Acura today unveiled the ARX-06 LMDh endurance racing car. Set to debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, it features a 2.4-liter V6, the smallest engine ever used by an automaker in endurance racing.
The race car will use the AR24e power unit, which was developed by Honda Performance Developed (HPD) and provides electrification Acura Racing Program for the first time. It’s based on a twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 2.4-liter V6 with a 90-degree lean angle, and will be capable of revs up to 10,000 rpm.
“The new Acura ARX-06 features elements of our Indy-winning technology, Honda Formula One technology and the Rolex 24 technology that won it,” said David Salters, President and CTO of HPD. “This has been achieved through world-class HPD modelling, design, development and manufacturing, which our own engineers have developed, tested and validated.”
Designed to run on low-carbon fuel, Acura aims for the unit to achieve a class-required maximum output of 500 kW (670 hp/680 hp) measured at the rear axle. The hybrid system, meanwhile, will be made from off-the-shelf parts. It will use the IMSA installed Bosch Motor Generator Unit Williams Advanced Engineering accumulators.
Acura says it’s critical that the project includes a design approach to the hybrid powertrain control system, brake-by-wire and vehicle dynamics control system. So they were all written in-house at HPD and the control system architecture was implemented on them Formula 1-spec ECU hardware platform.
For the chassis, meanwhile, Acura continues its partnership with ORECA, one of the manufacturers approved under the LMDh regulations. However, Acura worked with a supplier to build a carbon fiber monocoque specifically for its powertrain’s needs, and it was coded into the automaker’s driver simulator cycle to speed up the car’s development.
The body was developed in Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California in conjunction with ORECA and HPD CFD’s in-house aero engineers. As always, the challenge was to design a body that was distinctly Acura while still making it as aerodynamic as possible.
The team says its drivers were also involved in the design process. In fact, the rear-view mirrors have been moved as a result of their introduction. Thanks to its simulator and virtual reality headsets.
These drivers will compete with Wayne Taylor Racing and the Meyer Shank Racing teams that will field the Acura ARX-06 in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP.
“We look forward to the challenge of racing Porsche, BMW and GM in IMSA’s premier GTP championship, Salters said. “We are aware that this is a big step for us. We have a lot to learn, but that’s why we race.”