Wednesday, January 13, 2016
NAIAS 2016: 2017 Honda Ridgeline is Conventional Yet Unconventional
Honda is once again challenging the conventional thinking in the pickup truck market with the launch of the all-new 2017 Ridgeline at the North American International Auto Show. Containing exclusive features, Honda hopes it will set the benchmark for versatility, capability, and comfort in the midsized pickup category.
The all-new Ridgeline is based on Honda’s Global Light Truck platform with its rigid yet lightweight uni-body construction, next-generation ACE body structure and sophisticated, fully independent suspension. As a result, it delivers a higher level of ride and handling refinement that cannot be matched by conventional body-on-frame designs.
It is powered by a new 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC V6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Honda believes it will not only provide top-class powertrain refinement, but will achieve best-in-class acceleration performance and segment-leading EPA fuel economy ratings.
The Ridgeline also will be available for the first time in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations. All-wheel-drive models will utilize Honda’s i-VTM4 torque vectoring AWD technology, featuring Intelligent Terrain Management with Normal, Sand, Snow, and Mud modes, providing robust medium-duty off-road and towing capability with superior on-road, all-weather handling, traction and performance.
Inside, the Ridgeline boasts the largest, most versatile and sophisticated cabin in a midsize 4-door pickup, featuring high-grade materials and finishes, available leather trim and all the latest technologies that Honda has to offer, including tri-zone climate control, push button start, a full-color TFT center meter and available 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.
The Ridgeline’s 60/40-split and folding second-row seat provides the ultimate versatility for people and/or cargo. With the seats folded down, the Ridgeline will comfortably carry up to five people while still accommodating long items, like a set of golf clubs, under the rear seat. Folding up one or both sides of the 60/40-split seat bottom opens up the back to carry tall and bulky items.
The Ridgeline bed offers pickup users unmatched versatility in a midsize 4-door pickup. At 5 feet wide and 5 feet and 4 inches long, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline has the only 4-foot wide flat bed space (with 48 inches between the rear wheel arches) in the midsize pickup class, allowing for flat hauling of items like plywood sheeting or drywall. The Ridgeline will also offer payload capacity rivaling top competitors, approaching 1,600 pounds, with final specifications to be released closer to launch.
The composite, UV-stabilized and scratch-resistant bed also boasts a number of available Honda-exclusive features that add to its incredible versatility, including an In-Bed Trunk, dual-action tailgate, available 400-watt AC power inverter and the industry’s first in-bed audio system.
A first for any pickup, the new in-bed audio system, together with the In-Bed Trunk and available 400-watt power inverter, makes Ridgeline the ultimate tailgating vehicle. The new in-bed audio system utilizes six exciters located inside the bed walls, in place of conventional speakers, pumping out sound from the Ridgeline’s audio head unit, with up to 540 watts of power.
The new Ridgeline will target the highest available collision safety ratings and comes with technology such as Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). It will also have Honda LaneWatch or Blind Spot Information system.