While we have already discovered the Porsche 963 LMDh and the BMW M Hybrid V8 as well as the Cadillac, it’s Acura’s turn to present us with its car which will race in the IMSA GTP Endurance Championship.
Acura today unveiled the ARX-06 LMDh endurance race car. Set to make its Rolex 24 debut at Daytona in January, it features a 2.4-litre V6, the smallest engine the automaker has ever installed in an endurance racing car. The car will use the AR24e power unit, which was developed by Honda Performance Developed (HPD) and brings electrification to Acura’s racing program for the first time. Based on a 2.4-litre, twin-turbocharged, direct-injection V6, it will be capable of revving up to 10,000 rpm. “The new Acura ARX-06 also contains elements of our Indycar technology, Honda Formula One technology and Rolex 24 technology”said David Salters, president and chief technical officer of HPD. “This was achieved using HPD simulation, design, development and manufacturing technologies that our own engineers developed, tested and validated.”
Designed to run on low-carbon fuel, Acura aims for the unit to achieve the class-mandated maximum power output of 680 horsepower. The hybrid system, meanwhile, will consist of parts from a common supplier: an IMSA Championship-specific Bosch motor and a Williams Advanced Engineering battery pack. Acura says it was essential that the project start with a “clean slate” for the hybrid powertrain control system, braking and vehicle dynamics control system. All were therefore created internally at HPD and the architecture of the entire system was implemented on a Formula 1 electronic platform.
A revolution for Honda
For the chassis, Acura continues its partnership with ORECA, one of the manufacturers approved under LMDh rules. Acura, however, worked with the supplier to build the carbon-fiber monocoque specifically for its powertrain needs, and it was coded into the automaker’s simulator to help speed development of the car. The body was designed at the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, in conjunction with CFD aerodynamic engineers from ORECA and HPD. As always, the project was to design a visually recognizable body like an Acura, while making it as aerodynamic as possible.
The team says its drivers were also involved in the design process. Moreover, the mirrors were moved following their intervention. Acura was able to place them for optimal aerodynamic efficiency while remaining visible to pilots. These drivers will compete with teams Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing, who will race the Acura ARX-06 in the GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023. and General Motors in the GTP IMSA Championship,” Salters said. “We are very aware that this is a big step for us. We have a lot to learn, but that’s why we race”.