Driver Battles: '20 Acura NSX vs '22 Toyota Supra GR
In this round of Driver Battles, we headed to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for an asphalt throwdown between a 2022 Supra GR versus a 2020 Acura NSX. Sound lopsided? Maybe. Or is it? Skip ahead to the YouTube video.That may sound heavily favoring the NSX, but hear us out before you pass judgment.
Release the Hounds
As Mike Sabounchi notes in the video, "We brought a Supra to a dogfight." Piloted by owner Arllan Ignacio, the Supra makes 382 horsepower. That's a little over half of muscle his opponent's NSX flexes. However, that's not the end of the matchup.
"The Supra has a few key points that I think might be advantages, like for weight. But other than that, Jay's got, like, double the horsepower," Arllan says. That may be, but if we wanted to make a series called, "Horsepower Battles," we'd just partner with a friendly shop somewhere and use their dyno all day. But we realize that's not nearly as much fun to watch as two drivers battling time attack style at a racetrack. Hence the name, "Driver Battles." Jaycray Yutadco may have a big power advantage with his NSX, but the real question is whether or not Arllan's skills at the wheel can overcome it. Before we show you how the day's duel played out at Chuckwalla, though, let's dive into what both of these cool cars bring to the battlefield.
Arllan Ignacio's 2022 Toyota Supra GR may not match the NSX pony-for-pony but it's had some work done. The 3.0L I6 turbo powerplant runs a Bomiz valved exhaust system, and Function Werk downpipe.
H&R springs should give him better handling, too. Speaking of which, Arllan's car rolls on Nitto NT01 275/35ZR18 tires over Titan 7 T-R10 wheels. Arllan will need them, too. He's new to Chuckwalla and used to stock tread. While the Nitto tires were new for him, he was digging the upgrade in performance. "It's a good tire that has a lot more grip than the basically stock tire I had before." Throughout the day the tires held up very well and were very consistent over the day's laps he took on them. He liked the response; there was a lot less understeering than on the stock ones he's used to.
Finally, his car hasn't been tuned, so he's basically running stock power. However, having rear wheel drive means less weight for his car versus the Acura's all-wheel driven NSX.
And now we meet Jaycray Yutadco's 2020 Acura NSX. Weighing in with 573hp, its 3.5L V6 twin turbo engine packs Fabspeed downpipes and exhaust.
Other than a JB4 plug-and-play tuner, it's relatively stock. The NSX glides on Eibach springs, Volk Racing TE37 Ultra M wheels, and like the Supra, it also has Nitto NT01 tires in attendance.
We're not sure how loud his Acura's exhaust is, but this is definitely the loudest paint of any car we've featured in Driver Battles. While that may be a first, this isn't the first time these guys have done track days together.
The Leader of the Track
With the intros over the drivers geared up and took to the track to duke it out. Arllan ran a personal best ever for track times, which he attributes to "This is the most difficult track I've been to. It took a lot of finessing on my part to be more smooth with the car: my braking points, steering, throttle input, everything." He also took some cues from an excellent driver friend of his, as well. Namely, Jay. Arllan credits part of his excellent performance to watching Jay go to work, thus improving his own driving. So win or lose, he got something valuable from this session.
Jay had a pretty good time, too. While he likes his NSX as a good track car he gives the impression that the car could be better: the NSX is stuck at stock horsepower until someone can unlock the ECU. It also has this wonderful habit of sometimes it going into "Limp" mode and running on half power. Was that the case today? Watch the full video on YouTube and see who owed who Korean barbecue for dinner.