The 2022 Honda Passport gets a competition-ready version to race in the American Rally Association series. A team of Honda engineers will campaign the more rugged machine in the events. It debuted during the Lake Superior Performance Rally in Michigan on October 15 and 16.
The entire powertrain and suspension come straight from the factory-spec Passport. Although, there is a new exhaust. It rides on 17-inch wheels that are 7.5 inches wide. Depending on the event conditions, the team uses Maxxis RAZR M/T or RAZR A/T tires. There are also Carbotech XP12 brake pads and high-temperature racing brake fluid.
Gallery: 2022 Honda Passport Stage Rally SUV
The team has custom skid plates that measure 1/8-inch thick and protect the oil plan and rear differential. Polyethylene panels protect the fuel tank and other vital components. At night, a light bar can attach to the front. The fluid cooler for the automatic transmission from the optional tow package is on this Passport, too.
The nine-speed automatic transmission is still in place. When rallying, the driver puts the gearbox into Sequential mode and uses the paddle shifters to change cogs. The terrain management system stays in Sand Mode because of the torque distribution and performance on loose surfaces.
Inside, the team strips the cabin and adds parts for safety while rallying. There are OMP seats with six-point harnesses, a roll cage, fire suppression system, rally computer, and an in-vehicle communication system. The side and rear windows now use Lexan polycarbonate, rather than glass. A big, hydraulic handbrake makes it easier to pitch the Passport into a slide.
In its first race, the rally-prepped Passport finished 22nd out of 42 overall and fourth of six competitors in the Limited 4WD class. The crew generally was in the top 10 in terms of stage times, but a tire de-bead pushed them back over nine minutes.
For customers, Honda recently introduced the Trailsport version of the Passport. It has wider front and rear tracks. The model also gains an exclusive design for the 18-inch wheels and 245/60 R18 tires.