Home Car News 2019 Honda Passport spied in Malibu with rumored 2.0T under the hood

2019 Honda Passport spied in Malibu with rumored 2.0T under the hood

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Honda Passport
This is the Honda Passport hiding behind some thick camouflage. T H I C C

The return of the rumored Honda Passport just got even more official with these spy shots from Malibu.

Rumors of the return of the Honda Passport first hit the internet around January and now we actually have physical proof that the darned thing actually exists. According to Autoblog in a series of spy photos someone leaked their way earlier today (Aug. 9, 2018) a mid-sized SUV with several Honda-like attributes was making its way around the Southern California area, heavily camouflaged. Check out a series of photos of this mid-sized crossover contender by following the link above take a gander at some of the photos on Twitter.

Concrete details are few from looking at these spy shots but referencing a statement from conversations with Honda officials back in January, all the telltale signs are there. Here’s the statement for reference.

The two-row crossover is expected to be about 6 inches shorter than the Pilot and compete with the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Nissan Murano in the U.S. midsize crossover segment. Chevrolet is also set to field a new similar-sized crossover under the revived Blazer name.

One person, citing conversations with dealers, said the new Passport will be shown at a Honda dealer meeting in November and go on sale in early 2019. It is also expected to be shown in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

“We have not confirmed any details related to this product so any specifics would be quite speculative at this point,” a Honda spokesman said Tuesday.

Clearly, this has a similar profile to the Honda Pilot but obviously shortened by that aforementioned six inches. Dual tailpipes out the rear, reminiscent of the Honda S2000, hint at either the V6 or a turbocharged 2.0T underneath the hood. I think it’s the 2.0T.

My guess is based on my favorite rumor mill source on most things Honda, VTEC.net. As per Honda/Acura rumor mill starter RolledaNSX, with Honda’s new plant expansion ready to churn out some SUVs, Honda is fast-tracking the development and final testing of these truck offerings like the Honda Passport. RolledaNSX thinks a 2.0T will be in the Passport and I tend to agree.

For one, a sneak peek into the interior of the spymule shows an Infotainment system also found on the Honda Accord and Odyssey. While the V6 in the Pilot sports a more than adequate 280 HP and 262 lb-ft, I think it’s the torquier 2.0T with its 252 Hp and 272 lb-ft that Honda will use. Expect Honda to tune this 2.0T to deliver more torque down low at the cost of horsepower in the upper rev range.

Honda in the United States has a very strong truck segment lead by the Honda CR-V including the HR-V, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, Acura MDX and RDX. Although several markets outside of the United States have mid-sized crossover SUV offerings from Honda like the Honda Avancier in China or even to some extent, the seven seater BR-V in South East Asian markets, there wasn’t much reason to offer something smaller than a Pilot but bigger than a CR-V.

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But with the introduction of some domestic heavy hitters like the refreshed Ford Edge and upcoming Chevrolet Blazer, Honda wants a slice of that mid-sized crossover SUV pie.

Expect this Honda Passport to make its début at the end of the year with sales in early 2019.

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