2017 Honda Ridgeline only IIHS Top Safety Pick + pickup truck to date

 

 

2017_Honda_Ridgeline_Pickup

In the case of the reinvented Honda Ridgeline Pickup, its latest well earned industry accolade is a ‘one of a kind.’ According to Honda-Torque News and others, 2017 Honda Ridgeline is the first pickup in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) history to receive the highest available crash safety rating.

As for me, I like the 2nd generation Ridgeline for cabin comfort, decent road handling and control, as well as a measurable off-road, all-terrain capability — when equipped with all-wheel-drive, and Honda’s exclusive push button electronic engaged variable traction drive mode.

As I recall from my time behind the wheel of Honda’s most surprising offering, available in front and all-wheel-drive equipped models.  Read my latest Ridgeline drive review here.

What do NSX, Accord and Civic have in common?

Some how I missed it! Back on December 8, Honda announced the addition of two epic Indycar drivers to the Rolex 25 Hour Acura NSX GT-3 Car. My good buddy Graham Rahal joins Ryan-Hunter Reay teams up with Michael Shank Racing and Honda Performance Development behind the wheel of the all new factory NSX platformed NSX GT-3 car similar to Acura’s choice for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Race Series. Take a moment to read my Honda-Torque News update here.

I took a hot-lap or two with Graham earlier in 2016 — damn near lost my lunch, thank you Graham.

In other Honda racing updates: We find rising racing star Shea Holbrook, and team driver Jason Fichter expanding their Honda Accord team efforts for 2017 with the edition of PWC winner Tom O’Gorman and a H.P.D partnered 2017 Civic Si to Shea Racing. With 3 cars on the track in 2017, Shea Racing will be a team to recon with.

Shea_Racing_2016_Thunderhill 25 hour

I further look forward to reporting on RealTime Racing as they take on the GT class in 2 HPD equipped and Acura factory co-built NSX GT-3 cars. Reportedly approaching 600+ horsepower, rear-wheel drive and track sticky contenders, 2017 should be a winning year for P.D. Cunningham and the RealTime Racing Team.

 

Acura returns to North American Grand Prix with 2017 NSX GT3 car

Acura_NSX_GT3
Acura NSX GT3 Race Car

As reported Wednesday by (HPD) Honda Performance Development president Mr. Art St Cyr, Acura will return to North American Grand Prix racing in 2017 — for the first time since 2009 — in a factory built and modified 2017 NSX supercar, sans the hybrid drive train.

No big surprise here for those of us that have followed the decade-long unfolding saga of the “next” generation Honda/Acura NSX. We knew a race ready version of Acura’s halo car was in the works from day one, confirmed by track testing in Japan and Europe. I reported on the 2015 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Hill Climb Pace Car here.

2016_Acura_NSX_Pikes_Peak

Sitting before us on Acura’s stage at the New York International Auto Show is the culmination of a multi-national design, engineering and track tested effort. According to Art St Cyr: The balance of track preparation and testing for the North America specification GT3 car will be completed by a state-side team, and built by the same folks that bring us the production NSX in Marysville, Ohio.

I recently had the pleasure of touring the Honda Performance Development Center, and the Honda Heritage Museum in Marysville, while speaking with the NSX development team. — my experience there was life changing.

2017_Acura_NSX_ McCAnts
2017 Acura NSX is North America’s only hand-built hybrid supercar.

I walked away with not only a greater understanding of the complexity of today’s automotive engineering, but a true appreciation of what “personal accountability” brings to the mostly hand crafted one-off supercar that is 2017 NSX.

Looking to the NSX GT3 car sitting next to a production model, it becomes apparent that in practice, Acura NSX technology s not only derived from the disciplines of aeronautic and automotive engineering, but in fact comes straight off of the race track.  When Acura tells you that NSX will roll off of the factory race ready, they’re not exaggerating.

2017_Acura_NSX_GT3

No hybrid technology for Acura NSX GT3

As learned on the track by Acura Real Time Racing, it doesn’t always pay to push the boundary of race classification guidelines when it comes to racing. In the case of NSX GT3, there will be no hybrid drive train. Instead, Acura has opted for an extreme high output 600 horsepower twin turbocharged 3.5 Liter V6, as found on the Acura TLX GT and Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck.

As with the Acura TLX GT, torque will be transferred to track via a rear live axle. As of the posting Acura is not sharing specifications, date of launch or the team chosen to pilot 2017 NSX GT. My money is on Real Time Racing. Only time will tell.