This rally-ready Passport is our favorite version of the Honda SUV yet

No changes have been made to its engine or suspension
by Drei Laurel | Oct 19, 2021
PHOTO: Honda
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Some cars might look capable of going off-road, but in reality, they’re only suited to life on asphalt. Honda wants you to know that the Passport isn’t one of those vehicles.

The Japanese carmaker has revealed a rally-ready version of its American-market SUV that will compete in American Rally Association closed-course events in 2022. Surprisingly, many of its stock components have been left in place by the Honda Performance Development Maxxis Rally racing team responsible for building it.

Honda Passport on rough terrain

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This Honda Passport rally truck still runs on a stock 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Its all-wheel-drive system and suspension setup have been left unaltered for competition as well.

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So, what changes are we looking at then? Besides the sporty new exterior wrapped in decals, of course.

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2022 Honda Passport

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For starters, this version of the vehicle runs on aftermarket 17-inch wheels wrapped in either mud- or all-terrain tires. New skid plates have also been installed to protect the SUV’s oil pan and differentials, and aftermarket brake pads have been thrown in, too.

On the inside, you’ll find racing seats with six-point competition-spec harnesses, a roll cage, a fire suppression system, and a rally computer. The cabin’s carpet, sound insulation, and trim have all been ditched to reduce the vehicle’s weight, while the glass windows have been replaced with polycarbonate. Lastly, a hydraulic handbrake has been fitted for extra maneuverability around corners.

Honda Passport driving cockpit

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“The fact that we didn’t have to make any modifications to the 2022 Honda Passport’s drivetrain or suspension for such punishing terrain and competition speaks volumes to the capability and performance that comes standard in the Passport,” Chris Sladek, Honda engineer and rally driver, said in a statement.

What popular local offerings do you think would be ready to go rallying with minimal modification? Do any come to mind?

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PHOTO: Honda
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