Future Models - Honda 2016 Ridgeline
Detroit show: Honda's Ridgeline not for Aus
Left out: Honda's new-gen Ridgeline will not make it Down Under due to left-hand-drive production only.
Honda Ridgeline and a two wild pick-up concepts from Nissan and Ford star at Detroit
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14 January 2016
HONDA Australia is no closer to having a pick-up in its line-up, with
confirmation that the freshly revealed second-generation Ridgeline will remain
a left-hand-drive-market-only proposition.
The all-new workhorse was unveiled at this week's Detroit motor show and
replaces the original version that went on sale in the United States in early
2005, soldiering on with a number of updates before Honda stopped production in
Speaking with GoAuto, Honda Australia public relations manager Melissa Cross
confirmed that the new Ridgeline is solely for left-hand-drive markets and will
not be making an appearance Down Under.
The car-maker's Australian director Stephen Collins told GoAuto at last year's
Tokyo motor show that Honda Australia was “always pushing” for right-hand-drive
production of vehicles such as a pick-up and a large SUV, but added that it was
unlikely in the medium term.
“It is very, very tough,” he said. “But I have got to say when there is an
opportunity we will definitely put our hand up for it. The obvious issue is
trying to get another right-hand-drive market where we can amortise the cost is
the issue. So the short answer is we never give up but it is pretty difficult.
“There is nothing on the short-term or mid-term horizon that we could say we
can get that out of the US and in right-hand drive and share the cost but it
doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop trying.”
Developed by Honda R&D Americas and built at the Lincoln, Alabama plant, the
new Ridgeline carries a more traditional-looking mid-size pick-up design than
its predecessor, ditching the high-walled cargo bed and featuring a car-like
Honda says the new cargo bed is 137mm wider and 102mm longer than the model it
replaces and has the only four-foot wide flat bed space in its class.
The tray features a dual-action tailgate hinged at the bottom and along the
left side, 400-watt AC power inverter and it even has a unique external audio
system that Honda says is a first for a pick-up.
The system uses six exciters – an audio signal processing technique – housed in
the bed walls, rather than normal speakers, pumping out sound from the
pick-up's head unit.
A lockable 'in-bed trunk' provides a secure storage space, a fully flat floor
and a drain plug for easier cleaning.
Under the Ridgline bonnet is a 3.5-litre i-VTEC V6 engine matched with a
six-speed automatic transmission, and the large truck will be offered in front-
or four-wheel drive guise. Honda says it is targeting best-in-class
acceleration and segment leading fuel economy figures.
Inside, the four-door pick-up has tri-zone climate control, push-button start,
a full-colour TFT display and an 8.0-inch Display Audio with Apple CarPlay and
Android Audio capability, as well as optional leather trim.
A 60/40 split-fold second row seat allows the transportation of tall or chunky
items and the Ridgeline has room for five adults.
In the united States the Ridgeline competes with Chevrolet's Colorado, the
Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier, which was sold in Australia as the
A pair of slightly wilder pick-ups were uncovered at the Detroit motor show
this year, including Nissan's Titan Warrior concept and Ford's F-150 Raptor
Nissan describes the Titan Warrior as a “super-sized, off-road modified design
study” and the exterior styling was made more aggressive by lifting the ride
height by 76mm in order to fit the massive 37-inch off-road tyres.
The Titan Warrior gains custom LED head and tail-lights, rear units are
designed with a T logo motif, and the big rig has quad-tipped exhausts, a
unique grille and massive front guards for a more muscular look.
Under the extra-chunky bonnet is a 5.0-litre Cummins turbo-diesel V8.
Meanwhile, Ford's F-150 Raptor SuperCrew made its debut at the show, with the
Blue Oval confirming an extra long wheelbase of 3683mm, or 305mm longer than
the standard Raptor SuperCab.
The big pick-up has benefited from weight-loss measures including the use of
high-strength steel and high-strength military-grade aluminium alloy, resulting
in an overall reduction of 227kg.
Power comes from a 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine that, according to Ford, produces
more power, but with better fuel efficiency than the current 306kW 6.2-litre V8.
Neither the Raptor, nor the Titan Warrior are expected to be rolling into
Australian Ford and Nissan dealerships any time soon.