Aside from the NSX, the rest of the current Acura lineup is rather bland. Let’s face it. What happened to the Acura that we adored back in the 1990s with the likes of the Legend, Integra and RSX (especially the RSX Type-S)? Honda’s premium division has some work to do, but today we have some fresh confidence Acura is getting it together. Meet the ARX-05 prototype race car, joint Acura and Team Penske effort that’s having its debut at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, at Monterey Car Week.
A pair of these will actually race next year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the prototype itself will debut at the Rolex 24 this coming January. Power comes from the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that’s under the hood of the Acura TLX, MDX, RDX, and RLX, only this time it’s been configured to produce around 600 hp.
This familiar and now more powerful than ever AR35TT engine has been utilized in motorsport before, specifically at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011-13, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and LMP2 World Endurance Championship in 2012, and Petit Le Mans in 2016. "We’ve won with the Acura Integra Type R, the RSX, the first-generation NSX and with the Le Mans prototypes," stated Honda Performance Development boss Art St. Cyr. "Most recently, we’ve won with the new Acura NSX GT3. The ARX-05 is our fifth-generation prototype, and we expect great things from our partnership with Team Penske." Integra Type R? Did he just make reference to that? Yes.
You see, Acura desperately needs to get back into the performance car game if it plans on having a future. Six-figure supercars like the NSX are great and all, but that alone isn’t enough. Why isn’t Acura doing cars like the new Honda Civic Type R, only with sedans (or Cayman fighters)? Why isn’t the TLX the BMW 3 Series it needs to be? Perhaps Acura’s greater emphasis on motorsport, such as with the ARX-5 prototype, will lead to road cars that are actually worth their price tags.