Acura: The ultimate test

Acura: The ultimate test

Plus Ultra. Translated from Latin it means further beyond, and it aptly describes Acura Motorsports’ philosophy for improving the breed through sports car racing. Simply put, you include production parts and concepts into your racecars and you push them to the edge and beyond. If it works in the extremes of racing, there’s nothing it can’t handle on the street.

To that end, the engine in Acura’s ARX-05 DPi prototype sports car shares a block with the MDX SUV, and more than 400 parts on the exotic racing machine could be found in the service department of any Acura dealership. Similarly, the Acura NSX GT3 Evo racecar is 80 percent identical to the street version.

Acura’s NSX GT3 is 80 percent the same as the street car. The other 20 percent? That could lead to even better road cars.

“We are taking stock Acura parts and pushing them to the limit on the race track because we fundamentally have con dence in our production engineering,” says HPD president Ted Klaus. “The Acura brand exists to create technologies that can go out ahead of the parent Honda brand. So we are able to demonstrate our craft on the race track in absolute terms, which in turn gives us the platform to back up the precision crafted performance of our production cars. That’s how it goes beyond a tagline.”

Read RACER’s 16-page 2020 Acura Motorsports special section HERE

The two-way street between production engineering and motorsports engineering is a well-traveled one at Acura. Klaus even goes so far as to say that he doesn’t know which comes first, the racing or the production. They are so intertwined that it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins. Both groups constantly confer on how hard a part can be pushed, or brainstorm on how a part can be adapted for use in racing. And just as production parts in the ARX-05 include everything from the engine block and crank to electronics and sensors, there’s also a stream of data feeding back to the production side.

Acura’s ARX-05 DPi is ground zero for mixing production and racecar engineering. Its front end, for example, is the dramatic-looking result of combining aero and styling requirements.

“Racing is the perfect environment to push things to their absolute limit, and occasionally to their breaking point,” explains Klaus. “Sometimes that means literally breaking something, but mostly it means that we are simply breaking and pushing forward our ability to predict performance. That applies to everything from aerodynamics to safety and stability, and what it means is that we are accelerating know-how based on data, which trickles down through the entire company.”

Proof point. Innovator. Motivator. Acura Motorsports is a fundamental part of Acura’s performance DNA in ways we can see and, perhaps more importantly, in ways we can feel.