Once again, Acura is headed to Pikes Peak for the hillclimb on June 25 with a small group of machines. This year the focus is on the TLX, with two vehicles bearing the sedan’s name and shape. The two cars are very different, though, and will compete in two different classes. The first is the TLX A-Spec. This started life as a production TLX, but the 3.5-liter V6 has been reworked with pistons, rods, camshafts, and a valvetrain from Acura’s TLX GT race car. The engine also has a turbocharger, which helps the V6 make an impressive 500 horsepower. All those ponies go to the front wheels through a limited-slip differential. In addition to the powertrain upgrades, the interior has been gutted, and a big wing and front splitter fitted. The A-Spec will compete in the Pikes Peak exhibition class.
The other TLX is a TLX GT. This is the type of car from which the A-Spec borrows engine components, but not the TLX GT’s twin-turbocharger system. TLX GTs have already been competing in motorsports, specifically in the Pirelli World Challenge. Acura did make some changes to this car for Pikes Peak, though. The suspension and engine computer have been tweaked, gear ratios shortened, and additional aerodynamic bits added for more downforce. The TLX GT will compete in the open class.
Despite the focus on the TLX, Acura is still bringing an NSX to the hill climb. This car is similar to the one that raced in the Time Attack 1 class last year, but has some changes for the Time Attack 2 class. Most notable of these changes are the massive rear wing and front splitter. According to Acura, these aerodynamic aids were based on those used for the NSX GT3 race car. Acura also reduced weight, changed the tuning on the engine computer, and fitted sticky R-compound tires.