Think racing and "minivan" is not a word that comes to mind. Soccer mom, maybe but Pikes Peak competitor, no way. Honda Performance Development and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. though have sourced a winning race car driver and with Honda Manufacturing of Alabama created a 500+hp turbo Odyssey to do just that. As you may have read in the previous article on Honda's big presence (11- vehicle, nine-class effort) at the upcoming Pikes Peak, it may come as no surprise that there has been another Honda entry; this time in the "Exhibition" category. But this entry may raise more eyebrows than any other.
Make no mistake, extensive R&D and a laundry list of aftermarket parts transformed a grocery hauler into a serious race car (or is it van?). It has a turbocharged, intercooled 3.5-liter V6 engine with 500+ hp and a 6-speed trans, limited-slip differential (from the Acura TL line), racing suspension and brakes, 19- inch BBS wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires and of course a full competition roll cage. Like we said, not your typical soccer mom ride. The highly modified Honda Odyssey will be driven by IndyCar racer Simon Pagenaud, who recently won the Izod IndyCar Series in Detroit.
"This is something I'm really looking forward to," Pagenaud said of Pikes Peak. "I've done a little bit of rallying in France, and I used to watch highlights of the Pikes Peak race on television as a kid. Our entry will be unique, to say the least! A Honda Odyssey with power similar to an IndyCar will raise some eyebrows for sure! But with the preparation it is getting from Team Honda Research, it will be a proper race car, and I'm very excited about it."
Honda Pikes Peak Odyssey Specs:
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is scheduled for Sunday, June 30th and tickets can be purchased at www.ppihc.com