Acura will roll out with a second Evo for its NSX GT3 car next year, in what has been described as a “relatively minor” upgrade according to program manager Lee Niffenegger.
The mid-engined sports car, which debuted in 2016, received its first Evo in 2019, which featured significant bodywork and mechanical updates to the JAS Motorsport-built car.
This time around, the yet-to-be-named Evo will be comprised of mechanical updates only, according to Niffenegger, who said it’s on the scale of “off-season maintenance” for its customer teams.
While declining to go into details on the exact areas of updates, Niffenegger confirmed that JAS and Honda Performance Development have already completed development work and validation testing in both Europe and the U.S.
HPD factory driver Mario Farnbacher was tasked with the majority of the development.
“The main reason [to do the second Evo now] is that it’s been three years [since the last],” Niffenegger told Sportscar365.
“Globally as the car has raced more and more, there’s been some small things we’ve wanted to make some upgrades on that the customers can appreciate.”
Niffenegger said the timing of the GT3 regulations refresh in 2022 didn’t play a factor into its decision making process.
While Audi has opted for an Evo for its R8 LMS GT3 car next year, Lamborghini, meanwhile, has chosen to delay its Evo2 for its Huracan GT3 until 2023.
All-new GT3 models from BMW (M4 GT3) and Porsche (911 GT3 R), are due out in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
“The performance windows don’t change for 2022 and it’s BoP,” said Niffenegger. “Unless there’s a really good technical reason to change [the car’s performance], there’s no reason to change it.
“You’d be spending money and making the customers spend money that in the long run really doesn’t benefit them.
“You have to think really strategically about what really benefits the customer.”
While not a mandatory upgrade for teams outside of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Niffenegger said he expects all of the Acura/Honda NSX GT3 customer teams globally to run the new Evo next year.
“My expectation is that every car in the world will do it,” he said. “It’s a relatively minor [update], in the price range of an off-season service.”
Acura currently has three customer GT3 teams competing in the WeatherTech Championship in Magnus by Archangel, Compass Racing and Gradient Racing, while Compass and Racers Edge Motorsports are represented on the grid in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS.
Several NSX GT3 Evos also compete in Europe and Japan under the Honda nameplate.