A pair of 2017 Acura NSX hybrid supercars will compete in the grueling Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb later this month. The cars will participate in the Time Attack 1 and 2 classes.
Drivers for the two NSX supercars include two brothers from Acura's North American engineering team: James Robinson will be driving in the Time Attack 1 class and Nick Robinson in the Time Attack 2 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, in a release. "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."
The race cars' powertrains are unchanged from the production car and feature the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine, nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, Rear Direct Drive Motor powering the rear wheels, and the Twin Motor Unit that distributes power to the front wheels via an electrically powered torque vectoring system. Total system output is rated 573 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque.
Earlier this year, rumors swirled that the cars headed to Pike's Peak would lose their front motor system for a rear-drive-only setup and be campaigned as an Acura NSX Type-R variant.
The Time Attack 1 class car, piloted by James Robinson, has been modified with a custom high-flow racing exhaust and reduced mass by taking weight out of the chassis. James, who works in the powertrain development group, drove a first-generation Acura NSX at Pikes Peak in 2012 and 2015. The second car, driven by Nick Robinson, in the Time Attack 2 is a production car upgraded with the requisite racing safety equipment. Nick, who was in charge of the new NSX's dynamic performance, won the PP250 class last year.
Additionally, an NSX-inspired 4-Motor EV Concept will be raced in the Electric Modified Class. That vehicle is powered by an all-electric, 4-motor Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) powertrain, which is said to be an evolution of the system that won the 2015 Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition class.
Tetsuya Yamano will drive the 4-Motor EV Concept. The new car is said to have three times more power than the CR-Z-based electric prototype Yamano drove in 2015. Acura says the 4-Motor EV Concept is the world's first application of four-wheel independent torque allocation. This year, the all-electric prototype will feature an NSX body.
Acura will again return as the Official Pace Car sponsor. This year the automaker will provide a new Acura NSX, an Acura TLX sedan, and an Acura MDX crossover for the event.
The 100th anniversary of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is scheduled for June 26.