The Acura brand, owned by Honda, will take part in the prestigious American Pike Peak mountain race in Colorado. At the competition will exhibit four different models of cars: a hybrid supercar NSX, a couple of TLX sedans and even a crossover RDX.
From the four of Acuras factory assemblies, which will go in the current race, the most serious is the TLX GT sedan. The car of the open class makes related with the serial sedan only the appearance and the central part of the body. The full-wheel drive is built by the team of RealTime Racing, and the owner of the team and the pilot Peter Cunningham sit behind the wheel. All the other machines are much closer to the serial equipment, and prepared by the engineers of the American division of Honda.
The entire front part of the TLX GT sedan is assembled on a tubular stretcher, the suspension design is completely original, and the V6 3.5 engine with a power of about 600 horsepower is installed longitudinally (on a production machine – transversely) and connected to the Xtrac racing transmission. Last year, Cunningham on the same machine crossed the track in 9 minutes and 33,797 seconds, winning the Open class and finishing second in the absolute standings.
Similar looks TLX A-Spec sedan with a huge wing and front splitter is, in fact, a mass-produced car, the engine of which was forced by turbocharging, and the transmission was supplemented with a self-locking differential. The V6 3.5 engine develops about 500 horsepower. The exhibition will be driven by the car of the Honda engineer Nick Robinson, who performed at the Pikes Peak five times already.
The Acura NSX has much more in common with the serial supercar of the same name, so it was classified to the democratic class Time Attack 1. The car retained the body and the hybrid power unit almost unchanged. But the V6 3.5 engine was equipped with turbochargers of increased productivity, the body was lightened, and the aerodynamic tail was completed with a huge wing and a splitter under the front bumper. Behind the wheel of the coupe will sit another Honda engineer James Robinson (brother Nick Robinson), who had previously participated in the Pikes Peak eight times.
The strangest of the trio of race cars will be the Acura RDX crossover. The power of the two-liter engine was raised with a more efficient turbocharger (from 272 to 350 hp), supplementing it with a “soft hybrid” system with an electric supercharger. The transmission is left completely serial: it is a ten-speed automatic transmission and the next evolution of the full-drive Honda system SH-AWD. The only difference is the modified software, giving more time to the rear wheels. The crossover was attributed to the class Exhibition. And behind the wheel sits a newcomer “Pikes Peak” Jordan Guitar – amateur rally driver and Honda engineer, responsible for brake systems.
“Pikes Peak” is one of the oldest auto-suits in the world. Participants of the “Race to the clouds” storm 20 km serpentine, consisting of 156 turns, which leads to the top of the eponymous mountain. The start is usually given at an altitude of 2,860 meters above sea level, the finish is at an altitude of 4300 meters. Now the road is entirely covered with asphalt, but as early as the nineties there was simply a rolled up primer.
Since 1916, there have been a number of first-rate motor sport stars: the three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Anser, the Formula One champion Mario Andretti, the rally legend Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen and Sebastien Loeb. Pikes Peak also has its own legends – for example, the owner of the record route New Zealander Rod Millen or the Japanese Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajim, who for more than twenty years acted on two-engine prototypes Suzuki own design. For the last thirty years, teams with factory support have been fighting for victory: Audi, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Suzuki, Toyota and Acura have been in this role.
The main contender for the victory in the absolute standings of the race will be Frenchman Romain Dumas from the factory team of Volkswagen, who will perform on the all-wheel-drive electric vehicle I.D. R Pikes Peak.