Acura is launching an all-out assault on Pikes Peak
Acura is gunning for multiple trophies at Pikes Peak later this month, sending no less than six vehicles to the famed hillclimb event. The fleet consists of two NSX race cars, two TLX Type S race cars, a TLX Type S pace car, and the 2022 MDX Type S making its first public debut.
The all-volunteer team comprising Acura employees will be towing the more potent of the TLX race cars 1,300 miles from its base in Ohio to the Colorado venue with an MDX Type S. While a stock TLX Type S weighs 4,221 pounds, a mass that’s pretty close to the 355-horsepower, 354 pound-foot flagship’s towing capacity of 5,000, the race car is considerably lighter.
Honda put the TLX Type S on a 600-pound diet, gutting the interior and replacing parts with lightweight components like a carbon fiber hood. Naturally, aerodynamic aids like splitters, canards, and spoilers festoon the race car. On top of that, the 3.0-liter V6 it shares with the big brother MDX Type S has been modified with a with a larger turbo and additional cooling to account for the thin air approaching the 14,000-foot summit.
Acura engineer Justin Lumbard will helm the TLX in the Pikes Peak Open Division, in which an Acura TLX GT race car holds the record of 9:24.433, set by Acura race veteran Peter Cunningham in 2019. Meanwhile, chassis engineer and cool-name-haver Jordan Guitar will be piloting the other TLX Type S, a more stock version with only a 300-pound diet. Both cars wear race-modified suspensions and HRE 19-inch 19 x 9.5-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli slicks.
Likewise, the NSX pairs comprise one hard-core racer and one mostly stock car each, allowing Acura to pursue wins in multiple classes. Drivers and brothers James and Nick Robinson are no strangers to Pikes Peak records.
James helped Acura clinch the Hybrid Class record with a time of 10:01.913 in an NSX last year, and is now shooting for a Time Attack 1 Division championship. His NSX puts out around 625 horsepower thanks to larger turbos and reprogrammed engine software. A front splitter, large rear wing, 200-pound weight reduction are just some of the race-prep modifications.
Meanwhile, Nick holds the front-wheel-drive record, set in 2018 with a first-generation Acura TLX and a time of 10:48.094. This year, Nick is behind the wheel of an NSX that’s all stock — aside from safety equipment and race tires — in the hopes of achieving a Time Attack 2 production record attempt.
Lastly, Acura will be fielding a bright gold TLX Type S pace car driven by former “Wheeler Dealers” host Ant Anstead.
This year marks the 99th running of what is officially called The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by “Gran Turismo.” The 12.42-mile “Race to the Clouds” winds its way up a 156-turn course to a finish 14,000 feet above sea level. It also marks Acura’s 11th year competing. The fun begins June 27.
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