Director’s Commentary: Baja Ridgeline

Here’s another Director’s Commentary tale, this time from the design and build team behind the Honda Ridgeline Baja racer

Don’t let the gearhead nature of this particular commentary put you off — this is a story about attention to detail, iteration, and evidence-based management.  To create a successful race car, you have to execute a design which won’t be let down by trivial logistics ( failing due to a cheap, trivial part), but which also hews to a winning overall point of view ( balancing the weight which comes with reliability with the conflicting need for agility and speed).  Holding opposing constraints in mind, making choices – that sounds like design thinking for strategy to me.

Here’s a cool bit of detailed design thinking which might not be insignificant were it to be needed:

When done properly, the
seat attachment points are part of the rollcage, not welded to the
truck’s floor. This way, the seats can’t tear loose from the floor in
case of a severe accident or rollover. The occupants and their seats
stay inside the cage.

And of course, there’s some serious unabashed gearhead gnarlyness at work here.  Check out this elegant rollcage creeping forward over the front strut towers, and those gorgeous welds:


And this is what informed intuition – a critical part of design thinking – looks like in action:


Hey Dennis, how cool is this?  😎


1 thought on “Director’s Commentary: Baja Ridgeline

  1. Please stop writing about this – it’s like crack to an addict: “M-U-S-T H-A-V-E T-H-I-S. D-O-N-T T-E-L-L W-I-F-E O-R E-N-V-I-R-O F-R-I-E-N-D-S.”
    Tell them to hurry up with the diesel, which would improve the machismo of this truck in WV 🙂

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