The original Honda Ridgeline earned the awards for North American Truck of the Year and Motor Trend Truck of the Year in 2006. Honda hopes that the next-generation Ridgeline currently in development by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. will continue the name’s reputation for excellence. The first generation Ridgeline astonished the pickup market with a unique design that offered a spacious cabin with room for five passengers, half-ton truck capability, and smooth handling and ride. It was the first truck of its kind that was built on a closed-box unibody platform.
A design sketch released by Honda suggests that the new Ridgeline will have a more rounded front view, featuring a steeper angled windshield. Other design elements and proportions appeared to remain the same as the current model. With new technology already introduced by Honda such as Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), it is expected that the Ridgeline will likely show a large improvement in mileage figures, particularly if hybrid technology is introduced.
According to Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., the new Ridgeline will help to advance the concepts of form and function in the truck market. They believe that this next generation vehicle will play a vital role in Honda’s future product portfolio and enhance the brand’s line of light truck.
The original Honda Ridgeline has continued to enjoy strong sales through 2013, bolstered in part by a new Special Edition model for 2014. The Ridgeline sold 16,160 units in the first 11 months of 2013, a sales increase of 29 percent over 2012’s figures.
There is no word yet on whether Honda will release more details at the upcoming Chicago and Detroit auto shows, but it remains a likely possibility.