Acura and Team Penske have a stunner on their hands. Their ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international, revealed to the press Thursday night in Monterey, Ca., will make its competition debut in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona with a two-car effort fielded by one of the sport’s most prolific team owners.
Dressed in a close approximation of its final livery, the No. 86 Acura carries a familiar base white color with dayglo orange highlights and the multi-tone greys that adorned the factory Acura NSX GT3s that entered IMSA’s GT Daytona class earlier this year.
With IMSA’s DPi rules, where auto manufacturers are allowed to take stock, spec LMP2s and add custom engines and bodywork styling, the ARX-05 will stand out in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Prototype class thanks to the strong NSX influence on the “Flying V” that connects the front fenders. With the splitter and nose portion beneath the V intentionally diminished in black, the white bodywork gives the impression of standing on its own.
"We created a variety of initial sketches, then pared those down a handful of potential designs," said Acura design chief David Marek, in a statement. "The design continued to be refined throughout the testing and evaluation process, until we came up with a final treatment that met our performance goals while maintaining Acura styling cues. It’s been an exciting process."
The chassis, built by the French ORECA firm, carries Acura’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine originally taken and developed from its MDX production model.
Two full-time drivers have been announced so far; ex-F1, NASCAR and two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Montoya will conduct initial testing with the car and California’s Dane Cameron, already a two-time IMSA champion at 28 years old, has been hired to partner with the mercurial Colombian once the WeatherTech Championship season concludes in October.
"At Acura, Precision Crafted Performance is at the heart of everything we do," said brand head John Ikeda in a statement. "Whether it is our production cars or a prototype race car, if you want to be a performance brand you need to perform."