Could this carbon-lined beast find its way onto Kiwi shores?
The first official images of the Honda NSX GT3 testing on a race track have been published — the circuit testing having taken place in Japan.
The eagle eyed will have noted that the car sports Acura badging in place of Honda badging. But as per the road-going versions, the badges will be swapped around depending on the market. And if any were to compete in Europe, Japan, or indeed the Australian GT Championship over the ditch, they would no doubt proudly wear the Honda badge.
The minimalist machine was first revealed at the 2016 New York Autoshow, wearing a classy white ensemble at the time. The American launch and prolific nature of the Acura badge seem an oddity given the tradition to focus more on Honda's side of the coin, but the shared kudos are reflective of Acura and North America Honda Performance Development's huge input into both the road and race NSXs. While initial testing and track testing have taken place in Japan, the GT3 will be hommologated and built in Ohio.
Underneath its carbon-fibre skin, the NSX GT3 utilizes the same twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 as its road-car cousin. But the car's innovative hybrid system has been removed in lieu of GT3 regulations. Much like Nissan's GT-R Nismo GT3, the NSX GT3 also goes from being all-wheel drive to just being rear-wheel drive. A six-speed sequential gearbox also replaces the NSX's normal nine-speed unit.
Some of the NSX GT3's on-track rivals from McLaren, Ferrari, and Audi among others pictured in Cromwell last year. Photo / Matthew Hansen.
The 'GT3' brand is something motorsport fans in Australasia have been becoming more and more familiar with over the last few years, with the rise of the Australian GT Championship as well as several domestic race teams like International Motorsport, Trass Family Motorsport, and Tulloch Motorsport all picking up GT3 machines of their very own. Adding further fuel to the charge is the inclusion of a New Zealand round at Highlands Motorsport Park to their calendar. That number is boosted to two for 2016, with the revamped Hampton Downs Motorsport Park also getting a taste.
The Australian category has also received a boost with the perceived decline of the Supercars Championship — though there are signs that both categories are looking to work together rather than against each other.
All we need is for Honda Australia (or New Zealand ... ) to catch the GT3 bug and order one of these NSX suckers.