Crazy concepts span the Civic Si to the rugged Passport SUV.
Honda had mostly been known for fun cheap cars, before it expanded to crossovers and more rugged fare with the surprisingly competent Honda Ridgeline and tough-looking Passport. But the brand also has a strong history in the tuner circles, something it will be leveraging strongly at this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where the Japanese brand will showcase a little bit of everything from hot wagons and sedans to rugged overlanders.
Running 2-5 November, the array of metal on display at the SEMA show won't be limited to new machinery either. While the new Honda Civic Si will be displayed in race guise for the first time, alongside a new Passport TrailSport Rugged Roads Project, we'll also see some classic machinery like a '96 Accord Wagon fettled by Fifteen52.
First up, the Honda Performance Development Civic Si race car prototype. It features the turbocharged four-cylinder and six-speed manual of the Si and was built for the SRO TC Americas amateur touring car series, club racing and dedicated track-day use. It ditches the sunroof, sound proofing, underbody coating and more to reduce weight and clear space for the roll cage. Borla does the exhaust, Bilstein the dampers, and Eibach the springs. AiM Technologies does the main racing display and Motec is responsible for the C125 center dash logger. An OMP quick-release aluminum steering wheel is installed along with racing seats.
The Team Honda Research West Civic Si Race Car was built for National Auto Sports Association's (NASA) 25-hour of Thunderhill race in Northern California, but will premiere at SEMA. It was developed "using the professional knowledge of volunteers from multiple Honda divisions involved with design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing and finance," according to Honda. Custom parts include a Koyo intercooler and aluminum racing radiator, Hondata engine management tuning, Paragon brakes, H&R coil springs and an RV6 rear stabilizer bar.
Honda is a strong supporter of esports, and official partner to Team Liquid. In honor of the partnership and to showcase what Honda's HPD team and genuine accessories catalogs can produce, the Team Liquid Civic Hatchback throws all the accessories at one car. Based on a 2022 Civic Hatch, it gets a front underbody spoiler, tailgate spoiler, and gloss black badges from HPD. Digging into the Honda Genuine Accessories parts bin, more gloss black badging, black tire valve caps from the Si, 18-inch black alloy wheels, and a roof carrier are equipped, with the final cherry being a Thule Motion XT Alpine roof box.
In the same vein, HPD is bringing a 2022 Civic Si, also full of HPD and HGA parts. Dressed in the factory orange paintwork, it gets the full suite of underbody spoilers in black from HPD, gloss black badges, black valve stem caps, and the same 18-inch wheels as the Team Liquid car.
Honda revealed the Passport TrailSport alongside a special display car called the Rugged Roads Project, but at SEMA this year, it's bringing an upgraded version dubbed the Rugged Roads Project 2.0.
The display vehicle is for overlanding enthusiasts, "featuring off-road components, without sacrificing the Passport's excellent road manners." Project 2.0 gets HGA roof crossbars, fender flares, black 18-inch wheels, lower door trim and a few other bits. Jsport provides the much-needed suspension lift (1.5 inches in front and 0.75 inches in the rear) while Roofnest provides the Sparrow XL rooftop tent. Factor 55 takes care of the Hitchlink 2.0 shackle mount and rear recovery point while Dirt Complex adds a rear hitch wheel and tire carrier.
Not content with letting the Passport TrailSport have all the off-road fun, the Ridgeline truck gets in on the action with the HPD Trail Tour Project Vehicle. Already a competent dirt-roader, this show car adds to the car-based pickup's off-road ability. First, Honda R&D Custom installed recovery point in gloss blacks and 3mm thick stainless steel skid plates. Firestone then adds 18-inch all-terrain tires. Jsport does the suspension lift, same as on the Passport, along with the custom spare tire carrier. A boatload of parts come from Thule including the rooftop tent, crossbars, bed rack and side bars, awning, railing mount and roof basket.
We saved the weirdest, and possibly coolest, for last. It's the Fifteen52 Project Accord Wagon. This one was built in conjunction with HPD and Mountune, and it's powered by a Civic Type R crate engine. The project was inspired by the mid-90s Japanese Touring Car Championship-winning Accord with a white, orange, red and green paint scheme inspired by the original JACCS livery. It has Type R Brembo brakes, 19-inch Fifteen52 Super Touring Podium design wheels shod in Toyo Proxes RR rubber, an After Hours Automotive roll cage, Sparco seats, and Hardrace control arms, tie rod and toe links. Street Advance Z coilover suspension adds to the race stance courtesy of Tein. That 306-horsepower crate motor is available to all "for closed-course racing applications," meaning if you're building a race car, the Type R can power it.