Hoonigan installs Honda IndyCar engine on Ridgeline

Ever wondered what would happen if you put a Honda engine built for the NTT IndyCar Series in an off-road truck? Neither did we, but the hooligans at Hoonigan Racing Division and Honda Performance Development were more than excited to see it for themselves.

Honda’s IndyCar teams race a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine – officially called the HI12TT/R – that can produce a whopping 700 horsepower. In comparison, a 2017 Honda Ridgeline has a 3.5-liter 28-horsepower V6 that is part of Honda’s J engine series and has also been used in vehicles such as the Acura MDX.

As a mid-sized pickup, the Ridgeline’s racing background is clearly concentrated in the off-road scene. Most notably, the Honda Factory Off-Road Racing Team takes home the #709 Ridgeline ahead of Jeff Proctor in SCORE International’s Class 7, which won its category at the 2021 Baja 1000. One of Proctor’s teammates for that race was IndyCar veteran Alexander Rossi, who became the first Indianapolis 500 winner to win the 1000; for the 2022 race, Proctor will be joined by Richard Glasczak and Chip Prescott.

Of course, the Baja Ridgeline uses the same engine as its production counterpart. While the 3.5-litre engine has also seen action on the pavement, like the Acura ARX-05 that won the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (also with Rossi), it clearly pales in comparison to the version used for racing. with open wheels.

Hoonigan’s “IndyTruck” on the other hand is built for track racing and hill climbing. Unveiled last week at SEMA, HPD supplied the equipment, including the truck, while Hoonigan did much of the dirty work. While it may seem surprising for HPD to be happy to give away a modern IndyCar engine for such a project, in 2024 the series will transition to a 2.4-liter hybrid V6, which Honda and rival Chevrolet are looking to develop over the next two years. The Ridgeline was previously used by HPD to test new parts before they hit the market.

Although the Ridgeline is used as a base, the engine will only fit in a chassis for vehicles weighing 739.3556 kg, such as an IndyCar. As such, the Ridgeline was stripped to the point where only the skeleton remains. Most of the new components come from a 2021 Acura NSX, with the front half being the vehicle, while the rear being IndyCar-esque. By removing the meat from the Ridgeline, the IndyTruck is significantly lighter than the Ridgeline’s original 4,500 (2,041,166 kg) at just 444,521 kg.

The IndyTruck is a bit of a new step for the Ken Block-led Hoonigan, who is more associated with rallying and gymkhana, although he has also recently done mountain climbs on Pikes Peak. Block also drove the 2021 Baja 1000 in a Trophy Truck.

Still probably not as crazy as the time they built Halo’s Warthog.

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