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Acura Unveils ARX-05 DPi Car

Acura takes wraps off new ARX-05 DPi car in Monterey…

Photo: Acura

Acura has formally taken the wraps off its new DPi contender, the ARX-05, which will debut in January’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona with Team Penske.

The unveiling came Friday at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, as part of Monterey Car Week.

Penske will campaign a pair of Acura DPis in the Prototype class, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron already having been confirmed as the first full-season driving squad.

The ORECA-chassied prototype features Acura-specific bodywork, including the brand’s signature Jewel Eye headlights and a distinctive nose, created by a design team headed up by Acura Global Creative Director Dave Marek.

“We created a variety of initial sketches, then pared those down a handful of potential designs,” Marek said.  “Next came aero and wind tunnel model testing, and time for the engineers to have their say.

“The design continued to be refined throughout the testing and evaluation process, until we came up with a final treatment that met our performance goals while maintaining Acura styling cues. It’s been an exciting process.”

Acura returns to top-level prototype racing for the first time since 2009, when it won the American Le Mans Series LMP1 championship with the ARX-02a. 

The current deal with Penske is a “multi-year” agreement, although full terms have not been disclosed.

“Right from the start, Acura has raced, and done so successfully,” said HPD and Acura President Art St. Cyr. “We’ve won with the Acura Integra Type R, the RSX, the first-generation NSX and with the Le Mans prototypes. Most recently, we’ve won with the new Acura NSX GT3.

“The ARX-05 is our fifth-generation prototype, and we expect great things from our partnership with Team Penske.”

With U.S.-based testing is expected to begin in the coming week, the car will be on display at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on Saturday, and on the Concept Lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Erich

    August 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    iRacing, please lol

  2. Jose

    August 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    #86? Wonder what that means for Shank?

    • John Dagys

      August 18, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      86 and 93 are Acura/HPD’s traditional numbers. Not Shank’s.

      • Annon.

        August 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        86 was Acuras first year and 93 was HPDs

        • David Chaste

          August 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm

          I think Jose means that shank is getting the boot by loosing all support because they will not be allowed by Acura to use them. Since Acura wants their factory team to have them.

  3. pop

    August 18, 2017 at 2:46 pm


  4. jeff

    August 18, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    November 7? – IMSA Testing – Daytona Road Course – Conducted by DIS

    tentative testing @ daytona, i’ll be there flagging

    • Jack

      August 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Post some videos on YouTube.

      • jeff

        August 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm

        oh i would like to take some vids but DIS is very very picky on video taken at trackside by corner workers

        • matt

          August 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm

          I can confirm that as I’m a marshal at ctmp. No cameras or cell phones out while cars are on track.

          • Jeff Wagner

            August 19, 2017 at 10:53 am

            Matt: There was a typo in you message mid sentence. Thanks for all of your Marshaling at MOSPORT, “Canada’s Home Of Motorsport”!

        • Larry

          August 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

          Yep, they are downright anal about that.

          I have worked test days, the Roar, and many Rolex24s over the years and they are getting more and more strict about it.

          And if you were to get videos as a worker and then posted them on youtube, you would be dis-invited forever.

  5. Dan

    August 18, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Someone please fire the creative director who loves that livery….. the gt’s got smart and changed. Let’s fix this one too before the season starts…. love the boomerang rack nose though……

    • Gaucherie

      August 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Safe to say that’s just a launch scheme.

  6. pdxracefan

    August 18, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Distinctly Acura in the front end. Might be a little hard to like. The rest is nice especially the rear end.

    • Matt

      August 18, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      The front end is the only part they changed funny enough

      • Dan

        August 18, 2017 at 5:51 pm

        yeah another Nissan DPI (let’s put the least amount of effort into the body change)

        • Welp

          August 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

          Least amount of effort goes to caddy

      • Damian

        August 18, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        You fellas have read over the DPi rules, I’m sure. The part defining what you can and can’t change about the body?

        • Steven

          August 19, 2017 at 7:30 am

          DPi rules stated the front, side, and rear bodywork can all be modified. The DPi’s were suppose to be nothing like the LMP2 chassis that they sat on, but Cadillac, Nissan, and Honda all half-assed the idea.

          • tracer

            August 19, 2017 at 11:04 am

            “The DPi’s were suppose to be nothing like the LMP2 chassis that they sat on” – not true at all.

        • gmwhinerssuck

          August 24, 2017 at 10:21 pm

          Funny how Mazda actually made their car recognizable with just a glance as a Mazda.

          I guess they didn’t read the rules………….

  7. Colorbling Race Fan...

    August 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    So is IMSA changing the number plate colors or is that just something they did for the unveiling livery?

    • Colorblind Race Fan...

      August 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      wow… this guy failed with his joke name…

  8. Jason

    August 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    And yet another manufacturer with a “White, Black, Grey & Red” prototype livery …

    And btw, have they bought those little triangles at a Manor yard sale? 😉

    • Andy Flinn

      August 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      That’s orange, Jason.

  9. Dan

    August 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    It’s an Oreca 07 with a different engine, headlights and a bar across the nose. It’s slightly distinctive but looking nothing like any Acura. I have to wonder how effective those lights will be.

    • Andy Flinn

      August 18, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      So it’s basically NOT a standard Oreca O7, which is required to have standard bodywork, headlights and a Gibson spec engine.

      • Steven

        August 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        Quit sugarcoating this Andy, its 99.5% all Oreca 07 bodywork except for the boomerang. This is half-assed design from a manufacturer.

      • Matt

        August 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

        You have to be the biggest autist on the internet

      • Andy Flinn saluting in Charlottesvile

        August 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm

        Get a fucking life you loser troll!

      • CD

        August 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm

        Geez Andy at least try to sound convincing. It was a b.s. job by Oreca. They could have at least tried for uniqueness.

        • Andy Flinn

          August 18, 2017 at 11:10 pm

          CD, I don’t recall ever mentioning whether I liked it or not.

          I just know that with the unique choice of engine and custom bodywork, the Acura DPi is definitely not like every other Gibson 07 currently racing in IMSA, the ELMS and the WEC.

  10. Nick

    August 18, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Anyone see Exhaust pipes? There’s some round circle in front of the rear wheel, but look small.

    • Travis McBee

      August 18, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Yeah, the exhaust pipes are behind the cockpit on the sides.

    • billthe3

      August 18, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      I thought those looked small too but that is the location on the WEC 07s. The WEC ones have a ceramic panel to prevent damage to the body panel though – imagine they’ll have to do something similar before racing.

      • AF

        August 19, 2017 at 4:25 am

        Pure guess work, but it may be due to the car being turbocharged, as opposed to the standard N/A engine. Seem to remember Porsche doing something similar with the first gen 919 in terms of exhaust placement/single outlets.

  11. CM

    August 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Alright now we just need Ganassi to team up with Lexus again in DPi

    • Grand Am Fan

      August 19, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Bring back the Picchio!

  12. John

    August 18, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    In preparation, Penske will also be entering a P2 at PLM in October, in addition to private endurance tests.

    The P class in 2018 is going to be on another level.

    All the preparation that was part of GM’s DPi program paid off this year. What will they do to respond to the competition for next year?

    • Jake

      August 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      What should they do? They put the most effort into their program by a longshot. And all it did was get them penalzed. They run a car that is completely nuetered down compared to the rest. They are down on power, down significantly on aero, and run heavier than any other prototype.

      • gmwhinerssuk

        August 18, 2017 at 10:58 pm

        That’s some funny stuff there, Jake.

        The Cadillac bodywork is no better than this car and “neutered down compared to the rest”………what a joke.

      • Slicks in the wet

        August 19, 2017 at 11:22 am

        Lol. What? They’ve stomped nearly everyone this year every race. Lol. What are you watching?

        • guest

          August 19, 2017 at 11:44 am

          He’s a Twitter GM fanboy. Unless they win 100% of the races, there’s something wrong.

        • Steven

          August 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

          What did think was gonna happen when they put a DP/Nascar engine into a LMP2 chassis?

          • tracer

            August 19, 2017 at 6:18 pm

            A dp/NASCAR engine? What in the heck are you talking about man?

          • gmwhinerssuk

            August 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

            tracer, are you serious?

            If you aren’t aware that the Caddies are running a DP/NASCAR engine, perhaps you should refrain from further posting.

            You and jake must be bestest buddies……………

  13. Steven

    August 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    So its a Oreca 07 with a bra on the front….where have we seen that before???

    Where is the ingenuity and creativity that the DPi was suppose to be?

    • Guest

      August 19, 2017 at 12:56 am

      On the Mazdas not winning races.

  14. Jeremy bacchus

    August 18, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    It lies in the Mazdas my friend !

    On a side note I think it looks pretty attractive . Looking forward to next year ! Anyone know if MSR will continue with the NSX gtd program wth different #s?

  15. Pete

    August 18, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I mentally pictured this car in old-school Penske black/red/chrome and got a bit hot and bothered.

    I personally love the design, don’t see where all the hate comes from. Plus, more competition and diversity in P is always something to be excited for.

    Super glad I pulled the trigger on going to Petit now that they’ve decided to enter.

  16. JG

    August 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Front end looks alright. Of course they had to keep the ugliest part of the Oreca design- the folded bodywork over the rear wheels (Oreca’s solution for the mandatory bodywork cutouts). Doh!!

    Mazda has nothing to worry about.

  17. CM

    August 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Can we see Katherine Legge’s return to Prototype class next year?

    • tracer

      August 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

      If she’s in a prototype, I highly doubt it’ll be a DPi.

  18. David Chaste

    August 19, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Couldnt they somehow enclose the top part to make it look like one single front end piece ?

    Im sure there is a way to make it aerodynamically work. Considering the heavyweight players involved, the design is a bit underwhelming.

    • StueyB83

      August 19, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Consider the oreca 07 is a fully honed, working design with optimised aerodynamic integration front to back.

      Slapping new bodywork on the front disrupts the aero over the remainder of the car – so any new design wouldnt want to deviate off the original by much because you easily affect and lose performance over the rest of the car.

      If people want a car to look more like the OEM styling – then you shouldn’t expect it from a car design that the OEM doesnt take full ownership for in the first place.

      • Matt

        August 19, 2017 at 2:39 pm

        I think the expectations stem from the amount of lobbying the OEMs did to ensure they could change as much of the bodywork as possible, only for one of them to follow through. Instead weve been given three lukewarm designs of which only one is actually competitive right now.

  19. JeffB

    August 19, 2017 at 1:04 am

    The only way I could like it more would be if the front “wing” between the headlights wasn’t there. But then I guess it would be an Oreca 07 then.

    Still, I’d rather have the front of my cars be low and sleek. Even with the front ‘wing’, the Acura is miles better than ESM’s Nissan that employs the same “wing” element combined with that ghastly gaping hole in the front.

  20. John

    August 19, 2017 at 2:10 am

    It’s surprising how much better the 07 looks with the way Acura has hidden the stepped-window, and extended the DLO with a fake section behind the door opening, like Porsche has done with the 919.

    The cockpit section is cleaner looking, and the consistent shape of the DLO makes it look sleeker. And in profile, it dovetails with the height of the rear fenders.

    It’s obvious a designer who also handles production cars had an influence.

    Whether it will be fast, and not be form over function, is yet to be determined.

    • NASCAR/DPs Suck

      August 21, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      I agree, that nod to the 919 really makes the side profile look better. The split five spoke wheels are pretty cool but that Nissan like wing on the front nose is going to take some getting used to.

  21. dave henrie

    August 19, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I can’t believe you guys do not see the tremendous brand personalization this car has. I mean. Just look. The Acura sticker on the nose. How much MORE do you think they should have done? 🙂

    • Andy Flinn

      August 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      The car has an Acura engine, too. So right there the DPi concept is miles ahead of what is on offer in ELMS or WEC LMP2.

      • STEVE

        August 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm

        I guess we can call the program a success already. Advertising does work!

  22. Pete

    August 19, 2017 at 10:56 am

    So Mr. Dagys, what do you enjoy more? Traveling the world watching and reporting on racing, or the comments section of your own website?

    • KW

      August 19, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Yes, I also enjoyed looking at the many comments here arguing if a race car looks nice or looks like an Acura or not. Nobody here seems to be aware of the fact that when you develop the bodywork of a racing car it is completely irrelevant how the thing looks like; it is relevant if in the end the machine wins races, and it does when the aero works fine, which is the case with the Oreca 07 bodywork. And for a racing company like Oreca or Dallara it is also irrelevant if the thing is called Cadillac, Acura or whatever, main thing somebody pays some money for the development, thus getting some advertising for their series production cars. All you dreamers just dream on…

  23. Drunk

    August 19, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I have man boobs. I like Grand Am because it is the WWE of sports car racing. Avoidable contact! I like my race cars with tube frames and my women in tube tops. Beast is a great beer why aren’t they sponsoring a GTD car. I. Can’t type right now.

    • Drunk

      August 19, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      I am not ashamed to say that Nickelback is a great band. I celebrate their entire catalogue. I am not a leader of men this is how you remind me photograph.

      • Happy

        August 19, 2017 at 11:07 pm


    • KW

      August 20, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Great; this is exactly what I’m talking about, thanks for confirming. Every time when Roger Penske and Austin Cindric develop a new car they ask “Drunk” (from Memphis, Tennessee?) if he wants it well done or raw.

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