A pair of coupes, plus an all-electric prototype.
The 2017 Acura NSX is going racing at Pikes Peak, marking the car’s first race debut in the U.S. A pair of specially prepared NSX coupes will attack the 12.42-mile Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26. Last year, an NSX served as a pace car at Pikes Peak.
One of the cars will enter the Time Attack 1 category, and it will receive “chassis lightening” modifications and a racing exhaust, while the other Acura NSX will be closer to factory condition -- albeit with the addition of required safety gear -- to enter the Time Attack 2 grouping. The cars will have two brothers, who are Honda engineers, behind the wheel. James Robinson, who previously campaigned an original NSX at Pikes Peak from 2012-2015, will drive the TA1 car, while his brother Nick, an engineer involved in NSX development, will pilot the TA2 entry.
Both of the cars use the standard Acura NSX powertrain, which combines a biturbo V6 gasoline engine mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, plus a rear electric motor and a “Twin Motor Unit” to provide torque vectoring and motive power for the front wheels.
While those NSX race cars are the headliners, Acura will be involved with the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in several other areas. Following on its all-electric CR-Z racing prototype from last year, Acura also plans to race an “EV Concept” that will use a four-motor electric drivetrain but with an NSX body. Though there are few details on the concept so far, Acura promises it will have three times more power than last year’s CR-Z.
Acura will also provide an NSX, an MDX crossover, and a TLX sedan as pace cars for Pikes Peak.
Gallery: 2017 Acura NSX to make U.S. racing debut at Pikes Peak
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.
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.
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.