The TLX GT, driven by long-time Acura race car driver Peter Cunningham in his Pikes Peak debut, will compete in the Pikes Peak Open class, while Honda R&D engineer Nick Robinson, coming off victory in an NSX in last year’s Pikes Peak Time Attack 2 Production class, will drive a 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec that will make its racing debut in the Exhibition class. Honda R&D engineer and Nick’s brother, James Robinson, will drive a production-based NSX with GT3-inspired modifications in the Time Attack 1 class.
The Pikes Peak Acura TLX A-Spec features a modified suspension, a 500-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 turbo engine and a limited-slip differential for more effective transfer of power to the front wheels. Optimized specifically for this hill climb course, custom engine software and tuning was done in-house by a team of North American Honda R&D engineers. Much of the major engine hardware was pulled from the TLX GT program, including rods, pistons, camshafts and valvetrain. On the exterior, the TLX A-Spec features a hand-crafted carbon-fiber splitter and standoff rear wing while the interior has been entirely stripped of its luxury appointments to reduce weight. A veteran of Pikes Peak, Nick Robinson has run the course for several years, winning the motorcycle Pikes Peak 250 class in 2014. Last year, Robinson piloted the 2017 NSX to victory in the Time Attack 2 Production class.