Honda Accord is obviously perfect for pacing Indy, since it has been chosen for the safety car of the popular race. It is the first car at the Verizon IndyCar Series, which hasn't happened for almost ten years. That's right. The last time Honda utilized the Accord model for an Indy race was in 2006.
Now, the 2015 Honda Accord Safety Car can show what a huge mistake the Japanese company has made. The safety vehicle is based on the production coupe model, but it has a significant difference. It features performance enhancements created by Honda R&D Americas.
Under the hood, the car has the 3.5-liter V6 engine. It has been of course modified and now produces more than 400 horses. This was achieved with the help of high-flow fuel injectors which were mated to a single Borg-Warner turbocharger. Also contributing for the additional horsepower are the hand-crafted intake, intercooler and exhaust system.
In addition to this, the team has also added a crankshaft from the Acura RLX, which was then coupled with HPD competition pistons and connecting rods for maximum reliability of the new engine package. The tuned unit was then mated to a strengthened with high-intensity shot peening six-speed transmission. It also features a limited slip differential.
Chassis modifications feature HPD brake system. It includes competition rotors, racing pads and stainless steel brake lines. For optimum rigidity, the team reinforced and stiffened the other chassis components. Everything is taken onto the road via Firestone high-performance tires coupled with Enkei alloys.
There is also modification done to the interior and body of the safety car. It now includes Sparco seats, four-point racing harnesses and aerodynamic body kit, adding various lip spoilers. At last, the "Power of Dreams" graphics package is what really differentiates the car from its production siblings.
Honda today unveiled the 2015 Honda Accord Safety Car, which will lead the Verizon IndyCar Series field to the green flag for Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
The latest in a series of Honda Safety Cars utilized since 2006 for Indy car competition, the 2015 Honda Accord Safety Car is a production model featuring performance enhancements created by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., for its new role.
"The 2015 Honda Accord Coupe is an ideal match for IndyCar Safety Car duties," said Jim Lee, manager of Experiential Marketing for American Honda. "Taking its already large and powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine, we asked the team at Honda R&D Americas to enhance and develop a car that is perfectly suited to lead the Verizon IndyCar Series field. I think they accomplished all that we asked, and more."
The Honda R&D team started with a production Honda Accord Coupe, then added a mix of engine and chassis modifications to create a fun, fast vehicle fully capable of pacing Indy cars at both road courses and oval tracks across North America.
"Our team really appreciated the opportunity to work with our Honda Performance Development colleagues and deliver this highly capable Accord to the Series," said Rick Nolan, manager of Honda R&D Americas' Automobile Prototype Fabrication Department.
Key to the transformation from production vehicle to Safety Car was an assortment of engine modifications focused on increasing horsepower, torque and top speed.
High-flow fuel injectors are mated to a single Borg-Warner turbocharger and hand-crafted intake, intercooler and exhaust systems to produce a healthy 400 horsepower. A crankshaft from the Acura RLX, coupled with Honda Performance Development competition pistons and connecting rods, ensure reliability of the overall engine package.
The standard Honda six-speed transmission is strengthened by high-intensity shot peening, with a Limited Slip differential added to help put the power to the pavement.
Chassis modifications include a HPD brake system, including competition rotors, racing pads and stainless steel brake lines. Other chassis components are stiffened to increase rigidity, while Firestone high-performance tires are mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, with an enhanced camber angle kit to improve handling.
Modifications to the body and interior include power-assisted Sparco seats, four-point racing harnesses and a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, including front, side and trunk lip spoilers.
An exclusive Honda "Power of Dreams" graphics package caps the conversion from showroom Accord Coupe to an IndyCar Series safety car.