Honda reveals 2017 Ridgeline pickup truck at 2016 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 13, 2016

Honda has revealed at the 2016 North American International Auto Show its latest offering, the 2017 Ridgeline truck. With this offering, Honda again hopes to defy traditional thinking when it comes to pickup trucks. In addition to having features exclusive to Honda, it carries the technology, as well as the design, that ensures this newest line will establish new standards for midsize pickups in terms of capability, comfort, and even versatility.

According to John Mendel, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s executive vice president, “original thinking” paired with exclusive technology is what the company will be bringing to the market with the new Honda pickup. Mendel says that the company this time has a better idea and that this is a truck that comes equipped with Honda packaging with a unibody structure.

This combination enables the company to provide the needs and preferences of truck customers and to exclude the features that don’t appeal to them. All aspects of the 2017 Ridgeline had been done in America, from the design, to the development, and even the manufacturing.

The new model is expected to be launched during the first six months of 2016. The 2017 Ridgeline has a number of capabilities and features that have never been seen on the market. One of these is its on-road performance. It is considered to be superior to all other models in its segment in terms of the quality of the ride, the quietness that it offers to the occupants, handling, and even all-weather traction ability.

This is due to the unibody structure, the state-of-the-art chassis, and the torque-vectoring i-VTM4 AWD system. It also offers a versatile cabin, not to mention the largest. Unlike other midsize pickups in its class, it has a flat bed space of 4 feet. Even its payload capacity exceeds that of many competitors.

The 2017 Ridgeline also includes exclusive features like the dual-action tailgate and the In-Bed Trunk. It even has an in-bed audio system which is considered to be the first in the industry. All these mean that the 2017 Ridgeline is indeed the best tailgating vehicle in the market today.

Performance-wise, it offers the best acceleration and EPA-rated fuel economy figures among the other models in its class. It also scores high in terms of safety features, particularly when it comes to third-party collision safety considering that it has the next-generation Honda ACE body structure. It also has Honda’s own Sensing suite of various technologies focusing on safety, including driver-assist.

On a technological standpoint, it has an 8-inch Display Audio that comes with Apple Car Play but it is also compatible with Android Auto. Founded on the company’s very own Global Light Truck platform, the 2017 Ridgeline has a unibody structure that while rigid, ensures that it is lightweight.

Along with the ACE body structure and the hi-tech independent suspension, the 2017 Ridgeline is able to provide a better ride that is on a different level compared to standard trucks that carry the body-on-frame designs. This also allows it to deliver more refined handling.

Powering Honda’s newest offering is the direct-injected and 3.5-liter V-6 i-VTEC engine. This is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, resulting in a powertrain that’s at the top of refinement when compared to others within the segment.

It also offers the best acceleration for its class and even leads the segment in terms of EPA-rated fuel economy. Unlike the previous Ridgeline models, the 2017 version offers not just a front-wheel but also an all-wheel drive configuration.

All of the all-wheel drive Ridgeline’s will have Honda’s own i-VTM4 system. This system has the Intelligent Terrain Management with the choice of four modes: Normal, Mud, Sand, and Snow. Thus it gives an outstanding off-road and towing capacity in addition to the excellent on-road performance and traction with the all-weather handling.

The interior of the 2017 Ridgeline also has unique features. For a 4-door midsize pickup, it has the most sophisticated and even versatile cabin. All parts use high-grade materials and have finishes in the same quality in addition to the leather trim. The cabin also has a number of new technologies from Honda.

These include the push button start, a tri-zone climate control, and even a TFT center meter in full-color. There is also the 8-inch Display Audio with touchscreen capability and while it already has the Apple Car Play, it is also compatible with Android Auto. The second row seats have enough space to ensure passenger comfort.

With the folding feature and 60/40 split, there’s more than enough space to haul cargo. In fact, when folded down, the seats not only allow it to accommodate five people as it also gives room under the rear seat for long items, like a set of golf clubs for example. When either the seat is folded up on side or on both sides, the bottom allows the storage of bulky and even tall items. The bed of the 2017 Ridgeline is also unmatched in terms of versatility.

Its width measures 5 feet while the length is 5 feet and 4 inches. Compared to the previous Ridgeline, the 2017 model is wider by 5.4 inches and longer by 4 inches. The bed also measures 48 inches between the two arches of its rear wheel. In the midsize pickup class, the 2017 Ridgeline is the only model whose flat bed space is 4 feet wide.

What this means is that it can flat haul different items like drywall or even plywood sheeting. The payload is even at the top of the class with a capacity of almost 1,600 pounds. The actual specifications however will be released just prior to the launch. More space is not the only thing the bed of the 2017 Ridgeline has to offer. It is both resistant to scratch and is UV-stabilized. There are also a number of exclusive features that it offers.

There is of course the dual-action tailgate, the In-Bed Trunk, and an inverter with 400-watt of AC power. It even has an in-bed audio system, a first in the industry. The standard In-Bed Trunk is lockable and thus secures the storage space without the need to compromise any of its utility. The floor of the bed is not only fully flat but it now has a drain plug ensuring that it can be cleaned easily while at the same time making it faster to empty the trunk of water.

The tailgate has hinges on the bottom and the left side, meaning it can be opened down or to its side. This makes it easier to load large and heavy items, or even unload them, without the need to reach over the open tailgate.

It also has eight cleats capable of tying down up to 350 pounds. On the right side, the bed wall has an access panel, behind which is the 400-watt power inverter. This power inverter can not only recharge any power tools but can also charge the tailgate blender and eve a flat screen TV. Combined, the power inverter, the In-Bed Trunk, and the in-bed audio system, result in the Ridgeline deserving the title as the best tailgate vehicle.

What makes the audio system unique is that instead of the usual speakers, it uses six exciters that have been placed inside the walls of the bed. It has a maximum power of 540 watts and the sound is sourced from the audio head unit. As with any Honda model, safety is an important feature of the 2017 Ridgeline as well. Aside from the ACE body structure, it has the Honda Sensing technologies and the advanced airbag systems.

The company aims to get the highest possible collision safety ratings. These include the NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score given by the NHTSA as well as the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ score. There are around 5 different Honda Sensing technologies offered on the new Ridgeline.

These are the Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Braking System. It also comes equipped with a rearview camera as standard. The company will also be offering upper trims for the Honda LaneWatch and its Blind Spot Information system.

Similar to the first generation Ridgeline, the new 2017 model was both designed and developed by none other than Honda R&D Americas. In addition, it will be manufactured by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, located in Lincoln, Alabama.

Press Release

All-New 2017 Honda Ridgeline Pickup Truck Makes World Debut at 2016 North American International Auto Show

Honda today unveiled the all-new 2017 Ridgeline truck at the North American International Auto Show, once again challenging conventional thinking in the pickup truck market with Honda-exclusive features, design and technology that help Ridgeline set new benchmarks for versatility, capability and comfort in a midsize pickup.

"We are bringing our unique technology and original thinking to the market in a new and challenging concept for a Honda pickup," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We think we've got a better idea, a truck that uses its unibody construction and Honda packaging magic to deliver more of the things that many of today's truck customers want and need with none of the things they don't."

Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the new Ridgeline will launch in the first half of 2016 with a combination of features and capabilities unlike anything else on the market today, including:

Superior on-road performance – with the segment's best handling, ride quality, cabin quietness and all-weather traction capabilities – courtesy of its unibody construction, sophisticated chassis, and available i-VTM4™ torque-vectoring AWD system
Class-leading space – with the largest and most versatile cabin and the only 4-foot-wide flat bed space in the midsize pickup segment, along with payload capacity rivaling top competitors
Innovative and class-exclusive features, including an In-Bed Trunk™, dual-action tailgate and the industry's first in-bed audio system – making Ridgeline the ultimate tailgating vehicle
Targeted top-in-class acceleration, EPA fuel economy ratings and third-party collision safety ratings, and featuring Honda's next-generation ACE™ body structure and available Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assist technologies
Leading edge connectivity with 8-inch Display Audio featuring Apple Car Play® and Android Auto™ compatibility
Advanced Chassis, Powertrain and All-Wheel-Drive
The new Ridgeline is based on Honda's Global Light Truck platform with its rigid yet lightweight unibody construction, next-generation ACE™ body structure and sophisticated, fully independent suspension, delivering a higher level of ride and handling refinement than conventional body-on-frame designs. The Ridgeline will be powered by a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC™ V-6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, providing top-in-class powertrain refinement and targeting 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.

Sophisticated, Versatile and Spacious Cabin
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 cargo-hauling utility. 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.

A Bed Like No Other
The Ridgeline bed offers pickup users unmatched versatility in a midsize 4-door pickup. At 5' wide and 5'4" long (5.4 inches wider and 4 inches longer than the previous generation Ridgeline), 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.

The Ridgeline's standard, lockable In-Bed Trunk provides secure storage space with no compromise to bed utility and now features a fully flat floor while still including a drain plug for easier cleaning and evacuation of water from the trunk. The dual action tailgate is hinged both at the bottom and along its left side, opening down or to the side, which enables easier loading and unloading of heavy and bulky items without having to reach over the open tailgate. The bed also features eight 350-pound tie down cleats and an available 400-watt power inverter, located behind an access panel in the right bed wall, with the capacity to recharge power tools or energize a tailgate blender or flat screen TV.

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.

Top-Level Safety Performance
Featuring Honda's next-generation ACE™ body structure, advanced airbag systems and available Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assist technologies, the new Ridgeline will target the highest available collision safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the IIHS. Honda Sensing™ technologies available on the 2017 Ridgeline include Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). All Ridgeline models will feature a multi-angle rearview camera as standard equipment and upper trims will be available with either Honda LaneWatch™ or Blind Spot Information system.

Ridgeline Development and Manufacturing
Like the first generation Honda Ridgeline, the all-new 2017 Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas and will be produced by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, Alabama.

About the Honda Light Truck Lineup
Honda set an all-time record for U.S. sales of light truck models in 2015, up nearly 12% from 2014 to 661,188 SUVs, CUVs, pickups and minivans, and besting the previous record of 602,123 Honda-brand light trucks sold in 2006. Honda's sales success was driven by an unprecedented cadence of new light truck offerings starting in the fall of 2014 with the freshened 2015 Honda CR-V, which was named Motor Trend 2016 Sport Utility of the Year and was America's best selling SUV again in 2015. In 2015, Honda launched the all-new HR-V crossover and the third generation Pilot SUV. In December, the Pilot was names as a finalist for the 2016 North American Truck/Utility of the Year award.

In 2016, Honda will continue the fortification of its light-truck family of vehicles with the new Ridgeline and a fully redesigned Odyssey minivan. Honda was named the "2016 Best SUV Brand" by U.S. News and World Report, and the Pilot, CR-V, HR-V and Odyssey each has earned a "Best Buy" award from Kelly Blue Book for 2016. The 2016 Pilot and CR-V have received a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for model year 2016, while the 2016 Odyssey minivan has earned a TOP SAFETY PICK rating.


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