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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 Acura MDX is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura's new storyline has all the hallmarks of a feel good comeback. Not only is the automaker turning out high-level premium vehicles, it's making them sportier than they have been in a very long time. But, it wasn't all that long ago that the product lineup became mundane after years of inspiring drivers and being the go-to premium performance brand.

But now it's back. The move first signaled by the emergence of the Acura Precision Concept has played out, first on the RDX then on the TLX and MDX. There's more to come. Acura's planning new Type S models, designed to bring out the purest expression of performance you can get from the brand outside of its NSX sports car. There's other things on the horizon too.

A new video from the company showcases its heritage and gives brand enthusiasts a peek at what is coming for in the pipeline. Spoiler alert: it's more performance-centric vehicles.

2022 Acura MDX - “Origin Story” www.youtube.com

Acura enthusiasts will instantly recognize the names of people sharing the Acura story in the video: Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura Brand Officer and Art St. Cyr, vice president of the Automobile Operations Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. among them. Ikeda is largely responsible for this next chapter of Acura, himself a performance enthusiast. St. Cyr traces his Honda ties into the motorsports community, a niche market that plays heavy into this brand evolution.

The NSX is featured alongside the 2022 Acura MDX in the video. The MDX was elevated as part of the company's new strategy to has a more luxurious interior and dynamic handling as part of the redesign. The difference between the 2020 and 2022 model is like night and day.

The same can be said for the 2021 Acura TLX. A TLX Type S version is on the way this May giving the company its first Type S in years. The Acura MDX Type S is expected later this year.

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Carroll Shelby's personal 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake sold at auction over the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson/Facebook

Just a few months ago, Carroll Shelby's personal 427 Cobra sold for $5.9 million at auction. This weekend, the only remaining 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake crossed the block, itself a relic of Mr. Shelby's garage.

This particular model started its life in 1965 as one of 23 built. It was shipped to Ford Advanced Vehicles in England on September 7, 1965, packaged alongside another 427 Cobra Competition and two R-model Shelby G.T. 350s. They were destined for a promotional tour of Europe.

The car, serial number CSX 3015, was shipped back to the U.S. when the tour was over. In 1967, Shelby American modified the hot rod into the Super Snake it is today. It is one of only two models built to its current specs and the only surviving car of the pair (the other was built for Bill Cosby). The sports car was billed as the "Cobra to End All Cobras" and was not street legal.

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 3015 This is the only remaining Super Snake from the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 set.Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson/Facebook

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 3015

Since the turn of the millennium, the car has been sold three times. In 2007 it went for $5.5 million. In 2015 it was auctioned for $5.1 million. This weekend, it went for $5 million.

The model sold at auction is a good original condition. It has its original engine block, body panels, brake calipers, rear end, and exhaust system.

Not only is the car steeped in automotive history. It's also full of power. Under the hood is a 7.0-liter, twin-supercharged Ford V8 that achieves 800 horsepower and 462 pound-feet of torque. The Paxton supercharged engine is paired with a three-speed automatic transmission.

With a wheelbase of just 90 inches and a curb weight of just over 2,300 pounds, the powertrain setup makes the car closer to a rocket than a traditional coupe - and without modern safety features.

It was originally shipped and invoiced to Ford Advanced Vehicles in England on September 7, 1965, together with another 427 Cobra Competition and two R-model Shelby G.T.350s, to do a promotional tour in Europe.

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