Acura Debuts ILX Endurance Racer, Hits Track at Thunderhill Dec. 8/9 [2012 SEMA Show]
While we haven’t yet completely warmed up to our long-term Acura ILX 2.4, here’s an example we wouldn’t mind wrapping our arms around forever and ever. OK, maybe not forever, but at least 25 hours. The car you see here, which debuted at the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, is one of a pair of race-prepped ILXs headed to Northern California to compete in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill race December 8 and 9.
Both ILX racers were built by Team Honda Research-West from two body-in-white shells, to which many components from two full donor ILXs were bolted. The production 2.4-liter K24Z7 four-cylinder (it makes 201 hp from the factory) and six-speed manual are carried over; enhancements include a cold-air intake, thermal wraps to control heat, a custom race exhaust, and a Honda Performance Development lightened flywheel and racing clutch. Other HPD bolt-ons include new motor mounts, a limited-slip diff, larger anti-roll bars, and new rear upper control arms. The brake lines and pads are upgraded, too, and they put the stop to a set of Enkei wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich R1 race rubber.
The interior is of course caged, and a racing seat and OMP competition steering wheel are installed. A team-designed front splitter and an APR rear spoiler help with aero, and a set of LED lights will illuminate the track during the long night portion of the race. The driver roster for both cars reads like a Honda corporate directory—everyone is an employee, and many of them worked directly on the build themselves. (Check out the build and follow the car’s progess over at the HPD blog.)
- Long-Term Road Test: 2013 Acura ILX 2.4 Premium
- Instrumented Test: 2012 Honda Civic Si Sedan
- Instrumented Test: 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe
One of the reasons for building the cars, the company says, is to test the ILX’s durability; Thunderhill ought to do the trick—we’ve raced there in all kinds of machinery (B-spec Mazda 2 and Honda Fit, Fun Cup VW Bug, diesel 3-series, among others) and can attest to the grueling nature of the race for both car and driver.
By Erik Johnson