By Steve & Tamami Laser
The talented folks at Honda R&D Americas have come up with a new concept that merges the automaker’s Ridgeline pickup with its Pioneer 1000 side-by-side off-roader. The result is the stunning Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle.
Making its debut at the SEMA show in Las Vegas today, the concept is called “the ultimate open-air off-road Honda adventure vehicle.” While Honda has no plans to put this into production, it makes us wonder if a more aggressively styled Ridgeline might be headed to showrooms in the future?
Starting with a production Ridgeline, a great deal of sheet metal, including the doors, plus all the glass, has been removed while the truck’s substructure and suspension remain intact. Honda hasn’t provided specs yet, so we’re assuming the Ridgeline’s 3.5-liter V6, 6-speed automatic transmission, and i-VTM4 AWD remain intact.
With the roof and doors gone, a beefy Pioneer-style roll cage has been installed to help retain chassis rigidity and withstand the rigors of off-road driving. Components borrowed from the production Pioneer include the doors used in the side-by-side, with an extra set for rear seat passengers.
The concept’s big, bold wheels are wrapped with Dick Cepek Extreme Country off-road tires. The Open Air is a much wider vehicle compared to the Pioneer, so it appears that the front body panels have been custom fabricated.
Out back the custom-designed bed and tailgate are modeled after the Pioneer. The bed looks large enough to tote an array of bulky adventure gear, or possibly a dirt bike.
The Ridgeline-based interior has been modified for outdoor use and features a Pioneer 1000 steering wheel adapted to fit the steering column.
Racing-style seats transplanted from a Civic Type R have been reskinned with the Pioneer’s waterproof material. A set of RAM mounts on the dash are designed to hold smartphones.
This cool concept should turn plenty of heads at SEMA and wherever else Honda takes it. And while it’s not possible to buy one, here’s a quick look at the donor vehicles now available in Honda showrooms:
2019 Honda Ridgeline
Honda offers the Ridgeline pickup in a wide array of models for the 2019 model year. Two-wheel-drive versions come in RT, Sport, RTL, and RTL-T trims, while the AWD line features the Sport, RTL, RTL-T, RTL-E, and Black Edition.
Neat features include a Dual Action Tailgate that offers easy access to a lockable In-Bed Trunk®, an available 115V AC power outlet, and what Honda calls the “world’s first Truck Bed Audio System.”
Under the hood is a direct-injected i-VTEC™ V6 engine that puts out 280 horses and 282 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Honda’s advanced Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VTM4) all-wheel drive with Normal, Snow, and Mud and Sand settings is available.
The comfy cabin can be equipped with an 8-inch Display Audio system with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, 3-zone climate control, and an 8-way power driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar.
2019 Honda Pioneer 1000
Honda calls the Pioneer the industry’s benchmark multipurpose side-by-side that “boasts the market’s only 6-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).”
For 2019, two limited-edition models are equipped with i-4WD, including brake traction control that combines with a torque biasing limited-slip front differential. LE models offer hill-start assist, electronic brake force distribution, and upgrades to improve suspension performance and exterior style.
For more information on Ridgeline visit Honda.com
For more information on Pioneer visit powersports.honda.com
Features and specifications for Ridegline and Pioneer 1000 apply to U.S. models and are subject to change without notice. The Honda Rugged Off Road Vehicle is a concept and not available for sale.
News source and photos courtesy American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Story © 2018 CarNichiWa.com