Honda announced today it’s returning to four-wheel desert racing this fall, with a new Honda Performance Development (HPD)-tuned off-road truck that will make its competition debut in Mexico’s Baja 1000 this November. Honda’s playing this one pretty coyly, and that makes us wonder if this new racer will preview the look of the forthcoming second-generation Ridgeline.
Details on the truck are scant: Honda says only that it uses a twin-turbo 3.5L V6, a six-speed sequential transmission, the requisite knobby tires, and racing shocks made by Fox, the same company that supplies the shocks used on the Ford Raptor dune-destroyer. Economics suggest the new Ridgeline won’t be anywhere near as interesting as this new desert runner; we expect the new Ridgeline to be based on the recently-redesigned Pilot.
That race will be Honda’s first four-wheel desert competition since 2012, and, according to the company’s brief press release, its renewed interest in off-road racing will continue into 2016. For now, enjoy the only photos Honda has released thus far; the manufacturer says more information (and, presumably, images will be made available closer to the race.