Plans Formulating for Acura NSX GT Car; Targeting 2017 Launch

Photo: Acura

Photo: Acura

Race plans for the new Acura NSX continue to formulate, with a final decision on the GT platform for the mid-engined sports car set to be made in the coming weeks.

Speaking to Sportscar365, Honda Performance Development Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Eriksen said they’re evaluating the GT3 or GTE platform for the car, which is targeted to launch for the 2017 season.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” Eriksen told Sportscar365. “It was one of the reasons I was at [Road America], to try and get a sense of what the options are and how well those options fit with American Honda’s plans of promoting the car.”

Eriksen said if they go the GT3 route, the NSX could serve as the replacement to the all-wheel-drive Acura TLX-GT, which is currently on the second of a two-year agreement to race in Pirelli World Challenge.

With PWC moving fully to FIA GT3 homologated cars for its GT class in 2016, Eriksen admitted a lot of work would be required to transform the TLX-GT to GT3 spec.

“We’re looking at our options and one of them is to go two-wheel drive,” he said. “It’s just how big of a tear up is it? You could disconnect your front-wheel drive but is that really going to make a good race car?

“That’s the question we’re looking at right now. We need it to be competitive because otherwise, why be there?”

Wherever the NSX races, it will unlikely be with its production hybrid system.

“I think the reality is that the series aren’t ready for that yet, and I’m not sure the teams are, either,” Eriksen said. “That adds a level of complication.

“We certainly raced hybrids before in Japan. The CRZ raced as a hybrid, the Super GTs have been outfitted as hybrids at times. We know what to do but it doesn’t seem like the other manufacturers are ready for that yet.

“Just like Audi can’t run their quattro, you have to run what the rules dictate you run, even though it may not suit your marketing as well as you’d like.”

It’s unclear whether California-based HPD would be charged with the build of the NSX or another entity, potentially in Europe.

Longtime Honda partner Jas Motorsport, which currently spearheads its World Touring Car Championship program, has been rumored as potentially being involved in the project in some capacity.

While HPD’s future involvement in the prototype ranks remains uncertain, Eriksen admitted the importance of securing a long-term presence in the U.S. sports car racing scene.

“Certainly America is likely to be the biggest market for the [NSX], so it makes sense to race it here,” he said.

“We’re still trying to understand what specific series suits us best. Based on the rules, we have to work backwards to see how much time we need to prepare.”

Eriksen has ruled out seeing the NSX compete next year, due to the time frame required to build and develop the car.


  1. Ernie2492

    August 10, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Oh c’mon.
    Just do it already.

  2. StueyB83

    August 10, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Wiser to do GT3; Costs of development off set by customer teams. Larger sales base due to more global uptake of GT3 – it would do particularly well in Japan, where Honda would love you for it.

    At the very least should you wish to go to GTLM in future you could take a GT3 base and give it a bit of an overhaul it similar to BMW M6.

  3. Jake

    August 10, 2015 at 9:53 am

    What will take longer, the 8 years (and counting) its taken Honda to get the production car ready, or building a racing version?

  4. Christian

    August 10, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Pleaaseeeeee let it be a GTE car!

  5. Jj

    August 10, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Well this is upsetting I love HPD in prototype not GT

  6. the unknown motorsport fan

    August 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Do agree with StueyB83 it should be set to GT3 first and then if successful then do it as GTLM as would get the best of both worlds.

    • StueyB83

      August 10, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      The only thing that would allow this currently, is if the power plant is turbo charged in lieu of the hybrid system.

      And also, would Honda be happy for a flagship GT3 car to be developed in the US and not in Japan?

      • StueyB83

        August 10, 2015 at 8:54 pm

        Never mind, I just realized the NSX is already twin turbo charged. So following the path of the M6 and possibly Bentley route to GTLM is very much an option if they go GT3 first.

  7. 7D3

    August 10, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    If this car goes GT3, it can go to GTD. But I hope the NSX can enter GTLM and challenge Ford, BMW and the might of the Corvettes. 🙂

    Andretti Autosport might be the main team in the WTSC to have the NSX.

    • lol_list

      August 10, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      This is the last year for GTD, next year it’s GT3, your single team list lacked effort

      • Doug

        August 10, 2015 at 5:59 pm

        It is still going to be called gtd

  8. Matt

    August 10, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Lol this is a joke. They’ve been saying this for the past 5 years.

  9. NaBUru38

    August 10, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    If the NSX will race in the United States, they would get the most exposure in IMSA GTLM. Besting BMW, Porsche, Ford and Corvette factory teams is more attractive than beating privateers in IMSA GTD or Pirelli GT.

  10. kingsnake

    August 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Been driving Acura for 20 years. Make it happen!

  11. MiLykeIt

    August 13, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Uhhhhhh, mi likey. Come on and make it happen already

  12. alfa

    August 15, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Larger sales base due to more global uptake of GT3 – it would do particularly well in Japan, where Honda would love you for it.
    At the very least should you wish to go to GTLM in future.

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  16. Suv

    October 7, 2016 at 1:43 am

    a good post, Acura and Honda is not much different, they are almost the same, many sold in any country, and I see Acura NSX 2017 have the look more interesting, maybe it will be a great rival to make sales to come. Thanks

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