Dreams of Honda Ridgeline Hybrid top New York Auto Show speculation
We’ve yet to meet a Ridgeline owner that doesn’t love his or her’s truck. They’ll speak on for hours as to the car-like ride, bullet-proof mechanical attributes and unique styling. This very diverse group of Honda aficionados have one bone of contention, a commonality if you will; They all wish for greater fuel economy.
Torque News-Honda has a 2008 Ridgeline in the family. We’ve featured a photo of the black on black Ridgeline wearing 20 inch rims and sporting Flowmaster exhaust. Other than that, the Ridgeline is dead-stock and damn thirsty.
Granted, Eric drives a bit aggressively, and rarely records an average 16+ mpg out of his Ridgeline. This seems to be the magic number around town for most Ridgeline owners interviewed. Nonetheless, they love their Honda anti-truck.
2016 Ridgeline estimated mpg must be in line with the competition to compete
Now that’s an interesting observation. We’ll take credit for starting the Ridgeline Hybrid rumor late in 2013. But the truth is, looking to 2016 Honda Pilot specifications, assuming that Ridgeline will be based on a Pilot platform, Ridgeline need not be hybridized to meet or beat current ½ ton pickup fuel economy averages.
Here’s the logic
While Torque News hasn’t spent any seat time in 2016 Honda Pilot, (that’s scheduled for late April) we do know that 2016 Pilot will feature a slightly detuned version of the engine found in the 2016 Acura MDX. We also know that the 9 speed automatic transmission as found in MDX and TLX will be featured in Pilot and sent to the pavement via a next generation (clutched)VTM-4. or FWD standard.
Following Pilot-construction logic, and looking to the anticipated weight and specifications of 2016 Ridgeline, we predict that fuel economy will fall in range with the current Acura MDX: 18/26/21 or greater, without utilizing a hybrid system. We also know that the next generation Ridgeline will feature a bit more interior space, cutting edge touch screen and voice activated connectivity, navigation and a suite of active safety features.
When released, Honda Ridgeline will be the most advanced slightly under ½ ton pickup truck in North America
There’s a method to our madness on the road to improved Ridgeline fuel economy. Through improved cage, construction rigidity, lessened dead-weight rolling load, improved aerodynamics and implementation of Honda’s EarthDream ™ direct fuel injected low friction i-VTEC V6 with cylinder management, Ridgeline would pick up no less than 10 to 15% in fuel efficiency. By employing the latest generation “clutched” VTM-4 4-wheel drive system, and differential locker’s Honda further reduces demand on the engine when Ridgeline is not engaged in off-road activity.
A few closing thoughts
O.K., let’s get crazy! Knowing Honda and their current propensity for throwing a bit of automotive industry, groundbreaking news at the national automotive press, Torque News would not be surprised with the introduction of a small displacement, aluminum block turbocharged option for Ridgeline. Furthermore,(what do we know,) combining a small displacement turbocharged gasoline engine with Honda’s 1 to 3 motor hybrid systems would place Ridgeline in a league of its own. It could happen! We look forward to Honda’s New York Auto Show Announcement.