A while back we reported on a very strong rumor that Acura might build a GT3/GTE Race car based on the NSX. In a discussion with RACER Magazine, Acura has revealed they will replace the TLX that races in the Pirelli World Challenge with a brand new NSX race car, built to GT3 Specifications. The outgoing TLX is raced by long time Acura racers, RealTime Racing and they would be the logical landing spot for a factory backed NSX effort in PWC. Rumors have also surfaced surrounding the possibility of Acura backing a team in IMSA’s WeatherTech Championship. Honda told RACER, “The car will race, but when and where is still to be determined.”
Honda Performance Development, based in California, has been interested in racing the new NSX ever since its conception. Originally HPD had their sights set on Le Mans, but the ACO’s unwillingness to allow the car to run as a hybrid stalled those plans. Delays in production further slowed the process, and in 2015 HPD moved in a different direction, the TLX PWC GT that Real Time Racing will campaign again in 2016. Said to already be testing outside the USA, the NSX GT3 is slated to make its competition debut in 2017.
At this time no definitive answer has been giving regarding the NSX’s hybrid power. The beauty of GT3 is how open the class is to any car. The FIA keeps the Balance of Performance (BoP) simple in order to encourage manufactures build race cars. How else do you explain the ridiculous sight of a Bentley Continental racing in GT3, and doing so competitively? So in theory The FIA could allow a hybrid like the NSX to race. Yes allowing a hybrid will make BoP trickier. But, the FIA better get used to it, more and more sportscars will be getting hybrid power, and their manufactures will want to take them racing. To keep the all inclusive nature that has made GT3 so successful they need to allow hybrids in sooner rather than later. If hybrid power is disallowed, expect the 3.5 liter turbocharged V6 to get an upgrade and make somewhere around 600 hp in race trim. Not the tech packed hybrid system but not a bad consolation prize either.
We will learn more in the coming months as the NSX GT3 car is expected to be the centerpiece of Acura’s display at the New York International Auto Show. We will be there so stay tuned!