How do a 625-horsepower NSX and a 400-hp MDX sound, for starters?
Want to tackle the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb? You'd better bring the right machinery. And that's just what Acura is doing this year.
The Japanese luxury marque is coming out in force with no fewer than five entries – and it's supplying the pace car, too. None of them are gunning for the outright record in the top Unlimited Class, mind you, but it's a pretty impressive array of machinery that could make for an even more victorious showing than last year. And it starts with a brand new MDX crossover built just for the occasion.
Competing in the Exhibition Class, the custom MDX Sport Hybrid packs an V6 bored out to 3.7 liters and mated to a trio of electric motors to produce 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque – a whole lot more than the production version's 321 hp and 289 lb-ft – channeled to all four corners through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. It also features a revised suspension, full roll cage, and a stripped out cockpit.
Joining it will be the Time Attack NSX that took the hybrid production-car record last year, fitted with bigger turbos to kick out 625 hp.
Also returning to the field is the RDX A-Spec that was forced out by bad weather last year, and the TLX GT that took the Open Class win (and third overall) last year. And there'll be a near-production-spec NSX on hand this year as well, barely modified with only the required safety equipment.
While SSCA Hall of Fame driver Peter Cunningham will again take the wheel of the TLX GT, the other four entries will all be driven by engineers working for Acura in Ohio. That in and of itself makes for an interesting lineup, in case the machinery they've developed (and will be piloting) isn't impressive enough.