Honda will, indeed, be returning to off-road racing after the company revealed the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck at the 2015 Speciality Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) Show. First teased by Honda back in August, the race truck will compete in the 2015 Baja 1000 and features a sleek exterior finish along with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6.
Finished in Honda's signature red, white and black racing accents, the overall design of the Baja Race Truck previews the look of the next-generation Ridgeline which will debut in 2017. Penned by Honda R&D Americas' Los Angeles Design Studio, the company added that the 2017 Ridgeline styling cues can be seen on the front fascia, hood, roof, bed and side profile.
“We're happy to share some of the high-level styling direction for Ridgeline and to celebrate this desert race truck that signals the return of HPD power to Baja. While this race truck is unique and different from the production Ridgeline, it does a nice job of expressing not only our styling direction but also the fact that the Ridgeline, for all its unique qualities, has been and will continue to be a pickup with true truck capability,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development.
Power is provided by a 3.5-liter HR35TT twin-turbo V6 that was developed by Honda US motorsports engineering division, Honda Performance Development (HPD). It is capable of producing 557 PS and still uses the relatively the same components found on production engines including the: block, cylinder heads and crankshaft. Customizations installed on the car, however, are the HPD-designed intake plenum and modified ECU mapping.
Other technical features present in the Baja Race Truck include: Albins ST6 sequential gearbox, Fox Racing shock absorbers and General Grabber tires.