A strong qualifying performance and fast opening stint from Katherine Legge, followed by a quick pit stop by the Michael Shank Racing team and successful closing run by co-driver Andy Lally, netted the first victory for the Acura NSX GT3 in international sports car racing Saturday on the Belle Isle Park temporary street circuit in Detroit, Michigan.
When the green flag waved with just over an hour remaining, Lally held off a challenge from the Ferrari of Alesandro Balzan, and then pulled away in the closing laps to take the checkers just over two and a half seconds clear of the GTD field.
Starting at the rear of the 15-car GTD field after a crash in practice on Friday, Negri moved the #86 car up to 12th prior to pitting and handing off to co-driver Segal. In another dramatic strategy call, the MSR team elected to make the stop for driver and fuel only, saving time in pit lane by keeping the same tires on the #86 NSX and gaining six positions in the process.
Segal then moved up three more positions early in his run and attempted to hold on to third place in the closing laps. But, with just over two laps remaining, contact from the following Lamborghini of Madison Snow briefly sent Segal off-line, and he fell back to fifth at the checkers. Still, the 1/5 finish for Acura and the Michael Shank Racing team today is the best-combined result for the NSX GT-3 since it debuted in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in January.
Developed from the production Acura NSX, the NSX GT3 utilizes the production NSX’s ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with aluminum-intensive space frame, which is produced at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio, exclusive worldwide manufacturing facility for the NSX. The 3.5-liter racing engine uses the same design specifications as the production Acura NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. A six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels.
Video recaps from this weekend’s activities at Detroit, including today’s Acura victory and two Verizon IndyCar Series races, are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
Katherine Legge (Driver, Michael Shank Racing #93 Acura NSX GT3) GTD race winner at Detroit: “It’s a testament to the team, to everyone at Michael Shank Racing, Acura and HPD. They gave us a car that was capable of winning. This is a brand-new car, and the program has come so far in six months. The team has really been working hard to improve the car between each race. We’ve been strong, [finishing in the] points [in previous races], but today, we put it all together. Today was the longest hour of my life, watching Andy [Lally] drive. I was telepathically talking to him. It was harder to watch [him] than actually drive. ‘Thank you’ to everyone who has given us a chance to put together this car and this ride. In 2013, I drove with HPD in the Indy 500, and it started our relationship. I wanted to be part of their program. So it is really special [to have] everything working out. The [#86 team car] was running third, and we were going to be first and third until they got pushed out by another car. I felt so bad for Ozz [Negri] and Jeff [Segal]. We felt crushed for them. We were really hoping to be on the podium with them today. We were so looking forward for their finish.”
The facelifted 2018 Acura TLX sedan was unveiled at the New York Auto Show sporting a new look that incorporates a grille design similar to that used on the updated 2017 MDX that bowed at the same show a year ago. In addition to its bolder new face, the TLX now offers three distinct variants including an all-new A-Spec model.
“We’ve really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX’s dynamic capabilities,” Jon Ikeda, Acura’s vice president and general manager, said of the redesign.
The base 2018 TLX with the carryover 206-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine backed by an 8-speed dual clutch transmission boasts a its own sporty front fascia, including the diamond pentagon grille, new bumper, a more sculpted hood and fenders plus redesigned headlamps with LED turn signals. It rides on a new standard 17-inch wheel and tire package.
The V6 TLX has a slightly more aggressive look, including a revamped rear fascia with exposed rectangular dual exhaust tips, rear diffuser and standard 18-inch wheels. This model also comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with the Technology Package, the V6 TLX gains a chrome side-sill garnish, new seats with contrast stitching and power adjustable thigh support on the driver’s side. Models equipped with the Advance Package benefit from new trapezoidal LED fog lights, surround view camera, built-in wireless charging pad, white LED ambient lighting, heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats, body-colored decklid spoiler and power-folding side mirrors.
At the top of the line is the new 2018 TLX A-Spec model, which is available in either front- or Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). It has its own front fascia featuring round LED fog lights, aggressive side sill extensions; rear diffuser with large round dual exhaust tips; a gloss black decklid spoiler along with other exterior trim bits and dark finish 19-inch alloy wheels with 245-series performance tires.
The A Spec backs up its sportier look with a tauter suspension and retuned steering for a sharper response, while SH-AWD versions have stiffer springs and a rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. Inside, the sport-oriented theme is carried over with more aggressively bolstered leather-covered seats, red highlights on the instruments, brushed aluminum-look accents and a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel. The leather upholstery is offer in red or black with Alcantara seat and door inserts.
Among the standard features on all TLX models is collision mitigation braking, with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and road departure mitigation all bundled in the AcuraWatch safety suite.
The 2018 Acura TLX goes on sale later this year with pricing yet to be announced.
Matt DeLorenzo, KBB
The 2017 Acura NSX was selected as a 2017 AUTOMOBILE All-Star, adding to the supercar’s growing list of accolades and recognition since its spring 2016 launch. The Acura NSX, America’s only U.S-built supercar 1, was selected from a diverse field of 23 contenders to join a select group of six vehicles heralded for their exceptional characteristics including driving dynamics, styling and refinement, and technological advancement.
According to the editors and staff at AUTOMOBILE, the Acura NSX earned its All-Star status the old-fashioned way: “by consistently putting a grin on drivers’ faces.” With its three-motor, 573-horsepower2, twin-turbocharged Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) powertrain, the Acura NSX challenged some of the most exotic supercars including past All-Star winners. The NSX impressed the editors with its electrifying driving performance and precision in testing on the roads of Deer Creek Road near Mount Charleston, Nevada.
“Yes, the Acura NSX is a tour de force of advanced engineering, but it’s far from cold and impersonal,” said AUTOMOBILE Editor-in-Chief Mike Floyd. “Instead, the NSX is a supercar that makes you feel like a hero regardless of skill level at the track, and it’s eminently accessible and easy to drive off of it. A true All-Star.”
AUTOMOBILE All-Stars are chosen from a vehicle contender list made up of all-new, heavily revised, or newly significant variants on sale or otherwise available in the U.S. in the 12 months preceding its test. The editorial staff spends multiple days driving the assembled array of All-Stars contenders on both road and track and casts their votes for the winners by private ballot. After choosing the All-Stars winners, the number of which varies from year-to-year, the staff then spends extensive seat time with the contenders through long-term tests and other epic, feature-based drives.
Launched last spring, the 2017 Acura NSX is the only supercar designed, developed and manufactured in the U.S., and is produced exclusively at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.
The Acura NSX was evaluated against 22 other cars including: Aston Martin DB11, Audi A4, Bentley Bentayga, BMW M2, Cadillac CT6, Cadillac XT5, Chevrolet Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Focus RS, Genesis G90, Honda Civic, Infiniti Q60, Jaguar F-Pace, Jaguar XE, Lincoln Continental, Maserati Levante, Mazda CX-9, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 718 Cayman S, Toyota Prius Prime and Volvo S90. For more information, please visit automobilemag.com/awards
Acura’s most popular vehicle, the MDX luxury sport utility, has a more upscale look and more standard safety features for 2017.
The roomy MDX, which is the only Acura with three rows of seats, offers new amenities, too, such as two captain’s chairs for seating in the second row instead of a bench seat or showy, 20-inch wheels.
It’s also among the lowest-priced three-row luxury SUVs, with a base MDX with front-wheel drive starting at $44,890 — $565 less than a comparably equipped 2016 MDX. This model year also includes standard safety technology that was part of an extra package last year: lane-keeping assist, front collision warning, lane departure warning and road departure mitigation.
The easy-to-drive and accommodating MDX is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine, which predicts reliability of the 2017 MDX will be average. In addition, the 2017 MDX earned the top safety score — five out of five stars — in federal government frontal and side crash tests.
The MDX is an upscale version of Honda’s largest SUV, the Pilot. Both vehicles use the same underlying platform and share the same 3.5-liter, non-turbocharged V-6. But the MDX engine generates more horsepower — 290 — and all MDX models have a fuel-efficient nine-speed automatic transmission.
In fact, the federal government’s combined city/highway ratings of 22 miles per gallon for front-wheel drive MDX models and 23 mpg for all-wheel drive models are among the best of three-row SUVs.
The test vehicle, an MDX Advance, which is middle trim, averaged 23.7 mpg. The driver didn’t try to maximize fuel mileage, and the V-6 delivered strong power to capably propel the MDX up long highway grades, even at higher altitudes. Peak torque of 267 foot-pounds comes on at 4,700 rpm.
The MDX also saved fuel by automatically turning off the engine when the vehicle was stopped at traffic lights or otherwise idling with the driver’s foot firmly set on the brake pedal. It also automatically turned off certain engine cylinders when they weren’t needed, such as when the SUV was coasting —an action so subtle no passengers noticed.
The MDX maneuvers solidly and gives passengers a feeling of security. The test vehicle, which included all-wheel drive, premium leather sport seats, sunshades on the rear side windows, heated steering wheel, real wood interior trim and 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, rode comfortably on nearly all kinds of pavement, and drivers can select among three suspension settings. Steering, however, was a bit vague feeling.
The MDX interior was impressively quiet. Wind noise, in particular, was much more muted than expected, even on blustery days.
The MDX capably hauls people and cargo and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Seats in the three rows can be adjusted for more legroom. Maximum cargo room is a full 68.4 cubic feet, and the cargo floor is up a ways from the pavement, so everyone rides high and has good views out.
It doesn’t come with a traditional shift lever. Instead, a driver presses buttons in the center console to go from park to drive and must pull back on a lever in the console to move the transmission into reverse. It takes a bit of getting used to.
The arrangement of two display screens in the center of the dashboard worked fine when one screen displays the navigation system’s map and the other screen shows radio stations, but both screens display destination entry menus that seem redundant.
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‘Performance Like Wow’: 2017 Acura MDX Ad Campaign Features Beck’s ‘Wow’
TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 6, 2016) – Acura is introducing its 2017 MDX flagship luxury sport utility vehicle through an integrated marketing campaign launching today, highlighting the vehicle’s bold exterior design and premium features, including the new “Anthem” spot: http://acura.us/MDXAnthem, set to Beck’s kaleidoscopic psych-hip hop anthem, “Wow.” The campaign tells multiple stories of how the new MDX is “Designed to Wow” and will feature numerous consumer touch points with a focus on high-profile video, custom digital and targeted TV advertising.
“The new Acura MDX is a true performance SUV, and this campaign speaks to the ‘Wow’ factor that drivers will experience when they get behind the wheel,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura.
MDX TV Spots
“Anthem” is all about energy, set to Beck’s latest surrealist smash, “Wow,” highlighting the MDX’s outstanding handling in almost any driving conditions, its performance capabilities and bold new design. The music-driven spot expresses Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance brand direction through the use of vivid colors, and generates excitement and enthusiasm through high-energy music.
The “Focus” spot (http://acura.us/MDXFocus) incorporates one of the MDX’s most important standard safety features – AcuraWatch™ – into the film with a moving representation of the benefits of the SUV’s Collision Mitigation Braking SystemÔ in an everyday driving scenario involving a father and son. The new MDX features the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment on all grades.
In “Wake” (https://acura.us/MDXWake), the 2017 Acura MDX is driven through the California desert to show the SUV’s power and precise handling. And after a day spent kicking up the sand, the MDX gets cleaned-up in a way that’s as epic as the driving in the spot —a plane swoops in and drops water on the SUV while it speeds down a highway for a high-performance wash that leaves the MDX showcasing its glistening, upgraded exterior.
The MDX Gets Personal
To launch the 2017 Acura MDX, a premium video campaign including “Anthem,” “Wake” and “Focus” will air throughout September and October. The new MDX advertising will be seen on network primetime programming on NBC, built atop of a foundation of cable, late night and online video executions. To round out this high-profile video support, MDX spots will be featured on CBS NFL games for the majority of the season. In addition to general market support, the launch also will include Hispanic ads airing in select markets.
The 2017 Acura MDX
The new MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV, reflects the new Acura design direction including the adoption of Acura’s bold and distinctive new diamond pentagon grille. It also features a more sculpted hood, front fascia, front fenders and revised Jewel Eye™ headlights, the result is a more “executive athletic” appearance for Acura’s class-leading luxury SUV. Additional styling updates include new chrome rocker panel trim, a revised rear bumper and skid garnish, and the return of visible dual exhausts with bright finishers.
Acura is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016, marking a major milestone since launching in America on March 27, 1986, as the first Japanese luxury automotive brand. The brand debuted with the Acura Legend Sedan and Integra Coupe and 5-door under the tagline “Precision Crafted Automobiles.” The tagline evolved into “Precision Crafted Performance” with the 1990 introduction of the first generation Acura NSX.
For More Information
The Acura lineup features five distinctive models – the RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, and the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV. This spring, Acura launched its next-generation, electrified NSX supercar as a new and pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance.
15 Minutes With Acura’s Explosive NSX Atop A Rocky Mountain
Josh Max , CONTRIBUTOR
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
We needed a cigarette after taking a ride in the 2017 NSX – and we don’t even smoke. Though we spent a mere fifteen minutes navigating around the winding turns and twists at the top of a Colorado mountain, the impression on our body, soul, and spirit was considerable.
First, there is the exhaust-belch that happens each time you accelerate and ease off the pedal in “Track” mode, rather like the sound of a large, dangerous creature exhaling a large volume of air. This gives the driver a feeling of being really “there” with the ride and each push of the pedal. You could accurately describe the experience of your connection to the road as similar to that of piloting a high-powered motorcycle: it’s just you, the NSX, and the asphalt. The car pins your ears back in a split second via its 3.5 L V6 engine making a blistering 573 horsepower and achieving 60 MPH in just three seconds.
A curious aspect is the stated mileage – 21 city, 22 highway, rather than the 9 or so in some cars in this class. Why such comparatively good mileage? It’s a hybrid, that’s why, with three electric motors assisting its mid-mounted twin-turbo V6—one driving each front wheel, and one boosting the power to the rear wheels.
Inside, the seats are sports-car snug, of course.
Drivers have a choice of four driving modes: “Track” – the most aggressive – and “Quiet,” “Sport” and “Sport+” “Quiet” is, as you’d expect, a muted experience, better suited for touring and those times when you don’t want to be noticed in your $167,000 sports car. (We didn’t try “Quiet.)
And, just like that, it was over. Fifteen minutes isn’t much, but we don’t know anyone who would turn down seat time with this car if it was “15 minutes or you miss your turn.”
Surely, a future classic has been born.
GM Halts Sale of Some SUVs After Overstating Fuel Economy Rating
|General Motors Co. told its dealers to halt the sale of Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave large sport utility vehicles because the window stickers on the SUVs overstate their fuel efficiency. The fuel economy on the stickers is 1 to 2 miles per gallon higher than the vehicles’ actual performance, the automaker said in a statement Friday. GM told dealers in a memo that they should be able to resume sales early next week once they have stickers with the correct mileage.|
|» GM Halts Sale of Some SUVs After Overstating Fuel Economy Rating | Friday, May. 13, 2016 | bloomberg.com | David Welch|