The 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport Proves Itself at the Rebelle Rally

It’s happening right now! The 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport is competing in the Rebelle Rally, which will test this three-row off-road SUV. This challenging eight-day competition offers terrain and conditions nearly impossible for you to replicate during your off-road adventures. If there were any questions left about whether this Honda SUV was made for off-roading, this challenge should put them to rest.

What is the Rebelle Rally, and why is the 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport participating in it?

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport Testing Mule on a cliff trail while testing
2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport Testing Mule is in there somewhere | Honda

The Rebelle Rally is the longest off-road rally in America. The course for this race covers more than 1,500 miles of desert. The starting point is Lake Tahoe in Nevada and runs to the Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California.

For the fourth consecutive year, Honda has an entry in this amazing competition. Honda News revealed the entry of the new Pilot SUV in one of the toughest and longest off-road competitions in the country. The rally takes place from October 6-15 this year, which is happening right now.

The Honda team brought a standard Pilot TrailSport to meet the challenge.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport teaser
2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport teaser | Honda

If you want a vehicle to prove it’s as good as advertised, the best way to do this is to put it through the toughest and most grueling challenge for that SUV. To prove the 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport is truly an off-road vehicle, the Honda team must drive this vehicle in its standard package. This means the Honda SUV in this competition includes:

  • All-terrain tires
  • Steel skid plates
  • A raised off-road tuned suspension
  • Upgraded AWD system
  • Full-size spare tire
  • Front and rear recovery point

Because this is a stock version of the SUV, the Pilot competes in the Bone-Stock category.

Who are the drivers of the Pilot TrailSport at the Rebelle Rally?

This all-women off-road event gives us two capable women who will take the 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport across the desert in the American Southwest. The women driving this SUV hail from Ohio and are part of the Honda team. Liz Long is a chassis reliability test engineer, and Hillary Tate is a project administrator of design and construction. Both women work for Honda’s North American facilities.

Is this off-road race a test of endurance for this Honda SUV?

Not only is it a test of endurance for the vehicle, but it’s also a test for the women behind the wheel. Long and Tate will drive the Pilot TrailSport during the off-road competition for up to 12 hours per day. Spending time out on the trails for that long can take a serious toll on the vehicle and the bodies of the passengers inside the cabin.

The 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport brings previously tested items

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport teaser
2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport teaser | Honda

Some of the components of the Pilot SUV at the Rebelle Rally were tested and developed based on feedback from previous events. The custom-fabricated oil pan, fuel tank, and steel skid plates were part of the previous testing at the Rebelle Rally when the 2021 Honda HPD Ridgeline took on the desert. These items are standard equipment for the new generation of the Pilot TrailSport.

How will the Pilot TrailSport fare during this competition? We’ll have to wait until it has ended and Honda studies the vehicle to understand whether or not this new three-row off-road SUV is tough enough for hardcore off-roading.

Next, check out some efficient off-road vehicles, or watch the video below to learn more about the Rebelle Rally.

This article was updated on 12/7/2022.