What’s quicker from 0-60 mph: A modern supercar or a race car based on that supercar? What puts down more power? What brakes harder? And, most importantly, which one can lay down a faster lap time? In the case of the Acura NSX and the NSX GT3 Evo race car, the answers aren’t always obvious.
Then again, sometimes they are. Spoiler alert: The NSX GT3 Evo is faster around a track. That’s kind of the point.
But when it comes to everything else, this video does a great job of breaking it all down.
There’s a lot on the race car that you won’t find on the road car; in this case, the carbon-fiber body panels, aero capable of generating a whopping 500 percent more downforce at speed and roll cages don’t come cheap, which is why the NSX GT3, at roughly $525,000, makes the $157,000-plus NSX seem like a deal.
But the cars have much more in common than they have differences — and the NSX platform is versatile enough to serve as a great road car and a highly competitive race car with relatively few major changes.
What makes the video different than your typical comparo is that the demonstrations, and narrations, are done by Meyer Shank Racing’s Trent Hindman; as a professional driver, he’s able to relate both how the two cars are different and, crucially, explain why certain changes have been made.
You may have already know, for example, that race variants of street cars are often less powerful than their roadgoing brethren. It’s a curious byproduct of our horsepower-crazy age, and in the case of the NSX and the NSX GT3 Evo, it comes down to 573 hp versus 550 hp. Coupled with the loss of the hybrid drive system that powers in the front wheels in the NSX — GT3/GTD rules mandate rear-drive only — the NSX GT3 Evo is, at 4.35 seconds to 2.92 seconds, substantially slower to 60 mph.
But, as Hindman explains, thrilling launches don’t amount to much in an IMSA race, which uses a rolling start.
Since this whole thing is Acura vs. Acura (in an Acura-produced video, at that), it’s a given that both versions of the NSX are going to come out of the tests looking pretty good. Still, this is an opportune time for the automaker to celebrate the supercar in general, and the racing variant in particular. Well into the 2019 IMSA season, Meyer Shank Racing leads the GTD standings, and just a few weeks back, Hindman and co-driver Mario Farnbacher notched their first class win of the season at Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
And for what it’s worth, we’ve got a lot of nice things to say about the road car, too — read our review of the refreshed NSX here.
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