In order to prove that the Acura NSX has what it takes to crush the sharpest supercars in the world, the luxury automaker will be brining the fight from mountain roads to the track. FIA race regulations require something a little more extreme than the NSXs rolling off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio, and Acura was happy to oblige.
After a near-production NSX won its North American racing debut at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the Time Attack 2 class, the company released images of the NSX GT3 racecar in action as it prepares to own race tracks across North America next year. Even though only a handful of pictures were posted, with zero interior or close-up shots, we’re getting the feeling that our hot laps in a production model up at Road America this spring were merely child’s play.
“Building on the very solid foundation of the production NSX,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, “we’re making steady progress in our development and looking forward to campaigning the GT3 racecar next year.” Here are four reasons why we think the new NSX GT3 could take it all.
1. It has a stronger and lighter suit
Sporting custom carbon fiber bodywork and aero components including a massive deck wing spoiler, underbody tray and diffuser, and whale-sized hood vents, splitters, and air dams, the downforce on this thing has to be off the charts. Acura has been tight-lipped about the differences between the NSX GT3 and the road-going model, but we expect the weight differences and performance differences to be stark.
2. The engine is based on the road-going model
The NSX GT3 racecar is powered with the same 3.5-liter, 75-degree, twin turbocharged DOHC V6 engine found in the production 2017 NSX. Attached to a six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox that only delivers power to the rear wheels, the 573-horsepower unit should carry with it legendary Honda reliability.
3. Acura has been sharpening the ax
After being assembled at the Performance Manufacturing Center (P.M.C.) in Ohio, the GT3 supercar left its birthplace to be trialed by fire at numerous tracks around the world. First concocted by the Japan race engineering arm of Acura, the NSX GT3 underwent testing at race circuits both in Europe and in Japan before being sent back home. Now on U.S. soil, the company has made it its mission to test the supercar in every race condition imaginable to prepare for the forthcoming racing season.
4. Acura has been building momentum
What started with the 1991, 1992, and 1993 IMSA Camel Lights manufacturer and driver championships, followed by 2009 American LeMans manufacturer, driver, and team championship wins in both the LMP1 and LMP2 classes, has evolved once more. Nowadays, the brand races with a pair of TLX GT racecars alongside longtime Honda specialists Real Time Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge, challenging cars from Porsche, McLaren, and Audi, just to name a few.
Then, on June 26, Ryan Eversley swept a doubleheader race weekend at Road America in the Real Time Racing TLX, offering a good omen for the rebirth of Acura’s NSX racing program.
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