Honda hasn’t been shy about showing off racing versions of the upcoming 2016 Acura NSX supercar , but it seems that an actual customer race version of the car might be in the works. This would mean the car is compliant with either GT3 or GTE FIA classes of racing. It would be a way to move beyond the racing prototypes Honda has for publicity purposes now, and get into real-world track experience and feedback from customers. This is becoming a more and more regular thing for automakers, and it would keep future versions of the car competitive.
Honda, or more accurately Acura , already has a customer race car in the form of the 2015 Acura TLX-GT . This car was built specifically to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge, but this whole series is looking to undergo a rule change to bring it in line with FIA GT3 regulations, and updating the TLX-GT would be a big job for Honda; not one that would necessarily be worth it. So starting over with a new car might be a better way to go, and this new car would also then be eligible for other GT3-classes.
Why it matters
The big issue with converting the NSX into an FIA-spec race car is what to do with the hybrid system. Honda has raced hybrids before, with the 2013 to 2014 Honda CRZ , but that was just in Japan, and racing in the U.S. and Europe will be a different story. According to Honda Performance Devel opment Vice President Steve Eriksen, there is a good chance that the car would drop the hybrid system altogether and use just rear-wheel drive. Whether that would actually be worth doing remains to be seen, but any kind of racing NSX is bound to be interesting.