Honda utility goes to new level with rugged concept

Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle combines two models from different genres

Published: November 6, 2018, 9:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:58 PM

Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept

Did Honda show off the next evolution of crossovers at the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas?

The company that’s in more segments and industries than any other automaker unveiled a new concept called the Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle, which combines two of its models from completely different genres — the Ridgeline sport utility truck/pickup and the Pioneer 1000 side-by-side UTV (utility task vehicle).

Honda says the concept is simply a physical thought exercise about what the ultimate off-road 4-wheel vehicle might look like, using existing Honda parts, components and mechanicals, combining the utility and comfort of the Ridgeline with the styling and all-terrain ruggedness of the Pioneer 1000.

It rides on the Ridgeline suspension and uses the Ridgeline body adapted to fit in two sets of doors from the Pioneer. From the rear doors backward, it has the look of the UTV, using a custom Pioneer bed and a tailgate modelled off that from the Pioneer.

The interior is mostly Ridgeline, modified for an open-cabin environment, but uses the Pioneer steering wheel (mounted on the Ridgeline steering column. The seats (four of them) come from another model — the Civic Type R — but are upholstered in the same waterproof material used on the Pioneer seats.

The exposed parts of the instrument panel are painted in a durable paint to protect them from the elements, and dual smartphone holders from RAM Mounts sit high on the instrument panel.