Honda is increasingly pushing the off-road image and capabilities of its truck and SUV offerings. Part of that is with its new TrailSport trim. Another part is motorsports apparently, as the 2022 Honda Passport takes on rally racing, like other unibody SUVs that have come before it.
The Passport was developed by a group of Honda engineers at the company’s automotive development center in Ohio, and it’s raced by a pair of engineers. The changes are mainly related to security. The interior was gutted with a roll cage, racing seats and harnesses, and a fire suppression system installed. Aluminum skid plates were added to protect the oil pan and rear differential, while plastic covers added some protection to other components such as the fuel tank. A few changes have been made to improve the ride on land. It is fitted with 31-inch Maxxis mud or all-terrain tires depending on the conditions surrounding the 17-inch Braid rally wheels. Upgraded brake pads and fluid were added along with a hydraulic handbrake. The transmission gets the oil cooler from the Passport’s tow package, and the engine gets a smoother exhaust system. But otherwise, the powertrain and suspension are unchanged from the factory passport.
Passport will compete in American Rally Association events, one of the first being the Lake Superior Performance Rally this past weekend. The company said the car consistently finished in the top 10, but an unseated tire bead in a stage resulted in a lot of lost time and a fourth-place finish in class, which was 22nd out of 42 overall. But there will be other events for the passport to show its stuff.