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Acura wins IMSA title using same engine tech that’s on dealership lots

The Acura NSX is built for the road and Acura NSX GT-3 is made for the track, but they share many vital components.

Photo courtesy of Acura

As the checkered flag waived over Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last week, Acura took five five titles in the International Motorsports Racing Association (IMSA) sports car competition series. Unlike cars in Formula 1 and NASCAR racing, which mostly utilize specialty parts, Acura took the titles using variants of same six-cylinder engine that is available in most of its vehicles that are currently for sale at dealership lots nationwide.

In the GTD division, Meyer Shank Racing claimed the Drivers' and Teams' Championships with the Acura NSX GT-3 Evo. It shares 80 percent of its parts with the traditional NSX and is powered by the same mid-mounted twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V6, in basic terms.

2019 Acura NSX GT-3 The NSX GT-3 race car shares 80 percent of its parts with the traditional NSX.Photo courtesy of Acura

Though there are many different engines in Acura's lineup, at its heart is the 3.5-liter V6. The engine has been through many different forms as part of the automaker's standard and available powertrain options since 1996 when the J-Series of engines was introduced to replace the C-Series. It's been in sales winners such as the Acura RDX and some losers including the Acura ZDX.

Honda's Anna Engine Plant, in Ohio, has crafted the GT-3 Evo's engine using the same design specification as the current road version of the NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshafts, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system.

Unlike its road-worthy counterpart, the model is limited to rear-wheel drive (the road car is all-wheel drive) and isn't a hybrid, per IMSA requirements.

Acura NSX GT-3 Evo

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura introduced the NSX GT-3 Evo for the 2019 IMSA racing season.


Its chassis originates at the Honda Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio (same as the NSX road car) and final assembly is completed by JAS Motorsport in Milan, Italy.

It is 1,000 pounds lighter and has 500 percent more downforce thanks to its Evo body kit. A video released this summer shows the NSX and NSX GT-3 Evo racing around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where the GT-3 Evo won by just about nine seconds.

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The Passport was lightly modified for competition.

Honda

Honda recently announced a line of off-road-oriented trims and packages for its vehicles. Called TrailSport, the trim brings rugged appearance upgrades to the Honda Passport and will eventually offer more performance upgrades for other vehicles in the automaker's catalog. To further prove its mettle in the off-road space, Honda built a 2022 Passport rally truck to compete in the American Rally Association race series. The truck debuted over the weekend in Michigan and had a reasonably successful run for its first time out.

2022 Honda Passport Two Honda engineers handled driving duties.Honda

Importantly, the Passport's drivetrain and suspension were left untouched for the rally. The 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6, nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and suspension in the rally vehicle are the same components that you or I would see if we bought a new Passport today. Honda did add a transmission fluid cooler, but even then, it's the unit that everyday buyers can get with the available towing package. The SUV's interior was stripped and modified for safety and performance.

2022 Honda Passport Honda is pushing deeper into the off-road with its TrailSport trims.Honda

Honda did upgrade the Passport's wheels and tires for the event by fitting 17-inch BRAID Winrace T rally wheels and Maxxis RAZR M/T or A/T tires. The automaker also made modifications to the SUV's underside with custom 1/8-inch thick aluminum oil pan and rear differential skid plates. High-density panels protect the fuel tank and other sensitive components, while Carbontech XP12 brake pads and high-temp racing brake fluid slow things down.

2022 Honda Passport The Passport's interior had to be stripped and modified for the event.Honda

The ARA National and Regional Championship Series events feature modified street vehicles that travel at speeds well in excess of 100 mph. The courses include gravel, dirt, mud, and snow, and cover hundreds of miles. The Honda Passport rally vehicle was first driven by two Honda engineers and ran in the top ten out of 42 teams. Honda says that a tire de-bead eventually slowed the team, leading to a delayed finish.

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New American supercar

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 gets reveal date

Chevy draws a line from the Z06 directly to its racing program.

Chevroley

The new Chevrolet Corvettewas a revelation when it was finally announced. The car brought a mid-engine design to the Corvette line for the first time, and put decades of speculation over the shift to bed. We've all known that Chevrolet would eventually release an even higher performance Z06 version of the car, but now we know the date. The automaker just announced that the car will be revealed on October 26.

To build hype for the car's announcement, Chevy released a short teaser video of the Z06 tearing around the Nurburgring. It's clear from the film that the car we'll see in October will be a different beast from its standard predecessor, which mainly comes down to a big change in its powertrain.


2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The new car will be revealed in October.Chevrolet


The new Z06 is expected to feature a flat-plane crank V8 that will allow it to rev to 8500 or 9000 RPM. The car should see in excess of 600 horsepower from its howling V8, which will be sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.



As it has done with other Z06 models, Chevy will bolster the Corvette's suspension and brakes to accommodate higher speeds and the jump in power. The car will be able to carry more speed into corners and stop in a shorter distance than its standard counterpart, which will improve its lap times at the track. Various active and fixed aerodynamics components are also expected.

The C8 Corvette's interior is anything but boring, and the Z06 will carry on with that tradition. We'll still see the long center strip of buttons and controls, along with a digital gauge cluster and nicely upholstered sport seats. The Z06 will most likely get more in the way of carbon fiber and race-inspired trim pieces, but the layout won't deviate from the standard car to a great degree.


2023 Chevrolet Corvette The Z06 will be powered by a flat-plane crank V8.Chevrolet

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