They share 80 percent of the same components, but the last 20 percent is significant.
In an effort to highlight the close similarities and major differences between the Honda NSX road car and NSX GT3 Evo racer, the brand puts them both on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the U.S. to see which sets the quicker lap. This test isn't as absurd as it first appears after you see how much more quickly the road-going machine can hit 60 mph than its track-spec counterpart.
Gallery: Honda NSX versus NSX GT3 Evo
At their most basic level, the two cars have a lot in common, including the space frame, engine, and production location in Marysville, Ohio. They share 80 percent of their components, but the devil is in the details. Racing regulations mean that the GT3 Evo can't use the road car's three-motor hybrid system, which also means that the track version is rear-drive only. Instead of a nine-speed dual-clutch, the racer packs a six-speed sequential gearbox. In addition, the GT3 uses iron brake discs and can't equip the optional carbon-ceramic pieces from the showroom-spec variant.
Where the GT3 Evo excels is that the stripped out interior, carbon fibre panels, and other tweaks let it weigh hundreds of pounds less than the road car. Revised aerodynamics let it produce around five times more downforce, too.
When lapping Mid-Ohio, the differences are immediately obvious. The road car might have all-wheel drive, a hybrid powertrain, and more power, but that doesn't make up for the GT3 Evo's track-honed preparation. Trent Hindman is behind the wheel of them both here, and as current IMSA GTD Class Drivers’ Championship leader behind the wheel of the NSX, so he is very familiar with how the car handles.
Road Car vs. Race Car: Acura Pits NSX Supercar Against Racing Counterpart, the NSX GT3 Evo
o New video from Acura starring racer Trent Hindman highlights similarities and differences of production NSX and race-bred NSX GT3 Evo
o NSX and NSX GT3 Evo each get their start in Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center and share around 80 percent of their component parts
Acura and the NSX GT3 Evo currently lead the IMSA GTD Manufacturers’ Championship; Hindman leads the Drivers’ Championship
TORRANCE, Calif., July 10, 2019—A new video from Acura explores the relationship between the Acura NSX supercar and its race-winning counterpart, the NSX GT3 Evo. Currently #1 in the IMSA GT Daytona (GTD) point standings, NSX GT3 Evo driver Trent Hindman of Meyer Shank Racing demonstrates the distinctive approaches to performance of the two cars in 0-60 runs, braking tests, ease-of-use evaluations and, of course, ultimate lap times at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The production NSX showcases its strengths as a supercar designed to run with the world’s best exotics, while the NSX GT3 Evo demonstrates its chops as a purpose-built, razor-sharp race machine. Hindman’s conclusion: the NSX was born to be made into a brilliant race car.
Born to Race
One glance tells you the production NSX and NSX GT3 have much in common. After all, GT competition standards require race cars to maintain much of the same exterior character of their production counterparts. But the similarities are much more than skin deep. In fact, while the two are actually uniquely skinned – the production model with aluminum and composite panels, the GT3 dressed predominantly in exposed carbon fiber – they share more than 80-percent of their underlying component parts, reflecting the fact that racing was an essential part of the plan from the earliest stages of the NSX development.
“We knew from the outset that the second generation NSX would be tested at the highest limits on track,” said Ted Klaus, who served as global development leader for the second generation NSX and was recently named president of Honda Performance Development, the North American race engineering arm of Acura Motorsports. “Competitive racing was an essential consideration during NSX development, which influenced critical decisions we made regarding the car’s fundamental design.”
A Foundation for Speed
The largest and most foundational shared component is the NSX’s ultra-rigid, lightweight, aluminum-intensive space frame, which the GT3 uses in competition without significant modification. In designing the NSX body structure, engineers were keenly aware that exceptional rigidity was essential to the performance of NSX, enabling its sharp and immediate responses to driver inputs and amplifying the capacities of its hybrid power unit and electric torque vectoring system.
The NSX and NSX GT3 Evo space frames are constructed at Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio. The PMC is the first plant in the automotive world to utilize 100-percent robotic MIG welding for body construction. In this unique approach, eight high-precision robots are used in concert with specially designed rotisserie-style jigs to apply 860 MIG welds with incredible precision. The PMC also monitors quality variances in the space frame’s tolerance down to the width of a human hair.
A Tale of Two Power Units
A next generation supercar is worthy of a next generation powertrain. The NSX road car combines a bespoke 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and world’s only 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with a three motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, working in concert to produce 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. Unlike other hybrid supercars, not only is electric power used to fill the “torque well” of a turbocharged engine, the NSX’s front-mounted Twin Motor Unit (TMU) is capable of delivering both positive and negative torque independently to the front wheels. In this respect, the production NSX stands alone in the universe of supercars past and present: the only exotic using electric motors to enhance every element of dynamic performance – acceleration, braking and cornering.
By contrast, the NSX GT3 Evo, in keeping with the rear-drive-only requirement of GT3 competition, eschews the production model’s hybrid componentry, relying solely on a lightly modified version of the production model’s 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine. Like the NSX body, the NSX’s bespoke engine was designed from the outset to support racing applications, and the GT3 engine is remarkably similar to its street-able counterpart, using the same design specifications as the engine in the production NSX, including the block, heads, valvetrain, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. The race engine is paired with a six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox, delivering power to the rear wheels. Both the NSX road and race engines are meticulously hand assembled by a small group of master technicians in a purpose-built facility at the company’s engine manufacturing plant in Anna, Ohio.
NSX GT3 Winning Globally
Since its debut in early 2017, the NSX GT3 and GT3 Evo have tackled some of the world's most iconic GT races, including the 24 Hours of Daytona and Spa; the 12 Hours of Sebring; Petit Le Mans; and the FIA GT World Cup in Macau. Currently, the NSX GT3 Evos campaigned by Meyer Shank Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship lead the points for both Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships in the GTD class. In the Blancpain GT World Challenge America series, the NSX GT3 Evo has earned six pro-am wins with three different teams (3-Racers Edge, 2-RealTime Racing, 1-Gradient Racing). Around the world, the NSX GT3 Evo driven by Autobacs Racing Team (ARTA) leads the GT300 class in the Japanese Super GT series with two podium finishes. Additionally, the NSX GT3 Evo has competed in the Blancpain GT Series Asia, China GT Championship, select events in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Blancpain GT Sports Club and GT Series in Europe, and the ADAC GT Masters in Germany.
About Trent Hindman
At 23 years old, Trent Hindman has already enjoyed an enviable racing career. Beginning at age eight racing karts at a local and regional level, the New Jersey native eventually developed into a national karting champion by 2008. In 2010, he made the transition into racing formula cars, ultimately becoming a recipient of the Team USA Scholarship in 2011, followed by a top-five run in the 2012 USF2000 championship. From there, Hindman graduated to sports car racing, and in 2014 became the youngest driver to win a Michelin Pilot Challenge championship at just 19 years old. Hindman joined Meyer Shank Racing for three races in 2018, driving the NSX GT3 to second-place finishes at Daytona and Petit Le Mans. This year, Hindman and co-driver Mario Farnbacher currently lead the IMSA GTD driver’s championship, fresh off a recent victory at Watkins Glen.
NSX NSX GT3 Evo
Starting MSRP: $157,500 / €465,000 (Approx. $525,000)
Engine: Twin Turbo 3.5 Liter 75° V6 ß
Transmission: 9-Speed DCT / 6-Speed Sequential
Electric Motors: 3 / -
Drivetrain: SH-AWD® / RWD
Total System HP / Torque: 573 / 476 / 550 / 475
Est. Acceleration 0-60: 2.92 secs / 4.35 secs
Body Structure: Aluminum Intensive Multi Material ß / Race Ready Roll Cage 25CrMo TIG Welded
Exterior Body Panels: Aluminum and Composite / Carbon Fiber
Brakes: Brembo Steel Rotors FR: 368 mm / RR: 361 mm
Optional: Brembo Carbon Ceramic - FR: 381 mm / RR: 361 mm
/ Brembo Steel Rotors: FR: 390 mm / RR: 355 mm
Wheels: Forged Aluminum FR: 19” x 8.5” / RR: 20” x 11”
/ Center Locking, Forged Aluminum FR: 18” x 12” / RR: 18” x 13”
Tires: Continental Sport Contact 6 FR: 245/35-19 / RR: 305/30-20
Optional: Pirelli Trofeo R
/ Brand varies with Race Series FR: 315/46-18 / RR: 325/48-18
Wheelbase: 2,630 mmß
Overall Length: 4,470 mm / 4,612 mm
Overall Width: 2,217 mm (w/ mirrors) / 2,040 mm (w/o mirrors)
Front Track: 1,655 mm / 1,715 mm
Rear Track: 1,618 mm / 1,687 mm
Weight: 3,878 lbs. / Est. 2,800 lbs.
Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to Evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX premium luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the five-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America's all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV, and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar.
Five of the six Acura models sold in North America are made in central Ohio, using domestic and globally-sourced parts, including the ILX and TLX luxury sports sedans (Marysville Auto Plant), the RDX and MDX luxury SUVs (East Liberty Auto Plant) and the Acura NSX supercar, which is built to order at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.
Additional media information including pricing, features & specifications and high-resolution photography is available at AcuraNews.com. Consumer information is available at Acura.com. Follow Acura on social media at Acura.us/SocialChannels.
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 Using domestic and globally sourced parts.
 Maximum Total System Power and Torque
 Final USD currency conversion pricing established at contract signing; Ex Works JAS Ex Works JAS Motorsport Arluno MI, Italy
 Actual vehicle race weight varies per series regulations