We have less than a month to go before the 2022 SEMA show opens its gates to the custom car-hungry public. And thanks to the power of prescience (aka a pair of teasers, plus a full release that we’ve now added to the story), we can now discuss what might be the wildest truck on the Las Vegas floor. That’s a big title and it feels well-deserved when Hoonigan seems to be gearing up for SEMA with a Honda IndyCar V6-swapped Ridgeline pickup truck!
Hoonigan took to Instagram to throw the said teasers at us. And while the one containing a Minecraft-like image of a second-generation Honda Ridgeline has no secrets, it seems we can say the same about the second one.
The latter is a video and we, along with tons of fans on Hoonigan’s Instagram page, are ready to get a weird tattoo if the engine behind the blur isn’t the twin-turbo 2.2L V6 that Honda has been fielding in IndyCar since the 2012 season. OK, maybe a semi-permanent tattoo or something.
Just like we’re expecting the current Ridgeline to exit the scene sooner rather than later, Honda’s HI12TT/R Indy V6 should have it final performance next year. That’s because IndyCar is moving to a hybridized formula starting with the 2024 season, albeit with Honda and Chevrolet remaining the sole engine suppliers for the series, at least to date.
Sure, the production Ridgeline, which has always been a unibody proposal—also comes with a V6 and a larger one (think: 3.5 vs 2.2L). However, this racing apple is much sweeter than the otherwise respectable showroom orange. So while your neighbor’s Ridgeline makes 280 hp, the Indy unit can deliver up to 750 hp thanks to twin turbochargers supplied by BorgWarner. Oh, and did we mention it can sing at past 12,000 rpm? Imagine that big race soundtrack, only with lots of burnouts performed by a truck!
Sourcing such an engine is not quite a Facebook Marketplace job, so it looks like Hoonigan rubbed elbows with Honda for this one—it would be one of the many collabs resulting in jaw-dropping builds.
Why SEMA and why a Honda truck?
For starters, SEMA is sort of a mandatory thing for Hoonigan, which was co-founded by Ken Block and Brian Scotto, who launched the ever-expanding label at the 2011 edition of the event—here are some other eccentric builds coming to the 2022 SEMA.
As for the Ridgeline, well, this has always been a quirky, enthusiast-savvy choice. By no means the best-selling offering in the mid-size truck segment, the Honda, whose current Gen II arrived back in 2016 (2017MY) is a unibody truck with car-like design. And what it lacks in terms of hardcore workhorse stuff, it more than makes up for via the said car-like nature, which brings assets in departments like presence and reliability.
As stated in the pair of Insta posts below, Hoonigan is ready for a (more) complete disclosure via their YouTube channel, with this coming on Wednesday, at 9AM PST.
Meanwhile, we’ll just enjoy the fact that this Ridgeline seems to have a lower-resolution design than the Tesla Cybertruck—sure, it’s a teaser, but where is the production Cybertruck? JK, we have nothing against Teslas.
The full release
Hoonigan’s YouTube video is in and we’ve added it at the bottom of the story. Enter the IndyTruck, the mid-engined, second-generation Honda Ridgeline that Hoonigan is preparing for 2022 SEMA.
It looks like HPD (Honda Performance Development) approached Hoonigan, giving them not just the IndyCar V6, but also the Ridgeline prototype that the guys will wrap around the engine. For now, the crew wants to install a firewall behind the front seats, so they can prepare the back of the cabin for the 12,000 rpm engine.
And since this isn’t a Rolls-Royce (you’ll see their Slay Poupon, a previous SEMA build in the video), the front end of the Ridgeline will also get some undisclosed mods of its own. Remember, guys, the clock it ticking—SEMA kicks off on November 1st.
Live 2022 SEMA take on the Hoonigan IndyTruck
Hoonigan has released the first 2022 SEMA videos of IndyTruck, its Indycar V6-powered Honda Ridgeline pickup truck. No details accompany the pair of short clips (embedded below) yet, but one thing is clear: we can listen to the 12,000 rpm engine singing-hey, individual throttle bodies and turbos!
The truck wrapped around the tower of power? It got a wicked aero kit that is and isn’t minimalist at the same time, with plenty of carbon involved. The machine rides on Rotiform wheels and has lost its rear seats, while gaining a serious tubular structure. So yes, plenty of tires will be hurt soon.
Hoonigan released a new episode for its IndyTruck build on YouTube. And now we know that the contraption comes with current-gen Acura NSX front suspension and all-round carbon-ceramic brakes. The team fabricated a custom front subframe, a crossmember allowing the engine and transmission to fit in the middle of the pickup. And up front where the factory engine of the truck used to be, we now find a fuel cell for that thirsty motorsport engine.
And, in case you’re wondering, Honda engineers did visit the Hoonigan shop, lending their expertise to the skilled crew. Truth be told, the second-gen NSX, with its three electric motors, is a hybrid supercar masterpiece, but since it’s not quite as fast as rivals like the 911 or the GT-R, this never quite got the attention it deserved. So it’s nice to see the gas-electric machine getting back under the spotlights.
Given that the racing engine and gearbox are structural components in IndyCar, the guys also used them as stress member here. In addition, some of the rear tubes are linked to the engine and transmission, so we’re looking at a roll cage doubling as engine/tranny mounts. Oh, and this thing features pushrod suspension front and back.
And you can forget all about the 2017 donor truck’s look, as this bad boy received 2023 visual elements (e.g. bumpers, light clusters) for a fresh look.