Hype: Acura To Race The 2017 NSX On Pikes Peak

The new NSX has been a bit polarizing to say the least.  Some love it while others aren’t so impressed.  Though despite opinions, the new NSX is Acura’s performance flagship and they fully intend on treating it as such.  Today Acura announced that the 2017 NSX will make its motorsport debut this year at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC).  Acura is bringing not just one but four NSXs total to the event.  Two of them will be production models with motorsport safety equipment installed and they will take on Time Attack Classes 1 & 2 respectively.

The third NSX is technically not an NSX but “NSX inspired.”   What does that mean and why did I say NSX so much?  Allow me to explain.  The third car is an all electric vehicle which will have 4 electric motors on a SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) chassis but with its exterior shell modeled after the NSX.  Honda took the same style EV chassis to Pikes Peak last year but with a CRZ body.  The fourth NSX will be a completely stock model (though probably with some graphics and lights) and will serve as one of the official pace cars of the event.

I’m personally looking forward to watching the new NSX charge up the hill and pretty curious as to how well it will do.  Will all the electronics that some reviewers complained about help the NSX tackle the hill and set a record?  We’ll find out later this month I suppose.  For now you can check out the official pictures of the NSX race cars below as well as Acura’s press release which details their involvement in the 2016 PPIHC.

Gallery:

Press Release:

Jun 9, 2016 – TORRANCE, Calif.

  • Two Acura NSX supercars and a new NSX-inspired, all-electric 4-motor SH-AWD Concept will compete in the 100th anniversary of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb  
  • Acura NSX, MDX and TLX will serve as official pace cars

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.

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