2018 Chicago Auto Show: The Race Cars

There should be an auto show rule that states “one does not just walk past a race car without stopping and gawking.” While there weren’t a ton of super exciting new product reveals in the windy city this year, there were plenty of not-street legal machines to drool over. From Miatas ready to slay any SCCA course thrown at it, to Acura’s NSX literally completely coated in delicious carbon fiber. Here are a few of the go-fast gems from this year’s Chicago Auto Show.

I’m surprised this thing wasn’t up on some all-holy pedestal with spotlights bouncing off of it. Perhaps Acura just didn’t want this carbon-fiber ridden NSX to steal all the thunder from their entire lineup sitting out on the showroom floor. Acura and Honda’s racing and performance developments created this gorgeous NSX GT3 for the 2018 racing season. After a 50,000-plus mile stint of heavy testing, the NSX GT3 already claimed victories at its first go in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition and pushed the leading charge (in its respective class) at the 24 Hours of Daytona. That’s impressive and all, but guess what, you can now buy one. Yes, a race-ready NSX GT3!  YASSS! For a cool 465,000 Euros (about $570,000 USD), you can have your own NSX GT3 to rip around the local track. NSX GT3 engines are in essence, similar to the road-legal motors but have a six-speed sequential gear box to drive all that  power to the rear and only, rear wheels. All-wheel-drive goes bye-bye with this GT3 model. Want to slap your name on one? Head to AcuraClientRacing.com. Oh, and a 40% downpayment is due within thirty days of ordering one. Get on it.
Other adrenaline-pumping whips on the floor at this year’s show included the No. 78 Tracker Boats Toyota Camry NASCAR which was fun to see in-person. Next to a matte purple M5 sat a BMW M2, its interior gone, roll cage thrown in plus a stars and stripes paint job shining beneath a massive rear wing.

Also of note was the infamous 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Yes, this is absolutely a race car, if you can get an optional front passenger seat for just $1, it’s a race car. Even on a rotating display here in Chicago, the ferocious Demon was proudly popping a wheelie. The bonkers “Demon Crate” was at its near side too with a hydraulic floor jack, front skinny tires for drag runs, a cordless impact wrench and more insane things to get that big Dog’s front end, sky-high one that Christmas tree lights up green at the strip.
Hyundai’s rally cross flavored machine the i30 N TCR (similar to to the US-market Elantra GT hatchback) made an appearance as did its drivers, Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins. The already-victorious pair will compete for Bryan Herta Autosport in the upcoming Pirelli World Challenge. Herta actually won the Indianapolis 500 twice, so fear not, there’s a lot of passion and experience ready to go at when the green flag drops.
Cue the gawking and….scroll down!

[All images copyright Robby DeGraff/Hooniverse 2018]

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5 responses to “2018 Chicago Auto Show: The Race Cars”

  1. Victor Avatar

    I assume that the NSX has a carbon fiber wrap ? Or is it a carbon fiber car ?

    1. JayP Avatar

      Looks the real deal.

      1. robbydegraff Avatar

        99% sure it is, per my gentle patting of it haha

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      Got to see a 911 GT3 race car up close last weekend, the door was all carbon fibre (as were all the other panels) and would be lucky to weigh more than 5kg.
      No wonder there is noise about GT3 getting too expensive! I can see why they want to get all the cars down to a similar weight, but the 911 is one of the lighter base cars.

  2. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Top marks for correct use of the word ‘ literally ‘.