Skip to main content

Acura will take the green flag in IndyCar, but just for one race

Acura IndyCar
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Acura will attach its “A” logo to an IndyCar racer for the first time since 1994. It may not be as momentous as, say, Alfa Romeo’s recent return to Formula One, but Acura’s move means more than two car brands will be represented in IndyCar (the race series built around the Indianapolis 500) for the first time in years.

Acura’s return to IndyCar is a one-off. The number 60 Meyer Shank Racing car driven by Jack Harvey will wear an Acura livery for the upcoming NTT IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach, held on the streets of its namesake California city. This is meant to publicize Acura taking over sponsorship of the race. The car itself will be unchanged, and Acura hasn’t discussed further use of the livery at other races. It wouldn’t be difficult for Acura to continue, however.

Acura is the luxury brand of Honda, and Honda is one of two automakers supplying engines to IndyCar teams (the other is Chevrolet). Since Acura and Honda road cars often share DNA, slapping the Acura logo on a race car powered by a Honda engine is fitting. All IndyCar teams use the same car design, regardless of whether the engine comes from Honda or Chevy. So there was no need to design an Acura-specific car. Much like Alfa Romeo’s return to F1, Acura’s one-off IndyCar return is mostly a marketing exercise. In Acura’s case, the current state of IndyCar encourages that.

Acura’s last foray into IndyCar racing was also marketing-driven. In 1994, Acura sponsored a car for the Comptech Racing team in the CART (Champion Auto Racing Teams) series. At that time, IndyCar racing had split into two competing series that were running similar cars, with CART fighting the IRL (Indy Racing League) to gain the bigger share of television viewers, teams, and overall prestige. That didn’t work out well for anyone, and CART and the IRL merged in 2008.

The Meyer Shank Racing team that will race the Acura-sponsored car at Long Beach also runs two Acura NSX supercars in the IMSA Weathertech SportsCarChampionship. One of those cars is notable for having an all-female driver lineup. Acura also developed a purpose-built race car for the series’ top Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class.

These racing activities are meant to give Acura a performance pedigree to match German rivals BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. While Acura has made an effort to imbue its ordinary road cars with a dose of sportiness, the NSX is the only true performance car in the brand’s current lineup.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Tesla Model 3 vs. Hyundai Ioniq 6: Which electric sedan is best?
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6.

There are finally some more electric sedan options. For years, the Tesla Model 3 was really the only good electric sedan that comes at a reasonable price -- until, Hyundai recently launched the Ioniq 6. The Ioniq 6 certainly takes some cues from the larger Ioniq 5, but is smaller and sleeker, with a design seemingly inspired by the Porsche 911.

But the Tesla Model 3 is still clearly an excellent option for those looking for an electric car, and who don't want a larger crossover. Which is better? Here's a look.
The exterior design of the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 is quite different. If you've seen a Tesla car before, then you'll immediately recognize the Model 3 -- it looks largely like a slightly different version of every other Tesla (except the Cybertruck).

Read more
Scout Motors Electric SUV: rumored price, release date, design, and more
Scout SUV Teaser

There's another electric SUV on the way, and this one comes with a familiar name. Volkswagen is reviving the classic Scout name for a new electric SUV that's billed as being an "RUV," or a rugged utility vehicle. And, it could well prove itself as the best electric SUV in its price range, when it does finally come out.

The new EV isn't due out for quite some time, but there's already a fair bit that we know about it. Curious to learn more? Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Scout SUV.
There's very little we actually know about the Scout SUV so far, but we do know a little about the eventual design. A few teasers for the upcoming vehicle have been released, showing sketches of both the SUV and the accompanying pickup truck, along with what's presumably the front of the SUV -- though in a dark environment, with little detail.

Read more
Volkswagen ID.GTI concept is another icon reimagined as an EV
Front three quarter view of the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept.

Volkswagen reinvented one of its most iconic models with the ID.Buzz, a modern, all-electric homage to the classic Microbus. But that's not the only fan favorite vehicle currently in the automaker's catalog.

Debuting at the 2023 Munich Auto Show, the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept aims to do for the Golf GTI hot hatchback — VW's signature performance car — what the ID.Buzz did for the Microbus. VW claims a production version has already been given the green light, although it won't say when it will appear.

Read more