Rugged Honda HPD Ridgeline to take part in grueling rebel off-road rally
– Santa Clarita, CA / Raymond, Ohio, October 6, 2021;
- Honda engineers ready for the adventure of a lifetime at Rebelle Rally 2021 women’s off-road sailing event
- 2021 Honda HPD Ridgeline to Cover 1,500 Miles of Off-Road Terrain in Nevada and California
A team of Honda engineers will take the company’s product development efforts to the next level later this month as they tackle Rebel Rally 2021, a women-only all-terrain boating event through the unforgiving deserts of the American Southwest.
Driving a rugged 2021 Honda HPD Ridgeline, two engineers from Ohio-based Honda North American Automotive Development Center, Liz Long and Tasha Krug, will compete in the grueling eight-day competition from October 7-16.
This is the third year that Honda has participated in the longest off-road rally in the United States, which begins in the Nevada desert and ends 1,500 miles later at the Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California. This is not a speed race, but a unique and demanding event where teams strategically navigate rough terrain without the aid of GPS or cellular navigation. Instead, drivers will rely on traditional elements of heading, hidden checkpoints, time and distance using maps, compasses and roadbooks to reach the finish line.
Competing as Team Sand Mode # 208 in the X-Cross class, Long and Krug will test the handling, capability and durability of the Honda HPD Ridgeline for 10 to 12 hours of off-road driving per day. At the 2019 Rebelle Rally, teammates placed 3rd in the X-Cross category behind the wheel of a 2019 Honda Passport, winning the Rookie of the Year award.
Long, a Honda Chassis Reliability Test Engineer, helps ensure the reliability of Honda and Acura vehicles through subframe and suspension testing, which includes strength, durability and marketability analyzes in the lab and on car. Krug, an engine systems and handling test engineer from Honda, calibrates the engines and confirms handling and marketability, ensuring the vehicle performs well in real environments.
Honda engineers are using the Rebelle Rally to further test the HPD Ridgeline in extreme environments. Much like the Honda Passport TrailSport Rugged Roads project, the team’s HPD Ridgeline features additional slight modifications to further increase its off-road capability, including custom skid plates for the oil pan and fuel tank, custom front recovery points, a suspension lift kit and all-terrain tires. Unique to the team’s Ridgeline is a sportier-sounding custom exhaust and a full-size twin spare tire holder in the bed.
The Ridgeline also includes genuine Honda accessory parts, including roof rails, cross bars and a basket; door visors; cargo net; trunk loading dividers in the bed; and all-season floor mats. The Ridgeline’s HPD package adds an even more rugged appearance with a unique grille treatment, black fender flares, aggressive bronze-colored wheels and special HPD graphics.
“We are delighted with this year’s Rebelle Rally and look forward to being part of such a unique event,” said Krug. “Rebelle Rally is a great proving ground for the capabilities of the HPD Ridgeline 2021, and we are ready to do our best and experience new adventures in this year’s rally.
The special Rebelle Rally wrap applied to the HPD Ridgeline 2021 was designed by Honda exterior designer Lili Melikian and celebrates the ruggedness of the HPD Ridgeline. The wrap is an expression of performance and power, with orange, red, gold, and black lines spanning the body inspired by the changing colors of the event’s desert landscape, while the orange lines also draw inspiration straight from TrailSport, Honda’s new rugged halo for its light trucks that debuted on the 2022 Honda Passport.
About Honda Performance Development
Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD) has a rich heritage in creating, manufacturing and supporting Honda Racing and Acura Motorsports customers since 1993. From cutting-edge racing in INDYCAR and IMSA sports cars to commercial racing programs, HPD fuels the dreams of professionals and amateur runners ages 4 to 40 and up. HPD is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and leads all of Honda and Acura’s high performance racing programs in North America. HPD specializes in the design and development of powertrains, chassis, electronics and performance parts, as well as technical and racing support. HPD offers racing parts and support to both amateur and professional Honda and Acura motorsport racers and is continually expanding its range of racing programs that make Honda racing products available for all racing styles, from karting to Quarter Midgets. at the highest levels of professional racing.