The North American International Auto Show (Detroit Auto Show to those in the industry) isn’t known for being a place where automakers reveal new or concept trucks. That honors fall to Chicago. But for the 2016 edition, two automakers decided to show their ideas of what a truck could be.
Honda was first with the introduction of the 2017 Ridgeline. This model makes a return after a two-year hiatus and Honda hopes the new Ridgeline fixes some of the major issues that plagued the first-generation.
A key problem that Honda needed to address was the Ridgeline’s design. To many people, the first-generation Ridgeline it didn’t look like a truck at all. It had the key components such as a cab and bed, but the way Honda designed looked more like an SUV with the top cut off. Honda has appeared to learn its lesson with the second-generation model. Designers went with a conventional truck look of a tall cab and a cutline between the cab and bed. It should be noted the cutline is only an illusion. Since the Ridgeline is based on the Odyssey and Pilot, the cab and bed are connected together.
Another problem Honda addressed with the Ridgeline was the bed. The previous model had a small bed, meaning it couldn’t hold a lot. The new bed is larger with measurements of five feet and four inches for length, and five feet for width. So if you are planning to haul some lumber, the new Ridgeline will be able to handle it.
Honda has retained a couple of features that customers loved on the first-generation Ridgeline. First is the dual-action tailgate that allows the tailgate to drop down or swing-out. The in-bed trunk is also retained, offering more storage and place for the spare tire. New for this Ridgeline is an integrated eight-speaker sound system in the bed. The stereo in the cab will be able to pump out music or whatever you feel like into the bed.
Inside, the Ridgeline looks a lot like the currentcrossover. Both models share the same dash layout and improved materials. Honda says the Ridgeline will offer push-button start, tri-zone climate control, and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Power comes from a 3.5L i-VTEC V6 and is paired with a six-speed automatic. Honda didn’t announce figures for the V6, but we are going to hazard a guess of 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet. This is because the 3.5L V6 is used in the Pilot. Front-wheel drive comes standard. An optional torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system comes with four modes to improve traction in various conditions.
Pricing for the 2017 Honda Ridgeline hasn’t been announced. But you’ll be able to pick one up at your local Honda dealer sometime in the first half of this year.
Nissan had an intriguing truck concept on display at the show. The Titan Warrior concept is their take on a competitor to theRaptor. Nissan also points out that the concept pays homage to the long history of off-racing they have been a part of since they were known as Datsun.
Starting with a Titan XD, Nissan widened the body by six inches. This allowed a number of changes to take in place in the suspension. The Warrior boasts longer front axles, custom lower and upper control arms, and custom designed shocks that provide long travel when tackling a trail, but also provide a comfortable ride on the road.
Outside, Nissan designers fitted larger head and taillights, larger fenders, front skid plate finished in silver, 18-inch wheels wrapped in meaty off-road tires, and a dark gray matte paint job. Nissan calls the overall look of the Titan Warrior ‘Modern Armor’.
Interestingly, the Titan Warrior Concept uses the same powertrain found in the production XD model; a turbo 5.0L Cummins V8 diesel and a six-speed automatic. The V8 produces 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque.
Will Nissan bring the Titan Warrior concept to production? That is uncertain at the moment. More likely, Nissan will bring elements of the Warrior to a new variant. Nevertheless, it is nice to see that an automaker is thinking about giving the Raptor a run for its money.