This time at Pikes Peak.
The Acura NSX is no stranger to the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Not only did it return for this year's event but another new Acura also tagged along. The 2021 Acura TLX made its motorsport debut at the Race to the Clouds which has the potential to be brutal. Just ask the drivers of this pair of Tesla Model 3 hill climbers. Acura entered two race-prepped TLX sport sedans to the event, driven by engineers who work at Acura's R&D center in Ohio.
Impressively, they managed to finish fifth and sixth in their Exhibition Class. Acura also brought along an early development TLX Type S for additional testing. Conveniently enough, it served as the event's official Pace Car. But the automaker's main cause for celebration this year involves the NSX hybrid.
Driver James Robinson finished third in the Time Attack 1 class with a time of 10:01.913, an improvement over his previous best time of 10:02.448 set in 2018. This latest time also happens to be a new record for a production vehicle with a hybrid powertrain. Acura's history with Pikes Peak goes back several years. Not only does it bring good publicity, but the race is the ideal setting to test out new performance technologies prior to production.
The fact that Acura engineers serve as the racing drivers presents an opportunity for them to improve their skills behind the wheel while attaining vital engineering knowledge. Only so much can be learned from behind a desk.
The entire Acura Pikes Peak race team, in fact, are company engineers who are in charge of every aspect of the race, such as the development of the vehicles, race prep, crew support, and navigating the cars safely to the finish line. Though it was never intended to be a huge seller (what halo model is?), the NSX does its job brilliantly by bringing attention to the brand and customers to showrooms.
Not everyone may be able to afford a nearly $160,000 NSX, but the all-new 2021 TLX will carry a starting price of $38,525. The upcoming Type S, due next spring, will up the excitement factor with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The base 2.0 model has a respectable 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of twist on tap.