This Insane Pikes Peak Racer Is Actually A Corvette-Powered Acura NSX

Illustration for article titled This Insane Pikes Peak Racer Is Actually A Corvette-Powered Acura NSX

The Acura NSX is one of the great cars of our times. It's gorgeous, it's balanced, it's beautiful. But it isn't totally perfect for climbing a mountain like Pikes Peak. So LoveFab made some modifications. And by 'some,' I mean all. They made all the modifications.

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The NSX has a sleek body. That's gone. The NSX has a V6. That's gone. The NSX is lovely and elegant. Yeah... this isn't that either.

On the body front, we have a car that looks a bit like Monster Tajima's famous Suzuki Escudo with a dog house mounted on the front and a kitchen table mounted out back for downforce.

Underneath, the NSX's subframe and suspension seem to be the only parts that survived. It has a custom chromoly chassis. That V6 has been replaced with an LS1 V8 chucking out oodles of power; around 800 pound feet of torque. The title sponsor for the car is Garret, those fine folks that make turbochargers, so that's where the power is coming from.

The Enviate (that's its name) is also expected to weigh less than 2,000 pounds. Yeah, this thing will be freaking fast.

Cody Loveland, LoveFab's owner, will drive the car up Pikes Peak. He drove a more traditional NSX last year, but compared to this new car, any NSX is a more traditional NSX.

We'll see it go up the mountain, and hopefully not fly off, this summer.

DISCUSSION

My question is...

Why turbo, other than the sponsorship? Is there some volumetric efficiency advantage to forced induction at high altitudes that N/A motors do not have? the LSX can produce 800 reliable horsepower without too extreme modifications, and since this is a pikes peak car, extreme modifications are easily within their range. However, I don't see how turbo lag or more cooling is going to help performance comparatively. I could easily understand this if it had the NSX motor though.

I would guess that there was some budget concern, where a non-turbo build was not only more expensive but would cause them to lose that Garret/Mishimoto sponsorship... but I have no clue. Anyone want to enlighten me to the dynamics of high altitude racing?