Acura is continuing its tradition of taking modified production cars to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with plans to race the new crossover up the famous mountain. Also present from Acura will be a 500-horsepower TLX A-Spec, a TLX GT racing car and an NSX Time Attack car.
The 2019 Acura RDX will compete in the Exhibition Class and is described as "production-based," but there's a long list of modifications. For starters, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine has been upgraded from its factory rating of 272 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque to 350 hp and 330 lb-ft. That power boost comes courtesy of a larger turbocharger and a larger intercooler, plus a 48-volt electric supercharger that's intended to help combat turbo lag as the RDX reaches higher elevations.
The crossover's ten-speed automatic will be used, too. Its SH-AWD torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system has been modified for rear bias than the factory model. Other changes include "race-tuned" suspension, HRE 19-inch wheels shod in Pirelli race tires and upgraded Brembo front brakes with race-spec pads. Naturally, the usually luxurious interior has been gutted so a roll cage and other safety gear can be fitted.
As to the other cars, they all receive tweaks to improve upon their performance last year. The TLX A-Spec, for instance, still delivers 500 hp, but its suspension and engine tuning have been revised, its aerodynamics improved and its weight reduced. The TLX GT race car has redesigned suspension and new gear ratios to cope with the hill climb, as well as more downforce than last year's model. Rule changes mean the car can now use racing slicks. Last year, the TLX set a new record in Pikes Peak's Open Class.
Finally, the Time Attack Acura NSX returns with a bigger wing and front splitter, plus bigger turbochargers for the hybrid powertrain's V6 engine. New software adjusts the SH-AWD system's torque distribution and, like on the TLX GT, Pirelli racing tires are now equipped. Last year, the NSX set the ninth-place overall finish at Pikes Peak and the fastest hybrid run.