The Acura NSX was built to take on performance cars from the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, and that mission isn’t limited to the showroom. In addition to trying to woo well-heeled car buyers, Acura wants to bloody its rivals’ noses on the track.
Acura’s NSX GT3 race car made its United States debut in January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which is part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. But that isn’t the only U.S. race series the NSX will compete in. Next week, Acura will return to the Pirelli World Challenge with this pair of striking machines.
Acura will continue to partner with RealTime Racing for its Pirelli World Challenge offensive. For the past three seasons, RealTime raced Acura TLX GT sedans, and it was pretty fun to watch those humble four-doors go wheel-to-wheel with Ferraris, McLarens, and Porsches. The NSX won’t have that underdog status, but it’s not surprising that Acura would want to showcase its new supercar in racing. With short “sprint”-style races that create a lot of action, and a diverse field of cars, the Pirelli World Challenge is a good place to do that.
The blue-and-white livery carries over from the old TLX GT race cars, complete with RealTime’s signature “squircles,” which add a sci-fi vibe. The two cars have a mirror-image pattern, with the number 43 car sporting a white nose, and the number 93 sporting a blue nose. Both cars get splashes of orange, a color used on every Acura race car since the 1990s.
The NSX GT3 itself is a heavily modified version of the NSX road car. It uses the same 3.5-liter V6, but with a six-speed sequential transmission and rear-wheel drive, in place of the stock nine-speed, dual-clutch transmission and hybrid all-wheel drive system. It also features more aggressive bodywork that optimizes aerodynamics and cooling, and makes room for larger wheels and tires. The race car is built alongside the NSX road car at Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.
Look for the NSX GT3 to make its Pirelli World Challenge debut at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida, March 10-12.