HPD has modified a brand new Acura Integra Type S with one goal in mind: conquering Pikes Peak. In fact, this year, Acura are bringing a quartet of cool cars to the famous mountain…

If you’re interested in cars, you’re probably aware of Pikes Peak. One of the most renowned competitive hill climb courses in the world, the Peak has blessed us with an array of epic purpose-built beasts over several decades, born out of the desire of manufacturers and tuning houses alike to out-do each other.

Amongst the contenders this year, Acura is bringing along four modified road cars for what will be their 13th consecutive assault on the ‘Race to the Clouds’. Headlining their contingent of challengers is the latest Acura Integra Type S, seen for the first time in competition spec.

rear of Loni Unser's Pikes Peak Integra

Acura Integra Type S: Pikes Peak Race Car

The Pikes Peak Integra (or HPD Integra Type S Race Car, to give it its official name), isn’t as wild as some of the more prominent vehicles built for this event. Ultimately, the Integra is part of the ‘Exhibition’ class which means it won’t be battling for outright victory. As such, HPD has kept mods to a minimum, instead favoring an OEM+ approach to the car’s design.

Aesthetically, there are several aftermarket touches, including a custom hood, front splitter, and carbon swan-neck rear spoiler. A Borla exhaust system gives the Integra a bit more growl (and potentially a few extra horsepower), while uprated Yokohama Advan A005 tires will help to keep it planted through the bends.

Loni Unser will pilot the Pikes Peak Integra, which is fitting considering the context of the car’s livery. According to Acura, the red wrap is a tribute to the upcoming second season of ‘Chiaki’s Journey’ – an anime created in-house to show off Acura’s product range, in a very Gen Z fashion. The series follows the adventures of Chiaki, a promising female racing driver, not dissimilar to Unser, who made her Pikes Peak debut last year. She finished second in class 12 months ago, but her success shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, she is part of the heralded Unser family. Across four generations of racing drivers, the Unsers have picked up 26 Pikes Peak victories and nine Indy 500 wins. Talk about pedigree…

Yamabiko Acura NSX Aero Study

‘Yamabiko’ Acura NSX Type S Active Aero Study

As far as outright success goes, Acura’s best shot of coming out on top at Pikes Peak in 2023 is to target the hybrid powertrain honors with this – the NSX Active Aero Study. Brought to you by Crazy New – the people the created an IndyCar-engined CR-V – this skunkworks project is designed to explore the possibilities of extreme aero devices.

It features custom carbon fiber bodywork at the front and rear, which significantly improves the NSX’s ability to maintain downforce and reduce drag. Speaking of drag reduction, it’s also got an active rear wing equipped with F1-style DRS. Essentially, a vent in the wing will open up during high-speed straight sections of the course, but close again when braking. In fact, the wing doubles up as an air brake to help slow the car down.

Impressive stuff, all of which should render the NSX worthy of its Yamabiko nickname. In Japanese folklore, ‘Yamabiko’ is a mythical god or spirit that resides in the mountains, but it remains to be seen whether this NSX is just as omnipotent.

Acura TLX Type S Pikes Peak

TLX Type S & Integra 1.5 Projects

In addition to the headline acts, Acura has also brought along two other modified motors to compete alongside the HPD Integra in the Exhibition class. The first is a TLX Type S, which boasts far more comprehensive mods than its Integra Type S counterpart.

HART has kitted it out with a larger turbo an improved engine cooling in support, as well as a rather comprehensive ECU re-map. Dynamic mods come in the form of 1-inch lower suspension, race-grade brakes and more than 600 lbs of weight reduction. HART has lost some of that through the TLX’s new carbon fiber hood, and lightweight 19-inch HRE rims wrapped in a set of Yokohama Advan A005s.

Then there’s the Integra 1.5T – not the Type S, a lesser spec. However, it too has received a whole raft of upgrades. Here, the focus is more on the car’s platform rather than its power, and as such, it wears Bilstein dampers, Eibach springs, a full HPD TCA suspension kit, and Cusco Racing LSD.

Check out the gallery below to get a closer look at each of these four hillclimb hotrods: