda Indy Car Aero Kit.

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2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car

2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 Car

Much like Ferrari, the oldest surviving and the most successful team in the history of Formula One, McLaren started as a race-car manufacturer long before it began making road cars. Founded in 1963 as Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, the team joined F1 as a works entry in 1966. It has since competed in every single season of the series as of 2014, winning eight constructor’s championships and no fewer than 182 wins. Statistically, McLaren is second only to Ferrari when it comes to race starts, total wins, podium finishes, pole positions, fastest laps, and championship points, making it one of the most prominent names in the single-seat auto racing scene. Despite this, the British have not won the constructor’s title since 1998, but scoring podium finishes on 12 occasions through 2012. Both 2013 and 2014 were rather disappointing, with McLaren finishing fifth without scoring a single win. This bitter drought could come to an end in 2015, when McLaren tackles the F1 season with a brand-new chassis and an all-new hybrid powertrain.

While all engine manufacturers developed new power units for the 2014 season, McLaren had to wait until 2015 to benefit from Honda’s return to the sport as a powerplant supplier after a ten-year hiatus. The new alliance is of great historic importance, as it reunites the entities that won four back-to-back world championships between 1988 and 1991. It all began at the end of the iconic Turbo Era and continued well into the 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated engine period, when McLaren had two of the greatest drivers in history: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

The partnership between McLaren and Honda ended in 1992, when Honda retired only to return with BAR and Jordan between 2000 and 2005. Meanwhile, McLaren continued with Ford and Peugeot engines for two seasons before turning to Mercedes for a partnership that lasted two decades. Come 2015, McLaren hopes to win its first championship in 16 years using power from Honda’s first F1 engine since 2005. The hybrid powerplant was developed alongside a new single-seater, the MP4-30, with refined aerodynamics, a new nose-box solution and revised livery. Keep reading for the full rundown on McLaren’s all-new Formula One contender.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Race Car.

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2015 Honda Fit HPD B-Spec Concept Race Car

2015 Honda Fit HPD B-Spec Concept Race Car

B-spec racing has steadily grown in popularity as a relatively inexpensive way of getting started in the world of SCCA club racing. The cars are light, compact, and, with the exception of the requisite safety equipment and a few performance tweaks, are basically showroom-stock. Manufacturers including Mini, Mazda, Kia and Honda have all jumped in the B-spec pool, and with a new Fit on the way, Honda looks like its getting ready to recommit.

Built for SEMA by Honda Performance Development, who also builds Honda’s prototype racers for the TUDOR United SportsCar Series, the 2015 Honda Fit HPD B-SPEC Concept Race Car is just about everything you would need to get your foot in the door to go amateur racing. Engine modifications adhere to class rules and are limited to an HPD air filter, HPD air-conditioning delete belt and HPD stainless-steel cat-back exhaust.

Things start to get really racy with the chassis. An HPD coil-over kit with race springs soaks up the bumps, and HPD stainless-steel brake lines and brake pads reign in the that 1.5-liter four-banger. The TR Motorsports C1 wheels are shod in BF Goodrich R1 racing tires.

The interior is almost unrecognizable, because, well, most of it isn’t there. The stock dash remains mostly intact, but that’s about it. The rest is pure, stripped-out race car stuff. A very serious looking Sparco racing seat provides both lateral stability and protection, and a Schroth driver restraint harness keeps the driver securely fastened. Then there’s the quick-release steering wheel, and six-point roll cage that provides additional chassis rigidity and rollover protection.

On paper, this Honda Fit B-spec racer is just a concept, but we would expect to see something very close hitting tracks around North America very soon. In all, this thing looks like a blast, and I, for one, can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than banging fenders with other underpowered subcompacts on the track.

Click past the jump to read more about the Honda Fit HPD B-Spec Concept Race Car.

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2014 Honda S3700 by Honda Performance Development

2014 Honda S3700 by Honda Performance Development

The Honda S2000 debuted in 2000 and harked back to Honda’s sports cars of years past, including the S500, S600, and S800. The S2000 was a tuner’s dream, as it weighed just 2,800 pounds, had 240 horses and a chassis that was on par with the Miata. The unfortunate side of the original S2000 was that the horsepower didn’t peak until 8,300 and it could only muster up 153 pound-feet of torque. By time the 2009 model year rolled around, the S2000 had run its course and went the way of the dodo bird, but not before Honda Performance Development decided to add a lot more displacement to the roadster’s engine compartment as an experiment.

With a 3.7-liter, V-6 engine HPD presents the creatively named S3700. This V-6 engine a production unit that was sourced from the Acura lineup. In its home engine bay, this engine developed 300 to 305 horsepower and 273 to 275 pound-feet of twist, depending on the application, but Honda failed to reveal what the output is for this Pikes Peak racer. I did learn that back in 2009 when HPD built the first S3700, it had a 9.55-to-1 power to weight ratio. Given the 2,825-pound weight of the original S3700, my math says that this engine produced 296 horsepower. It’s safe to assume that this version of the S3700 will retain that output.

We only have a single image to show you, but as you can see, this Pikes Peak racer dons a white base coat with a red racing stripe down the driver side of the car. Also present it a hefty bulge in its hood to make room for the larger, V-6 engine and large lip spoiler under the nose.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com and we’ll bring you new details as HPD reveals them.

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2014 Honda Performance Development ARX-04b LMP2 Coupe

2014 Honda Performance Development ARX-04b LMP2 Coupe

Seen on various race tracks all over the world since 2012, in both LMP1 and LMP2 specifications, Honda’s ARX-03 prototype will retire at the end of the 2014 season. The news comes straight from Honda Performance Development (HPD), who has announced that a new iteration will be introduced for 2015.

To roll out under the ARX-04b name, the LMP2 racer is built on the same successful HPD recipe, and comes with the HR28TT engine under its lightweight hood. The 2.8-liter, V6 unit is based on the J35 engine found in many Acura road vehicles and relies on a pair of turbochargers for extra oomph.

As with many motorsport updates, the new racer features a lighter body, improved aerodynamics and a gearbox that can be tweaked to support many track configurations. The fuel tank, which benefits from Honda’s innovative refueling safety interlock system, now has a capacity of 75 liters (19.8 gallons).

Naturally, the race car was built with the latest ACO LMP2 and IMSA regulations in mind, including a cost-capped chassis, and will be eligible for all competitions governed by the said bodies. Just like its predecessor, the ARX-04b was co-developed by HPD and U.K.-based Wirth Research, a technical joint-venture that has spawned numerous IndyCar, American Le Mans and World Endurance Championship achievements.

Customers that will rely on the ARX-04b LMP2 starting next season will also benefit from HPD’s technical assistance, simulator sessions and data-logging options, along with other additional features that will be available for purchase.

Click past the jump to read more about the Honda Performance Development ARX-04b LMP2 Coupe.

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