Racing season is upon us, and Honda has unveiled its latest endurance car.
The Honda ARX-04b LMP2 coupe is eligible for competition in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, World Endurance Championship (WEC), European Le Mans Series (ELMS), and Asian Le Mans Series.
Note that, unlike the hybrids fielded by Audi, Porsche, and Toyota, the ARX-04b does not qualify for the top LMP1 class in the prestigious WEC, although its place in the pecking order of other race series will vary depending on regulations.
Honda also won’t have a factory team in any endurance-racing series this season. Instead, it will sell cars to private teams.
That doesn’t mean the Japanese automaker cut corners in development, though.
The ARX-04b is the result of a partnership between California-based Honda Performance Development (HPD) and England’s Wirth Research. HPD is already credited with more than 70 victories in the now-defunct American Le Man Series.
The car meets all requirements for competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and is powered by a 2.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. The engine is actually based on the 3.5-liter “J35” V6 used in the 2014 Acura MDX and RLX, and 2015 TLX, sharing around 400 parts with production versions.
While it doesn’t boast any form of electrification, the ARX-04b does have low-drag bodywork for improved fuel efficiency.
Other notable features include a refueling safety interlock system designed to lessen the risk of pit fires, and adapted from the one used on all IndyCar racers since 2011.
Look for the Honda ARX-04b to compete in upcoming endurance races. Or, if you’ve got a spare million lying around, start your own race team and buy one yourself.