New Acura TLX to Make Racing Debut at Pikes Peak

Even after news that Acura and Team Penske will be parting ways, Acura still looks like they have its eyes focused on racing with its announcement to run four cars at the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Leading Acura's entries will be a prototype of the upcoming TLX Sype S that will serve as the event's pace car. The other three entries are two heavily modified 2021 TLX 2.0Ts and time attack NSX that previously ran a 10:07.940 in 2019.

Although both TLXs have been similarly modified, one received a higher power output and an overall "more aggressive" setup.

Read the full release below:

 

The 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb marks the official racing debut of the completely reimagined 2021 TLX, set to go on sale this fall. Acura will compete in the 98th running of the “Race to the Clouds” on Aug. 30 with two race prepared second generation TLXs powered by modified versions of the production 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, along with a “Time Attack” NSX supercar. Pacing the race to the 14,115-foot summit will be a development prototype of the highly anticipated TLX Type S, ahead of its market introduction next spring.

Racing is a key expression of Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA. For the past nine years, Acura has utilized the grueling Pikes Peak hill climb as an opportunity to grow the skills of the company’s young engineers and as a test bed for future performance technologies in Acura production vehicles. The Acura Pikes Peak race team is comprised of a group of volunteer R&D engineers and is responsible for all aspects of the competition, including the development of vehicles, race prep, crew support and navigating race cars to the finish line.

Acura’s long-standing competitive presence at Pikes Peak includes scoring numerous race records and podium finishes. In 2019, Peter Cunningham finished first in the Open Class for the third year in a row with the RealTime Racing TLX GT (9:24.433). Currently held record setting runs include a Hybrid-production car record for the Acura NSX driven by James Robinson (10:02.448) and a front-wheel drive record for the Acura TLX driven by Nick Robinson (10:48.094).

The Race Entries

TLX Type S Pace Car // Driver: Nick Robinson
The TLX Type S Pace Car, an early development prototype used for circuit testing, will be driven by Nick Robinson, a principal engineer in the company’s Chassis Development Group. The prototype TLX Type S is undergoing final development tuning before it is set to arrive in market next spring. Powering the TLX Type S is Acura’s new 3.0-liter V6 Turbo engine, expected to produce 355 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque, and distributing power to all four wheels via Acura’s fourth-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). Additionally, the TLX Type S Pace Car has been equipped with the optional lightweight Y-Spoke wheels, inspired by the NSX’s own, and several safety modifications including a roll-cage and fire suppression system. 

A Pikes Peak veteran himself, Robinson established a new front-wheel-drive record for Pikes Peak in 2018 with an Acura TLX and achieved a Time Attack 2 Class Win with a second-gen NSX in 2016. The year prior, he won the PP250 class on a Honda motorcycle. In addition, Nick Robinson serves as a driving safety expert and helps mentor new drivers throughout their careers at Honda R&D Americas.

2021 TLX 2.0T // Driver: Jordan Guitar
Both of the 2021 TLX race cars will compete in the Exhibition Class, with multiple modifications in preparation for the grueling hill climb. The TLX’s standard 2.0-liter turbocharged engine has been race-tuned with a larger turbo and intercooler for increased power. Stopping performance from the electro-servo braking system is improved with 4-piston Brembo® front calipers and rotors from the TLX Type S, along with high-performance racing pads. A more aggressive suspension set up is applied, as well as unique tuning for the Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system. Lightweight 19-inch HRE wheels with Pirelli racing tires complete the TLX’s race preparation.

Driver Jordan Guitar, a member of the company’s Chassis Development Group, made his Pikes Peak debut in 2018 and returned in 2019 - piloting Acura SUVs in both instances.

2021 TLX 2.0T // Driver: Justin Lumbard
The second TLX entered into the Exhibition Class will be driven by Justin Lumbard – team manager of Acura’s Pikes Peak efforts. Lumbard’s TLX benefits from a higher-output tune for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a more aggressive set up for the TLX’s double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. Rounding out the race-ready modifications are high performance brake pads, lightweight 18-inch HRE wheels and Pirelli racing tires.

A rookie Pikes Peak competitor, Justin Lumbard joined the Acura Pikes Peak team in 2017, and became co-leader a year later. Lumbard assumed the lead role for Acura’s Pikes Peak racing program this year, including overseeing the development of the TLX race car builds.

Time Attack” NSX // Driver: James Robinson
Returning to the Peak for the third consecutive year is the “Time Attack” NSX driven by James Robinson. A 10-time Pikes Peak veteran, Robinson’s past successes in the “Race to the Clouds” include a hybrid production car record set with NSX in 2018 (10:02.448) as well as podium finishes in the Exhibition, Open and Time Attack 1 classes.

The “Time Attack” NSX features improved aero by way of a larger rear wing and aggressive front splitter. Larger turbochargers and enhanced engine management software increases total system output to around 625 horsepower. Various weight reduction measures, including a stripped interior, reduce the “Time Attack” NSX’s weight more than 200 lbs. Finally, lightweight HRE forged wheels are wrapped in high-grip Pirelli R-compound tires.

Acura’s 2020 Pikes Peak Entry List:

Vehicle

Driver

Class

2019 Result

TLX Type S Prototype

Nick Robinson

Pace Car

-

2021 TLX 2.0T

Jordan Guitar

Exhibition Class

New Vehicle Entry

2021 TLX 2.0T

Justin Lumbard

Exhibition Class

Time Attack NSX

James Robinson

Time Attack 1

10:07.940 (Fourth in Class)

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Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
7/30/20 6:29 p.m.

Cool.

christinaylam (Forum Supporter)
christinaylam (Forum Supporter) New Reader
7/31/20 3:34 p.m.

The livery on these look great and it sounds like Acura is putting forward a sweet package with this car. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
7/31/20 5:24 p.m.

Official power numbers for the Type S were released as well. Looks like it'll be 354hp and ~350ish torques. I'm sure it's underrated as all the turbo offerings from Honda have been the last few years. Kinda thought a turbo V6 would be "making more" than the 2.3L turbo 4 from Ford. 

Vajingo
Vajingo New Reader
8/1/20 9:02 a.m.

Pretty stoked that these aren't tube frame ripoffs with one off unobtanium engines. 

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