Honda’s Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept is what happens when you take Honda’s unibody truck and give it the proper off-road armor to really unleash its full potential.
The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is a capable truck in its own right equal in performance and utility to any full-size truck on the market. The only place the Ridgeline somewhat lacks in is off-road ability with its approach, breakover, and departure angles more suited for a Sunday picnic than an off-road excursion. As per Honda in an official press release they dropped earlier today (Oct. 30,2018) they’ve unleashed the full potential of the Honda Ridgeline platform with their Open Air Vehicle Concept. Check out a couple photos of this one-off unibody desert buggy below.
Like a lot of car manufacturers out there, Honda sells more than cars and crossovers, they also cater to a lot of outdoorsy types and sportsmen with their lineup of Powersports vehicles including their motorbikes and ATV’s.
This Open Air Vehicle Concept combines its Honda Ridgeline truck with Honda’s most popular Utility Task Vehicle (Or UTV), the Pioneer 1000, along with a couple other parts from Honda’s parts bin.
— MOTOR1 (@Motor1com) October 30, 2018
Outside, Honda literally took off most of the Honda Ridgelines body panels and replaced them with modified versions of its Pioneer 1000 UTV which are made to endure a life outside of the garage and in the elements, 100 percent.
Inside, Honda kept much of the dashboard from the Ridgeline but replaced the steering wheel with the same one from the Pioneer 1000 and swapped in Civic Type R seats for much-needed bolstering in something that’s going to be going up and down more than jostling from side to side.
Performance-wise, I think the biggest changes were made to the Ridgeline’s suspension with what looks like some beefier springs in front and out back to raise the ride height some. The engine from the Ridgeline remains the same.
What results is a modified Ridgeline unlike any other meant for bounding over sand and rocks more than going out for a commute to work and the weekend run to Lowes.
The photos of this thing sitting pretty with some dirt on its tires are all well and good but I’d like to see some non-press video of this thing in action.