Acura has been hinting at a GT racing version of its NSX Sports car since its launch. In an article from sportscar365, Honda Performance Development Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Eriksen said they’re evaluating the GT3 or GTE platform for the car, which is targeted to launch for the 2017 season. Acura is facing a decision on its TLX-GT race car which currently races in the GT Class of the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC). In 2016, the PWC is going to full GT3 homologation for its GT Class. Unfortunately for Acura, the TLX-GT does not comply with GT3 regulations mostly due to it’s all wheel drive system.
To redesign the TLX to be rear wheel drive only would be a huge undertaking. Acura is considering spending the time, money, and energy replacing the TLX with the new NSX as the basis for the updated GT race car. In my opinion, this is the best option for Acura. GT3 is HUGE globally and IMSA has shown the willingness to homologate GT3 cars into GT LeMans spec; BMW Z4 and upcoming M6 are examples of this.
Regardless of class the NSX GT car would likely run without its hybrid system as GT3 and GTE currently do not allow hybrids. Ericksen said,
Just like Audi can’t run their Quattro, you have to run what the rules dictate you run, even though it may not suit your marketing as well as you’d like.
Ericksen also would not disclose who would partner with Acura on the project, though to two front runners would have to be HPD and Jas Motorsport. HPD, based in California, developed the TLX-GT and various prototypes for Honda. Jas Motorsport currently runs Honda’s World Touring Car Championship Program.
Whatever route Acura decides to go, this is another huge win for Sports Car racing. GT3 is stacked with great cars and great racing and GTE (GT LeMans in North America) will be better than ever in 2016. With the Likes of Porsche, Aston Martin, and Corvette being joined by the Ford GT and new Ferrari 488, throw the NSX into the mix and we could be headed to a golden era of GT racing.