By Ronan Glon
Saturday, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 4:39 pm
 
One of the eleven vehicles that Honda will enter in this year's edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a heavily-modified Odyssey minivan. The people-hauler will be driven by French IndyCar pilot Simon Pagenaud.

The race-bound minivan is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that uses a large Garrett turbocharger to churn out 535 horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque, a considerable bump over the regular-production Odyssey's 248 ponies and 250 lb-ft. of twist. The mill is linked to a six-speed transmission and an Acura-sourced limited-slip differential, while Brembo brakes hidden behind 19-inch BBS alloy wheels make sure the van can stop as well as it goes.

Inside, family-oriented features like the built-in vacuum cleaner and the 16.2-inch DVD player have been replaced by a full roll cage, a three-spoke steering wheel and bucket seats with five-point racing harnesses.

Although not a rally driver, Pagenaud is thrilled to compete in the iconic Race to the Clouds behind the wheel of such an intriguing vehicle.

"[Pikes Peak] is something I'm really looking forward to," said Pagenaud. "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!

The Odyssey will make its competition debut in Colorado on June 30th.