This SEMA example of Honda’s Baja race truck isn’t the complete 2017 Ridgeline, but it will share some sheet metal with the upcoming midsize Honda pickup, which is slated for release in the first half of next year.
This truck also shows us Honda’s reintroduction to off-road racing. The Baja truck features a tube frame, and power from Honda Performance Development’s HR35TT: a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 producing upwards of 550 hp. The engine shares about as much with a stock Ridgeline as the rest of the truck: only the crankshaft, block and cylinder heads are carried over from the stock engine. Honda is keeping quiet about the rest of the suspension and powertrain.
2017 Honda Ridgeline gets a SEMA preview as a Baja race truck
Honda is no stranger to the desert dunes of Baja courses – Honda motorcycles have dominated the Score Baja 1000 — but it hasn’t entered into four-wheel competition since 2012’s Class Six Trophy Truck, a tube-framed Honda Pilot which won the Baja 500 and placed third in the Baja 1000.
The upcoming Ridgeline will more than likely share most of the Pilot architecture – which is not a bad thing. Of course we won’t know for sure until the release date creeps up on us. Honda also mentioned that trailing the new Ridgeline will be a totally new Odyssey. Next year is shaping up to be the year of trucks (or truckovers) for Honda, and we’re not mad about it.