Acura ARX-06 Hybrid Race Car Ready For 2023 IMSA GTP


In the modern era of racing, brand identity doe not matter much. These cars are generally performance focused leaving very little room for creativity. The 2023 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car Championship will feature some of the greatest racing cars. So its GTP class has released some guidelines regarding entries. “Entries will carry significant design cues and styling closely align with each manufacturer’s roadgoing products“. It’s been decades since race cars used their street cars counterparts, Acura family decided too bring a family resemblance to the exterior of the new ARX-06 prototype.

The ARX-06 comes with an all-new twin-turbocharged 90-degree 2.4L V6 developed by Honda Performance Development team. It can produce upto 10,000 rpm, and is mated with a IMSA-specified hybrid system. Its six-speed sequential transaxle helps for the rear-wheel-drive.

This car built with the joint collaboration of ORECA, HPD, and Acura Design Studio, where ORECA supplied the underpinnings. Acura ARX-06 rides on a 123.9-inch broad wheelbase, whereas its carbon-fiber monocoque chassis has an unequal-length-control-arm suspension. While altering the chassis is off limits, manufacturers can personalize the exterior to a much greater extent.

Acura ARX-06
via- Acura

Dave Marek, the executive creative director of Acura, stated that he relished the challenge. “Let’s just make the thing cool and look like a show car”, he said to his team. Dave knew from the experience of previously built ARX-05 that even a simple design could be difficult to execute. “At the time, IMSA wanted the race cars to be more like passenger cars. So we started and they again and again said you can’t change that, that, or that. At the end of the day, I wanted it to look like our car, and also want to win. So let’s build the best we can”.

Now here comes the role of Acura Design Studio, where their LA based studio built up the exterior styling of ARX-06. Stylists from Acura’s production car division created the initial sketches, that ultimately led to the scale product. Once the scale product is ready, the design team started working on further refining of aerodynamic performance with HPD and ORECA. Special Projects Leader, Bill Yex points that good looks are as importance as developing the proper aerodynamic efficiency. So this thing needs to be low drag, and high downforce balanced.

Initial Sketches
via- Acura

Additional helps from racing partners Meyer Shank and Wayne Taylor helped to fine tune details from a real-world perspective. Marek received several complaints regarding Acura ARX-05’s lighting, hence he redesigned the front clusters on ARX-06. It improved both their appearance as well as intensity. The attached VR enables drivers to ‘sit’ in cockpit and adjust their driving position.

Those Lights Look Familiar

When the full-fledged view of ARX-06 is observed, it addresses the collaboration of everyone involved. The familiar Acura styling in the car design can be observed, with the “chicane” taillights out back.

ARX-06 - Headlights
via- Acura

Still, Dave was unable to win every battle. “The rear part still occupied by some restrictions”. IMSA regulators pointed him out when he was trying to improve a blocky part. “It was illegal, you can’t do that. In reply, I said, ‘why is that illegal? What the hell, man?’ “. Keeping constraints aside, Dave is still proud of his work and what they have accomplished.

The ARX-06 gonna make its debut starting with the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2023.

Other racing brands will provide a tough competition to Acura at GTP class, although they have dominated the recent IMSA endurance racing. Their longtime rival Cadillac is once again looking forward to give head to head challenge along with newcomers Porsche and BMW. Still, just look for its headlights and you could easily spot this Acura.

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