For the upcoming 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship season, the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) series’ premier racing class will be renamed Grand Touring Prototype. The name dates back to the golden age of the sanctioning body from 1981-1993, better known as the ‘GTP’.

IMSA is turning the script even further with a host of new rules, including the introduction of a standardized hybrid assistance system. Aimed at improving fuel economy and sustainability, the organization’s directives sent competitors back to the drawing board, including defending champion Acura. Honda’s luxury brand responds to the green-tinted rulebook with this all-new ARX-06 Le Mans Daytona Hybridwhich debuts Friday at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering during Monterey Car Week.

Acura ARX-06 Race Car

This rear-wheel-drive LMDh race car is powered by Honda Performance Development’s custom-built 2.4-liter twin-turbo V-6, backed by the aforementioned series-spec hybrid equipment. A standardized Bosch Generator Unit engine sits inside an Xtrac 6-speed sequential gearbox with a Williams Advanced Engineering battery. Output is claimed at 500 kW, or 680 hp, to meet the series target.

IMSA and the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship are banning one of four chassis prototypes next season. Unsurprisingly, having won several DPi championships in recent years with Oreca, Acura based the ARX-06 on the new LMDh constructor chassis.

Acura officials say the GTP class options were designed to attract new competitors, in part by allowing teams to style entries more closely reminiscent of the automaker’s road-going models. We’re not sure what Acura’s street car looks like, but we’ll find out what the ARX-06 looks like nonetheless. Its exterior was courtesy of Acura’s Los Angeles design studio, which went through a similar design process as the automaker’s production models. Z output ARX-05 DPithe Los Angeles-based Acura team’s influence was limited to designing the nose, so the chance to paint an entire car must have been an exciting challenge.

Acura ARX-06 Race Car

Acura ARX-06 Race Car

The ARX-06 retains the hammerhead look of its predecessor, updated to include a number of visual cues inspired by the new NSX Type S, as well as large chicane-style headlights. The latter was in response to feedback from drivers who complained that the ARX-05’s headlights were a blind spot for night racing.

Acura’s ARX-06 will make its competition debut this January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing fielding the new car. The starting spot is fitting because Acura is the defending champion of the race, having scored a 1-2 at the legendary enduro in 2022.

– Chris Paukert

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