Honda provides peek at Ridgeline ahead of January unveiling

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SEMA attendees got a preview of the new design of Honda’s revamped Ridgeline pickup last month, but the Japanese automaker plans a full reveal of the Alabama-made truck in January.

The 2017 Ridgeline will make its debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday, Jan. 11, at 1:15 p.m. (EST). The all-new Ridgeline is the fourth new or significantly refreshed light truck model introduced by Honda in the past 18 months and will hit roads nationwide in the first half of 2016.

During the SEMA reveal of the Ridgeline Baja 1000 race truck at SEMA, Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, said the new Ridgeline will have a unibody design like its predecessor. Although most of the race truck was outfitted specifically for the demands of desert racing, he said, its front fascia, side profile, hood line and roof resemble the actual 2017 Ridgeline.

Even the truck’s racing engine uses the same block, cylinder heads and crankshaft the production engine will.

“It does a nice job of expressing not only our styling direction but also the fact that the Ridgeline, for all its unique qualities, has been and will continue to be a pickup with true truck capabilities,” St. Cyr said. “This means solid towing, hauling and off-road credentials in the midsize pickup segment.”

Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division, says Honda Ridgeline was designed to be something new and fundamentally better suited to the way many buyers use their trucks.

“Ridgeline will deliver everything you’d expect in a Honda, from incredible packaging and fuel efficiency to top safety technologies and innovative, segment-first features,” he said.

Calendar year 2015 sales of Honda light trucks (CR-V, HR-V and Pilot) are up 11.8 percent to 599,507 vehicles through the end of November and are on track to set a new all-time sales record for the brand, beating the previous best of 602,123 units in 2006.

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