Everyone wants a title shot at the 100th anniversary of Le Mans 24h.
Acura now joins Ferrari's hypercar, in addition to Cadillac, BMW, and Peugeot, in showing off its new Le Mans Hypercar class entrant. Here's how this will work for those out of the loop. Mind you, these are loose specifications everyone must adhere to. Cars cannot weigh more than 2,270 lbs, produce more than 670 hp, and must meet an estimated 80% drop in budget. These cars will also run Circuit de la Sarthe (Le Mans) in roughly 3:30.00 lap times.
Anyway, the Acura. As we know from the car's teaser last month, this won't be a race version of Acura NSX like its infamous GT3. It's also the first time we're getting a proper look at Acura's World Endurance Championship (WEC) contender, so let's dig in.
After a shake-down run last week, Acura Motorsports has just finished two days of testing what it has named the Acura ARX-06. "Of course, it is still early days, but I would have to say we're quite pleased with the results of both the initial shake-down runs last week at Paul Ricard; followed by two days this weekend, which ran into the night both on Saturday and Sunday," said David Salters, HPD President, and Technical Director.
Let's take a moment to discuss that name as an aside. Here's how Acura named the ARX. It stands for Acura Racing eXperimental, generation 6. If you remember, this is somewhat similar to the NSX's nomenclature, which stands for New Sports eXperience. We doubt that is the last NSX similarity on this car to pay homage to their outstanding Japanese supercar.
The brand has a solid history in both IMSA SportsCar racing and in endurance racing. It swept all three major IMSA DPi championships in both 2019 and 2020. Acura won Daytona in 2021 and 2022, with a 1-2 finish at Daytona. However, this new WEC Hypercar class is intended to be a sort of reset button for its motorsport efforts.
Totally new regs and budget constraints could thoroughly shake up the Le Mans field. Toyota has won Le Mans a staggering five times in a row now. Can another Japanese automaker come in and usurp the throne dominated by the Germans? We'll have to wait and see. Le Mans 2022 just went down last month, and it'll be a while before we see any of these Hypercars out on the Circuit de la Sarthe wheel-to-wheel, but we are as ready as any entrant is.