Honda has started mass production of the new 2019 Passport SUV in their Alabama factory, ahead of a sales launch early next year.
The start of the new Passport’s production was celebrated by more than 1,500 associates at the facility, which will be the exclusive factory for the new Honda SUV.
Revealed last month at the LA Auto Show, the new Honda Passport will slot between the CR-V and the Pilot as the company’s more adventurous SUV in the range.
“The positive response to Passport really signals Honda is poised to compete in this segment,” said Lara Harrington, Chief Engineer and Passport Development Leader. “The Honda Passport is designed to bring a more personal, rugged and off-road SUV to our award- winning light truck lineup and we are all excited to see where this new product will take us.”
Power comes from Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 with 280hp and 262lb-ft of torque, paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The optional i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system features active torque vectoring to send up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear axle, and 100 percent of the torque to either the left or the right rear wheel.
Honda describes the new Passport as its “most rugged light truck yet”; ground clearance is up by 0.5 inches on FWD models and up by 1.1 inches on AWD models compared to the bigger Pilot, with which it shares most of its underpinnings.