Honda Targets Desert Domination

Can a twin-turbo V6-powered racer win the Baja 1000?

Honda Performance Development will contest the grueling, 18-hour-long SCORE Baja 1000 desert race in November with an unlimited class vehicle powered by a version of the HR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine currently used in sports car racing.

With the company’s new Ridgeline pickup truck scheduled to debut soon, we can expect that the racer’s steel tube frame chassis will be cloaked in gorgeous Ridgeline sheetmetal.

This will be Honda’s first return to Baja since contesting the event with its Desert Pilot entry in 2012. HPD is partnering with Albins for the new race vehicle’s six-speed sequential transmission, Fox for the racing shocks, and General Tire for the off-road racing rubber.

Ford used the same race to prove its own 3.5-liter turbo V6 when it entered the race with an unmodified engine to test its mettle in the notoriously unforgiving event, which see racers speed down Mexico’s Baja peninsula.

Honda is promising additional details in the days leading up to the November race. In the meantime, check out some past highlights from the Baja 1000 here:

Photos by American Honda Motor Co.