Car Culture

Acura NSX holds its own against NSX GT3 Evo race car, but can't out-lap it

In more than one way, but not every way, the road-legal NSX is superior.

The road-legal NSX is also significantly less expensive than the race car.

Acura

A good bit of modern GT racing involves keeping the playing field as even as possible. Sometimes that means ditching driven wheels or making less power than a road car equivalent, and all those changes tend to actually make the race car less capable in certain ways than its street-legal sibling, even if it's still faster around a track. That's the case with the Acura NSX and the NSX GT3 Evo, as a new video points out.

Acura on Wednesday put out a new video comparing the regular ol' Acura NSX with its racing counterpart, the NSX GT3 Evo. Racing driver Trent Hindman compares the two vehicles in a few different ways, including acceleration, braking and general ease of use. The video ends with a head-to-head lap around the Mid-Ohio course.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that, in standalone acceleration tests, the road-legal NSX walks away from the race car. The street car has a 573-horsepower hybrid V6 powertrain and all-wheel drive, whereas regulations limit the NSX GT3 Evo to rear-wheel drive and ditch all the hybrid components. Even though it's some 1,000 pounds lighter than the road car, the race car just can't keep up -- but it wasn't designed for acceleration alone.

Even though the two cars share about 80% of their components, everything coalesces on the race car in a completely different way. The NSX GT3's ridiculous aerodynamics, which would be ripped off the car on a standard driveway or speed bump, produce about 500 percent more downforce than the road car. When everything comes together, the NSX GT3 Evo can lap Mid-Ohio about 9 seconds faster than the street-legal NSX. But then again, the cars are built for two very different purposes, so the results shouldn't surprise anybody too much.