The last of four manufacturers expected to compete in the upcoming 2023 IMSA WeatherTech GTP Championship revealed its competition hypercar for the series Wednesday morning. The long wait for the race-ready car from Acura certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Acura’s ARX-06 prototype joins the ranks of Porsche, BMW and Cadillac’s hypercars that have already revealed competition cars and liveries in the last few months. Those cars have also been undergoing testing for fine-tuning and preparation for the series’ January debut at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The ARX-06 is fitted to an Oreca LMDh chassis that pairs with the homologated hybrid power unit, produced by Bosch, Xtrac and Williams Advanced Engineering, that every team and car competing in the series will utilize. Acura’s power contribution, is a bespoke twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter V6, developed by Honda Performance Development. Honda says in this latest press release, that the 2.4-liter engine is one of the smallest displacement engines made by HPD. And that tiny engine packs a powerful punch, helping to put out 500 kW of power. Pierre Descamps, who led the design team for the ARX-06's powertrain says there’s several new elements added to this V6, which will “make the best use of the electric MGU and battery pack.” Descamps also says the engine will rev to the maximum 10,000 rpm — a maximum set by regulations for the GTP series.
Looking to the exterior, Acura worked closely with Oreca for the body design, while meeting regulatory criteria from the IMSA series and the FIA. Acura’s Executive Creative Director Dave Marek, says the hypercar’s design was approached in the same manner and process as Acura approaches its passenger vehicles.
“As part of our Precision Crafted Performance Brand Promise, we treated it as an integral part of our lineup. The same world-class stylists that lead Acura production car design created initial sketches, then pared those down to several potential designs. Next, we created a scale model, did aero and wind tunnel model testing, and brought HPD and our partner teams in for their feedback,” Marek recounted. “The design continued to be refined throughout the testing and evaluation process, until we came up with a final treatment that met our performance goals while maintaining all-important Acura styling cues. It’s been an exciting process.”
Like Porsche, BMW and Cadillac, Acura’s exterior design shows obvious lines and details straight from Acura production car DNA, down to the large emblem at the nose.
Now, like the other three competing manufacturers, is the time for testing and refining they hybrid system and how it interacts with Acura’s technology and powerhouse. David Salters, HPD President and Technical Director says “The new Acura ARX-06 has elements of our Indy-winning technology, Honda Formula One technology and Rolex 24-winning technology in it.” He adds, “Now the challenge and hard work really starts, including grueling 24 hour simulations, and learning how to maximize all aspects of performance.”
For 2023, Acura is partnering with Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing for competing in the IMSA GTP category. Meyer Shank Racing has won two consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona races, including this year’s 2022 race. Wayne Taylor Racing has a long list of season and overall race victories, including four wins this year and second in the IMSA Drivers’ and Team’s championships.
The public reveal of the Acura ARX-06 is set to take place this coming Friday, August 19 at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering in Carmel, California.