Triple Threat: Honda TrailSport SUVs to Tackle Grueling Off-Road Rebelle Rally

June 21st, 2023 by
Triple Threat: Honda TrailSport SUVs to Tackle Grueling Off-Road Rebelle Rally
  • Honda associates and an automotive journalist piloting Honda SUVs ready for adventure of a lifetime in all-women 2023 Rebelle Rally off-road navigation event
  • Two Pilot TrailSports and a Passport TrailSport will cover over 1,500 miles of America’s longest off-road rally in extreme environment in Nevada and California

Honda associates and an automotive journalist will take three rugged Honda TrailSport SUVs on the grueling 2023 Rebelle Rally, an eight-day off-road competition through the unforgiving desert conditions of the American Southwest. The three teams will compete in the all-women navigation event from October 12-21, challenging the difficult conditions to put the handling, capability and durability of the Honda Pilot TrailSport and Passport TrailSport to the test.

This is the fifth year Honda women engineers are using America’s longest off-road rally, more than 1,500 miles across the deserts of California and Nevada, to further explore the rugged performance of off-road components in extreme environments. The steel skid plates, now standard equipment protecting the oil pan and fuel tank of the mass-production 2023 Pilot TrailSport, are similar in design to the custom-fabricated skid plates applied to previous Honda Rebelle Rally competition vehicles. The Pilot TrailSport also features raised off-road tuned suspension, trail-ready all-terrain tires and expanded all-wheel drive system capabilities.

All three Honda teams will compete in the X-Cross™ category, with two teams featuring driver and navigator lineups comprised of Honda associates. Ohio-based Honda associates Liz Long, a chassis reliability test engineer at the Honda Auto Development Center (ADC) in Ohio, and Hillary Tate, a project administrator of design and construction for Honda facilities across North America, will drive a Honda Pilot TrailSport race prepared at ADC. The duo is part of the Honda of America Racing Team (HART), a unique racing program run entirely by Honda associates throughout the United States.

Honda Performance Development (HPD) in Southern California, the North American racing arm of American Honda, has race prepared a Passport TrailSport for Serena Halterman and Nicole Rotondo, HPD trackside race engineers for INDYCAR. Both will be competing at Rebelle for the first time.

Also competing in a Honda Pilot TrailSport are Rebelle Rally veterans and award-winning automotive journalist Mercedes Lilienthal (driver) and her teammate, Emily Winslow, (navigator). Based out of Portland, OR, this will be Lilienthal’s fourth Rebelle, while Winslow, based near Seattle, WA, will be competing in her fifth.

The Rebelle Rally is not a race for speed; it’s a unique event where teams strategically navigate the rugged terrain without the assistance of GPS or cellular navigation. Teams rely on traditional elements such as paper maps, compasses and headings to navigate to hidden checkpoints, with the goal of accruing the most points and reaching the finish line each day.

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of clean, safe, fun and connected vehicles sold through more than 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The award-winning Honda lineup includes the Civic and Accord, along with the HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan. Honda’s electrified vehicle lineup includes the Accord hybrid, CR-V hybrid, and, in the future, Civic hybrid. The Honda Prologue SUV, Honda’s first volume battery-electric vehicle, will join the lineup in 2024.

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for over 40 years and currently operates 18 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2022, more than 99% of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, with more than two-thirds made in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

More information about Honda is available in the Digital FactBook.

About the Honda of America Racing Team (HART)
Founded more than 30 years ago, the Honda of America Racing Team (HART) is among the longest-running associate-driven activities in Honda’s rich history and includes the majority of the company’s associate-led racing teams in North America. HART competes in a wide variety of motorsport competitions ranging from road racing, club-level events, rally or off-road racing, or even karting. HART provides invaluable experience to associates through motorsport, while transferring vehicle performance learnings into the development and manufacturing of next-generation Honda and Acura products.

About Honda Performance Development
Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), has a rich heritage creating, manufacturing, and supporting Honda Racing and Acura Motorsports customers since 1993. From pinnacle racing in INDYCAR and IMSA Sports Cars to commercial racing programs, HPD powers the dreams of professional and amateur racers from age 4 to 40+. HPD is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and leads all the Honda and Acura high-performance racing programs in North America.

HPD specializes in the design and development of race engines, chassis and performance parts, as well as technical and race support. HPD offers parts and race support to Honda and Acura amateur and professional motorsports racers and is continually expanding its palette of racing programs that make Honda racing products available to all racing styles, from karting and Quarter Midgets to the highest levels of pro racing.

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