Acura is coming back to Pikes Peak for the 2019 edition of the hillclimb, and it's bringing four vehicles to attack the mountain. Not the fastest, but perhaps the most interesting of the bunch is a race-prepped 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid. Engineers took the 3.5-liter V6 from the non-hybrid version (Hybrid has a 3.0-liter V6) of the MDX and bored it out to 3.7-liters. It then works together with Acura's three-motor hybrid system for a combined 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Shifting is still done by Acura's 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The extra power is thanks to the larger displacement and special tuning for the engine and electric motors.
Further upgrades to the MDX include a race-tuned active-damper suspension system and a roll cage. Acura says it goes a long way to increase structural rigidity. Additionally, Acura removed most of the vehicle's interior, including every seat but the driver's seat. Piloting the MDX is Jordan Guitar of Acura R&D's chassis development team.
A couple NSXs, one "Time Attack" car and one mostly stock, will also run up the mountain. The Time Attack NSX has more power from larger turbos, bringing the system output up to 625 horsepower. Weight-saving measures have dropped 200 pounds from the structure, and there's plenty more downforce thanks to a big wing front splitter. Not much has been done to the production-spec NSX, as it simply adds a roll cage and racing seat with a harness.
The Acura RDX that ran up the mountain last year is returning for this 2019 run. It features a modified 2.0-liter turbo that makes a respectable 350 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. That extra power comes courtesy of a larger turbocharger, short-path intercooler and an electric supercharger. Can we have all that for production, please?
The last Acura in the field is the same RealTime Racing TLX GT that won its class last year. There's one more NSX that'll be going up and down Pikes Peak, but not in anger. Acura is providing an NSX to act as the official pace car of the event, and it's predictably painted in the easy to pick out Thermal Orange.