Acura revealed a 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid with "more than" 400 horsepower that will tackle the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb come next weekend. In addition to the boosted MDX, two NSX hybrid sports cars and a TLX race car will be driven by four Acura engineers and one pro racing driver. A Thermal Orange NSX will also serve as the official pace car of the event.
The race-prepared MDX Sport Hybrid, which uses a similar drivetrain to the NSX, was built specifically for the hill climb race and is a bit of a beautiful mash-up. It actually takes the standard, non-hybrid 3.5-liter V6 engine and bores out the displacement to 3.7-liters. Then, the three-motor electric hybrid system and seven-speed dual clutch transmission are mated to the amped-up engine in order to squeeze the most power possible. The result? "More than" 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.
A race-tuned active-damper suspension has been optimized to improve dynamic balance and maximize performance, while a custom roll-cage increases rigidity and keeps the driver safe. According to Acura, extensive weight reduction was accomplished by removing much of the interior, including the passenger and second and third-row seats.
In addition to the MDX, a 350-horsepower Acura RDX A-Spec modified with a larger turbocharger, short-path intercooler, and electric supercharger fed by a 48-volt micro-hybrid system will also rocket up the hill. Furthermore, two NSXs, a production-based model enhanced only by safety equipment and another with a massive aero package will be driven by Acura engineers and former Pikes Peak competitors.
Lastly, professional racing driver Peter Cunningham will pilot the RealTime Racing TLX GT all-wheel-drive race car again in 2019 following a commanding 2018 Open Class Record and overall podium finish. The TLX rocks a twin-turbocharged J35 V6 motor previously used in Pirelli World Challenge series competition, although this specific unit has been tuned to operate at a horsepower-killing 14,115 feet of altitude.
The 97th edition of the "Race to the Clouds," a 12.24-mile race course that takes place on temporarily closed public roads, will take place on Sunday, June 30.