Volkswagen has generated a lot of publicity for with its I.D. R race car. The extreme EV will tackle the daunting Pikes Peak International Hill Climb later this month to attempt a new record. Acura has now announced it will also be entering the event, albeit with something less radical. To promote the recently unveiled 2019 RDX, a modified version of the crossover will tackle the 12.42-mile long mountain course on June 24. The 2019 Acura RDX will compete in the Exhibition Class and will be driven by Jordan Guitar from Acura's chassis development group.
Acura describes the Pikes Peak RDX as "production-based," but it’s been heavily modified. The crossover’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine has been upgraded from 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque to a more capable 350 hp and 330 lb-ft. To achieve this power boost, Acura installed a larger tubrobharger and intercooler, along with a 48-volt electric supercharger to help reduce turbo lag at higher altitudes. The RDX race car will still send power through a ten-speed automatic, and its SH-AWD torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system has been modified for rear bias. Other handling enhancements include race-tuned suspension, custom 19-inch HRE forged race wheels and Pirelli racing tires.
Braking performance has been upgraded with Brembo front brake calipers and racing pads, and the interior has been stripped out to help reduce weight. The RDX isn’t the only production-based Acura vehicle that will climb Pikes Peak. Acura will also be entering a TLX A-Spec in the Exhibition Class, featuring aerodynamic improvements, a revised suspension, a limited-slip differential and a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 500 hp. An NSX Time Attack car will also be at the event. Last year, the Time Attack 1 NSX set the overall hybrid record, but this year’s car is lighter and has larger turbochargers, as well as a larger rear wing and front splitter.
Lastly, RealTime Racing will compete at Pikes Peak in a TLX GT race car. The model features a twin-turbo V6 engine, revised transmission gearing and suspension designed specifically for hill climbs.