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ARX-06 Hybrid IMSA GTP Race Car Gets A Look At Acura

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Acura has unveiled the ARX-06, powered by a twin-turbo 2.4-liter V-6 that makes 630-670 horsepower. It is combined with a hybrid motor mounted in the transmission case. The development of the ARX-06 was a collaborative effort between his chassis supplier Oreca, Honda His Performance Development, and Acura Design Studio.

Brand identity is usually an afterthought in modern racing. Form generally follows function, leaving little room for creativity. But IMSA’s new GTP class is designed to encourage just that, with guidelines that entries “carry important design cues and styling to work closely with each manufacturer’s road-going products.” there is. It’s been decades since race cars even remotely resembled street cars, but Acura’s design team was tasked with bringing that family semblance to the exterior of his new ARX-06 prototype.

The ARX-06 is Acura’s entry into the early GTP class. An all-new twin-turbocharged 90-degree 2.4-liter V6 developed by Honda Performance Development (HPD). Capable of reaching 10,000 rpm, this little screamer is paired with an IMSA-spec hybrid system and drives the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential transaxle.

Long-time Acura partner ORECA provided the foundation. Riding a 123.9-inch wheelbase, the carbon fiber monocoque chassis has unequal length control arm suspension with pushrod-style dampers on both axles. Modifications to the chassis are prohibited, but manufacturers can customize the exterior significantly.

Acura

Acura Executive Creative Director Dave Malek said he enjoyed the challenge. “I said to my team, ‘Let’s look cool and look like a show car,'” he joked. Marek knew from his previous experience in the ARX-05 design process that even simple ideas can be difficult to implement. “At the time, IMSA [race cars] It looks more like a passenger car. So we started doing it, and they said, but you can’t change it, or that, or that. At the end of the day, we want it to look like our car, but we also want it to win. So let’s build the best car we can.” In hindsight, Marek and his team got into the ARX-05 development process too late to make any meaningful changes. .

However, the ARX-06’s exterior styling was designed from the ground up at Los Angeles-based Acura Design Studios. A stylist from Acura’s production car division created the first sketches, which eventually led to his model in scale. Once the scale model was completed, the design team worked with his HPD and ORECA to further refine the aerodynamic performance. Special projects lead Bill Yex points out that looking good is only half the design equation. He said, “Aerodynamics quickly took over on the development side. Production cars are very efficient aerodynamically, but it stops there. This has to balance low drag, high downforce. .”

Acura

Additional input from racing partners Meyer Shank and Wayne Taylor helped fine-tune details from a real-world perspective. Driver complaints about the ARX-05’s lighting allowed Marek to redesign his ARX-06’s front his cluster, improving both appearance and strength. Using VR, drivers were able to “sit” in the cockpit and adjust their driving position.

those lights are familiar

Seen at full size, ARX-06 conveys a successful collaboration for all involved. Familiar Acura styling elements play a functional role in the car’s design, from the deliberately exaggerated cluster of headlights to the rearward “chicane” taillights.

Still, Marek hasn’t been able to win every battle. rice field. “It was illegal. No, but the fact that this is perfectly legal and still looks good is a big thank you to the team.”

The ARX-06 will make its racing debut from the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2023.

Acura recently won the IMSA endurance race, but faces a host of new competition in the GTP class. Longtime rival Cadillac is re-entering, along with newcomers Porsche and his BMW. Still, finding an Acura in this newly crowded field should be easy — just look for the headlights.

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