Acura is no stranger to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year marks the automaker's 13th consecutive outing at the annual “race to the clouds,” and per usual, Acura is bringing some really special vehicles with it.
The new Integra Type S makes its racing debut this year at Pikes Peak. Built by the Honda Of America Racing Team (HART) and done up with Honda Performance Development (HPD) parts, this Integra comes with a custom hood, front splitter, and rear wing, new 19-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan A005 tires, and a full Borla exhaust system.
But the best bit – at least visually – is the Integra's livery. The red-and-white wrap is inspired by the anime Chiaki's Journey, in which the car stars. Behind the wheel of this race-prepped Type S will be fourth-generation race car driver Loni Unser.
Four other Acura vehicles will take the starting line alongside the Integra Type S when the race kicks off in just a few weeks. The field includes a HART-modified Integra 1.5T, a TLX Type S, a TLX Type S PMC Edition, and an absolutely insane-looking NSX Type S Active Aero Study.
Acura calls this NSX "Yamabiko" for short – the name of a mythological mountain spirit found in Japanese folklore. It was designed specifically for maximum aerodynamic performance at Pikes Peak and created by a skunkworks division of HART called "Crazy New." These are the same mad scientists that came up with the 800-horsepower Honda CR-V hybrid racer.
Custom carbon fiber bodywork adorns the front and rear of the NSX Type S, giving it its defined arrow-like shape. A dynamic rear wing acts as a drag reduction system to help increase speed on longer portions of the course and becomes an air brake to help slow the NSX under hard braking.
Two bigger turbos are bolted onto the 3.5-liter V6 engine while new lightweight HRE forged wheels come wrapped in Yokohama Advan A005 tires. All in all, this NSX Type S is 200 pounds lighter than stock. Honda engineer and experienced Pikes Peak racer, James Robinson, will be behind the wheel; he previously set a record in the Hybrid Fuel class at Pikes Peak in the standard NSX.
"We created the Acura NSX Type S Active Aero Study, aka ‘Yamabiko,’ to improve our own Pikes Peak record," says Robinson. "It’s by far the most extreme machine the Acura Race Team has ever raced to the clouds."
The 2023 Pikes Peak Hill Climb kicks off officially on Sunday, June 25, and runs throughout the weekend. This is the 101st running of the event, with the 12.4-mile course consisting of 156 turns on the way up to a 14,115-foot summit.