40 AUGUST 2017
ne of the first things Art St. Cyr,
president of Honda Performance
Development, will tell you is that it was
never even a question: If there was going
to be a new Acura NSX for the street,
there was also going to be a racecar.
“It was part of the program from the
very beginning,” says St. Cyr. “As soon
as Honda’s then-president, Takanobu
Ito, announced back in 2012 that we
were going to build the NSX, we were
It had been nearly two decades since
I last sampled an NSX, and now I was on
my way to GingerMan Raceway, Mich., to
not only drive the latest road-going
version, but also join the elite group of
individuals who’ve recorded laps behind
the wheel of the NSX GT3 racecar.
Up until the point I began circulating
GingerMan, I’d somehow managed to
never even see the new street NSX in the
flesh, let alone drive it. On track, the
power delivery was very impressive as
the front-mounted twin motor unit aided
the cars acceleration significantly, helping
to negate any hint of turbo lag.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the
mapping and performance of the nine-speed, dual-clutch transmission which,
when set in track mode, always seemed
to find the sweet spot. Try as you might,
it’s hardly worth the effort to bypass the
computer and shift manually – chances
are it’s way better than you.
The carbon-ceramic brakes on our
test NSX were tortured out on the track,
as GingerMan affords numerous
opportunities to get up to triple-digit
speeds, before punishing the car at the
end of those high-speed runs with the
slowest turns imaginable.
On the track, the NSX is nimble on
turn-in, changing direction more quickly
than expected. Almost a little too quick for
a car of its stature, as an overly aggressive
turn of the steering wheel gives just a hint
that the NSX might want to switch ends
– although stability control squashes that.
Once you come to grips with the level
The Acura NSX street car can show its performance chops on a
race track, but the GT3 racer takes it to a whole different level.
WORDS Jason Isley MAIN IMAGE Phillip Abbott/LAT
(MAIN) The NSX GT3 racecar is well
balanced and inspires confidence. It begs
to be pushed harder, and often can take
more than you’re ready to give. (LEFT)
RACER ’s Jason Isley climbs inside.