Honda’s luxury Acura arm in North America will campaign an all-electric NSX-inspired EV Concept in the Electric Modified Class at the 2016 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The NSX EV Concept features a further evolution of the experimental, all-electric, 4-motor Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) powertrain that won last year’s Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition class.

The supercar-inspired NSX EV Concept will be driven by Tetsuya Yamano, who campaigned in last year’s CR-Z-based electric prototype. The NSX EV Concept is the ultimate embodiment of the all-wheel-drive Electric SH-AWD powertrain featuring a world’s first technology that enables four-wheel independent torque allocation.

The Concept’s Electric SH-AWD powertrain produces three times the total system output of last year’s electric prototype and is mated to the NSX body.

“We’ve been tuning the car for several weeks at Pikes and have advanced its performance significantly,” said Tetsuya Yamano. “We’re honored to be running at Pikes in this historical, anniversary year – an event respected by racing fans all over the world.” 

4-Motor Development

Honda R&D has been developing “super handling” technology for more than 20 years in the pursuit of ideal vehicle handling. By applying separate Twin Motor Units (TMUs), the brains of Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, on each axle, the NSX has achieved independent torque distribution to all four corners – true four-wheel torque vectoring. Based upon the learnings from last year’s race, the team updated the system management of the powertrain for more precise thrust at each wheel. 

The NSX’s unique Sport Hybrid SH-AWD technology utilises the highly responsive acceleration characteristics and regeneration capability of electric motors to further advance the torque vectoring systems currently applied to the NSX. The system enables ideal handling characteristics in various driving situations by co-ordinating and managing all dynamic systems, including Electronic Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. 

With its high-output electric motors and 4-motor torque vectoring, the Concept is well suited to the demands of the 156 complex corners the driver will encounter on the 19.9 km drive up Pikes Peak, Colorado. Participants start at an altitude of 2862 m and finish the drive at 4302 m.

The Pikes Peak event starts on June 26.

A pair of Honda NSX supercars will participate in the 100th Anniversary of the running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26, marking the North American racing debut of Acura’s next-generation NSX. The Pikes Peak hill climb is the pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance and the only supercar made in America.

The two NSX supercars will compete in the Time Attack 1 and 2 classes and will be piloted by brothers James and Nick Robinson, respectively, both from the company’s North American engineering team. In addition, an NSX-inspired prototype vehicle will campaign in the Electric Modified Class, featuring a further evolution of the experimental all-electric, 4-motor Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) powertrain that won last year’s Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition class.

“Pikes Peak is like no other race in the world and offers a unique opportunity to showcase the power and performance of our products,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura Division in North America. The NSX will be sold in North America under the Acura brand. “We are excited for this year’s ‘Race to the Clouds’ to test the endurance and engineering of the Acura NSX and our advanced powertrain technologies – as well as an expression of our racing spirit.”

A team of North American R&D engineers has been working on both NSX entries, which feature the same three-motor Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive powertrain (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD) as the production NSX. This powertrain features a twin-turbo V6 engine mated to a 9-speed dual clutch transmission and Rear Direct Drive Motor, and a front Twin Motor Unit with a world’s first electrically powered torque vectoring capability in the supercar realm. Modifications to the NSX competing in the Time Attack 1 class included chassis lightening and a custom high-flow racing exhaust.

The NSX competing in the Time Attack 2 class is a production car with the required safety equipment for competition. The Time Attack 1 NSX will be driven by James Robinson of the company’s North American powertrain development group, who drove a first-generation NSX in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb from 2012 to 2015. His brother Nick Robinson, an engineer in charge of the new NSX’s dynamic performance during its development, will drive the Time Attack 2 NSX. Nick is also the reigning PP250 winner from the 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

The supercar-inspired 4-Motor EV Concept will be driven by Tetsuya Yamano, who campaigned last year’s CR-Z-based electric prototype. The EV Concept is the ultimate embodiment of the all-wheel-drive Electric SH-AWD powertrain featuring a world’s first technology that enables four-wheel independent torque allocation.

The Electric SH-AWD powertrain, an evolution of the CR-Z prototype powertrain, produces three times the total system output of last year’s electric prototype and is mated to the NSX body. As Official Pace Car sponsor, Acura will feature three pace cars – the NSX as well as two North American Acuras, the seven-passenger MDX performance-luxury SUV and the TLX sports sedan. President of Polyphony Digital and Producer of the Gran Turismo series Kazunori Yamauchi and Pikes Peak legends Randy Schranz and Leonard Vahsholtz will lead the field of 100 entrants to the top of the 14,115-foot Colorado peak.

For Pikes Peak race attendees, the NSX and other pace cars will appear at a number of pre-race activities, including the popular Fan Fest in downtown Colorado Springs, on Friday, June 24.