SEMA LIVE: Honda Ridgeline Baja Racer

On display at SEMA, the truck will compete in the Baja 1000 desert race.

As promised, Honda has unveiled its Ridgeline Baja Race Truck at SEMA in Las Vegas, providing a glimpse at styling cues that will be used for the production pickup.

The Ridgeline Baja is a purpose-built race truck, underpinned by a tube frame and equipped for the Baja 1000 unlimited class.

A twin-turbocharged V6 will propel the truck across the desert with at least 550 horsepower, using the same block, cylinder heads and crankshaft as the production engine that will be used for the mass-market Ridgeline. The powerplant has received extensive modifications from Honda Performance Development engineers, including a new intake plenum and unique ECU programming.

"We're happy to share some of the high-level styling direction for Ridgeline and to celebrate this desert race truck that signals the return of HPD power to Baja," said HPD president Art St. Cyr. "While this race truck is unique and different from the production Ridgeline, it does a nice job of expressing not only our styling direction but also the fact that the Ridgeline, for all its unique qualities, has been and will continue to be a pickup with true truck capability."

The next-generation production Ridgeline is expected to maintain unibody construction, however spy shots point to a more traditional pickup shape that loses buttress-shape bed sides that distinguish the current model. At least a few design cues will likely be inspired by the latest CR-V, HR-V and Pilot.

Honda promises the redesigned 2017 Ridgeline will arrive in showrooms by the first half of 2016.

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