First Images, Details: Acura ARX-06 for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
The Acura ARX-06 will make its racing debut in January in the GTP category at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series' Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The public unveiling of the newest racing machine in the Acura stable will take place August 19, at The Quail.
In 2023, Acura will partner with the Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing teams to campaign a pair of hybrid-powered Acura ARX-06 entries.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship just added another looker to its 2023 GTP field.
Acura Motorsports today released the first official images, ahead of its first public unveiling later this week in California. Along with first images, Acura shared some of the specifications for the all-new, electrified Acura ARX-06 prototype sports car.
The car will make its racing debut in January in the GTP category at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series' Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The ARX-06 features Acura-specific bodywork and an ORECA LMDh chassis which utilizes an electrified hybrid power unit featuring a bespoke twin-turbocharged 2.4 liter V6 internal combustion engine designed by Honda Performance Development.
The public unveiling of the newest racing machine in the Acura stable will take place August 19, at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, in Carmel, California.
The car will race in IMSA's new to GTP category next season against BMW, Cadillac and Porsche.
"Precision Crafted Performance is at the heart of everything Acura does," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer, in a press release. "If you're a performance brand, you have to go racing. It's that simple. Both the existing ARX-05 prototype and our production-based NSX GT3 have proven to be race- and championship-winning designs on tracks all across North America. Now, with the introduction of the new, electrified Acura ARX-06, we look forward to facing off against other premium automotive brands from around the world—and continuing our winning ways."
"HPD has 30 years of race-winning and championship-winning history," said David Salters, HPD President and Technical Director. "Not only in endurance sports car racing, but in developing championship-winning Honda Civic-based racing cars, the powertrain for the Baja Ridgeline race truck, Formula Regional Americas and Formula 4 powertrains with the Type R engine, and of course the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series.
"We are HPD. We race, we develop our engineers and technology through racing. We have an amazing and unique racing legacy, both past and present. It's what we do as Acura's— and Honda's—North American racing organization. We are looking forward to the challenge of racing Porsche, BMW and GM in IMSA's pinnacle GTP championship. We are very cognizant this is a big step for us. We have a lot to learn, but that is why race."
"The new Acura ARX-06 has elements of our Indy-winning technology, Honda Formula One technology and Rolex 24-winning technology in it. This was achieved using HPD's world-class simulation, design, development and manufacturing technologies; that our own engineers have developed, tested and validated. We are very proud of that. Now the challenge and hard work really starts, including grueling 24 hour simulations, and learning how to maximize all aspects of performance."
According to the Acura release, the complete hybrid power unit is based around the Acura AR24e internal combustion engine (ICE), an all-new bespoke 2.4-lliter, twin-turbocharged direct injection racing V6 that was designed, developed and manufactured by HPD.
At 2.4 liters, this is the smallest displacement ICE conceived by HPD for endurance racing, yet still meets the performance target of 500 kW as measured at the rear axle by torque meters.
The hybrid power plant includes an IMSA-specified electric Bosch Motor Generator Unit (MGU) and Williams Advanced Engineering battery pack. The MGU is contained in a common transmission casing and gearbox internals provided by Xtrac. The battery, within the chassis survival cell, is built by Williams Advanced Engineering. The HPD Electrical Group completed both hardware and software development to best match the spec MGU and battery pack to the Acura ICE.
Both IMSA in North America and FIA World Endurance Championship rules require manufacturers to use one of four approved prototype chassis, fitted with IMSA-homologated, manufacturer-designed and branded bodywork and engines.
For this project, Acura continued its relationship with ORECA. Since moving into chassis design and construction in 2007, ORECA has produced a series of winning sports prototypes, including the Acura ARX-05 for the IMSA series.
HPD's Vehicle Performance Group worked closely with the ORECA design team and engineers to simulate chassis layout geometries and lap time optimization studies.
Bodywork and Aerodynamics
HPD's aerodynamics engineers and in-house CFD aero engineers worked with the Acura styling studio in Los Angeles and chassis builder ORECA to help develop the styling and maximize the aerodynamic performance envelope of the ARX-06, while keeping it within the homologation boxes as specified by IMSA and the FIA.
"The process we used in creating the exterior design for the Acura ARX-06 is exactly the same as how we create a new Acura passenger vehicle," said Dave Marek, Acura executive creative director.
Driver and team input was also sought throughout the design process. One change initiated by the drivers was a revision to the placement of the rearview mirrors. Using virtul reality headsets, drivers were able to sit in the car virtually and recommend a lower placement for the side mirrors, improving both the aero efficiency of the ARX-06 and visibility for the drivers.
In 2023, Acura will partner with the Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing teams to campaign a pair of hybrid-powered Acura ARX-06 entries in the featured GTP category of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
This season, Wayne Taylor Racing has four wins and a second to lead the IMSA Drivers' and Teams' championships heading into the final race of the DPi season at Road Atlanta in October. Meyer Shank Racing won the Rolex 24 at Daytona for Acura this season and added five second-place finishes in eight races to rank second in both the drivers' and teams' standings.
Acura has unofficially clinched the 2022 IMSA Manufacturers' Championship, while the Drivers' and Teams' Championships are still up for grabs among the Wayne Taylor and Meyer Shank squads.
Acura ARX-06 Details
And finally, Acura shared some of the key details of its newest race car:
Carbon fiber monocoque chassis manufactured by ORECA
Acura-specific bodywork, aerodynamics and cooling systems
Double wishbone, pushrod suspension front and rear, Penske dampers
FIA-specified roll cage structure, carbon fiber driver's seat shell, six-point safety harness, fresh air intake system, on-board fire suppression system
Bespoke Acura 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct injected V6 internal combustion engine designed, developed and manufactured by HPD, mated to IMSA-specified electric Bosch Motor Generator Unit (MGU) and Williams Advanced Engineering battery pack
IMSA-specified XTrac six-speed, sequential, paddle-operated transmission, rear-wheel drive
Chassis dimensions: 5100 mm length x 2000 mm width x 1060 mm height (above reference plane); 3148 mm wheelbase