Acura ARX-01e LMP1

As much as I love to wallow in the fire hose of new Formula One development, I sometimes pine for the days, long past, when a car like the Ford GT40 or the Porsche 917 could forge a legacy by remaining competitive over several years.  Wait, did I say “pine for the days, long past”?  I meant “glory in the modern era of sports-car racing”.  Here’s Acura’s new ALMS prototype, the ARX-01e, in shakedown at Sebring:

Note the lack of enormous vertical fin on the (gloriously slim) engine cover: this is an ALMS competitor, and thumbs its nose at the 2011 ACO regulations.  Current F1 practice might suggest that a vertical fin on a similarly tiny engine cover might be a good idea, if only to give the sponsors a bit more ad space to buy.

Note also the front end of the car.  The ARX-01e is essentially an LMP1 car, but it’s based on Acura’s LMP2 chassis rather than their short-lived LMP1-spec ARX-02a.  Thus, rather than direct air through the nose, they’re directing it above and under it — and around, with those nifty side fences and turning vanes just ahead f the front wheel arches.  Further upgrades to get the car into “LMP1” spec are a wider track — all from longer wishbones and fatter tires, which makes the suspension geek in me smile — and a bigger (that is, less restrictive) intake restrictor to conform to the sports car regulatory world’s five-year plan to make octane-burning engines competitive with diesels.  (Five bucks says it doesn’t work this year, either.)

Damn that thing’s gorgeous.

More details at Mulsanne’s Corner (you’ll have to scroll down a bit).


3 Responses to “Acura ARX-01e LMP1”

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