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William Maley

Honda News: Honda Pins Hopes On A Racing Enthusiast To Restore Its Reputation

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

June 28, 2012

If you were only to read the headlines about Honda, you might be wondering why a good amount of people are complaining. So far in 2012, Honda sales are up, has excellent relations with their suppliers, won this year’s Indy 500, and many other good stories that many a company wish they had.

However, those in the know see that Honda lost the magic that it once had during the eighties and nineties with its core group of fans. Honda has also began to realize this very fact and is taking some drastic steps to fix it.

For the first time in Honda’s history, they have promoted an American, Erik Berkman, to the position of North American Research and Development chief.

"What we expect him to do is, through this good knowledge and experience, fulfill his dream of making North America strong," said Tetsuo Iwamura, Executive Vice President of Honda North America.

Making Honda strong in North America will not be an easy feat. Berkman has to balance building cars that have the magic of old Honda vehicles while keeping keeping the brand profitable. Honda is the only automaker not to post an annual loss, despite a recession and the bad reviews on their cars.

However, Berkman has the reputation to possibly pull this off. A 30 year veteran of Honda, he has worked on the 1999 Honda Odyssey and 2001 Acura CL, his team designed the multiple-Indy 500-winning engine, and Berkman was the head of the 2004 Acura TL: a car that he had to fight for, and one that turn out for the best. In 2004, the TL was the best selling in its class.

Berkman’s first order of business is the Civic. The new Civic has been panned by the press and caused Honda to move up the refresh to this year. Berkman says the refreshed Civic will bring a few “tweaks” including upgraded interior materials and revised driving dynamics.

Berkman’s ultimate goal for Honda is this: "We want everybody to fall over and go: There it is again. There's that Honda we used to praise."

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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Has a big order to fill. Will see if he is the new car guy everyone has been looking for!

After all, the rest of our beloved car guys are all senior retirement and dying. Time to find some new folks with Passion about auto's!

This does not mean a person who can turn out a solid, good appliance of a car, but a person who can truly put passion back into a car.

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    • By William Maley
      The Passport is making a return to Honda, minus the help from Isuzu. Today at an event before the LA Auto Show, Honda unveiled the 2019 Passport which will slot between CR-V and Pilot in their crossover lineup.
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      As for towing, the Passport is rated at 3,500 pounds for FWD and 5,000 for AWD.
      Honda isn't saying on pricing, but we would expect it to be slightly less than the $31,450 for the base Pilot LX. Sales are expected to begin early next year.
      Gallery: 2019 Honda Passport

      Source: Honda


      2019 Honda Passport Makes World Debut: Adventure-Ready All-New 5-passenger SUV on Display at 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show
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      Passport is based on Honda's Global Light Truck platform and shares much of its underlying structure with the three-row Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup, including its highly rigid unibody construction. This platform has a fully boxed floor that is sophisticated yet strong with a four-wheel independent suspension, with MacPherson struts in front and a multilink independent rear. The latest generation of Honda's proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, provides outstanding frontal collision protection and collision compatibility with larger and smaller vehicles.
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      Technology
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      Passport Sport trim comes standard with a 215-watt audio system with a 5-inch display monitor and 6 speakers, plus a subwoofer. Passport EX-L, Touring and Elite trims feature Honda's 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ smartphone integration and manual power/volume knob. The Display Audio system uses gestures common to smartphones and tablets, such as swipe, tap and pinch, to control the vehicle's audio system, display settings and other advanced features. Intuitive and easy to use, with a simplified menu structure, it also offers customizable shortcuts for commonly used features and customizable app locations. Passport Touring and Elite trims come with a 590-watt 10-speaker premium audio system.
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      Touring and Elite trims of Passport provide 4G LTE in-vehicle Wi-Fi TCU that can supporting up to seven devices and a free 90-day/3GB trial period AT&T data plan. The TCU is key to Passport's support of numerous HondaLink® cloud-based services. Using an app, owners can keep track of maintenance and even book appointments, remember their Passport's location and numerous other functions.
      Safety and Driver Assistance Technology
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      All Passport trims come equipped with a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with overhead "bird's eye" view, ideal for trailer hookups. Additional available driver-assistive technologies include dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, blind spot Information system (EX-L, Touring and Elite) with Rear Cross-Traffic Detection, and front and rear parking sensors (Touring and Elite).
      Accessories
      A wide variety of Honda Genuine Accessories are designed for Passport, including roof boxes of various sizes, a roof basket, and roof-mounted bike, kayak and ski or snowboard racks. Inside, Passport owners can weatherproof their cargo area with hard plastic covers for the floor, sides, and seatbacks. The underfloor storage can be divided with separate, removable and washable bins.
      For those seeking a more sophisticated urban look, a variety of cosmetic exterior items are available, such as a colored graphics package, undercarriage welcome lights, and lighted door sills. From the outset, Passport will be available with two accessory packages. The Adventure Package adds running boards, a trailer hitch, fender flares and more for outdoor weekend getaways. The Urban Package adds front and rear underbody spoilers, unique 20-inch wheels, cargo storage bins and roof rails and crossbars for a sophisticated in-town look.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Passport is making a return to Honda, minus the help from Isuzu. Today at an event before the LA Auto Show, Honda unveiled the 2019 Passport which will slot between CR-V and Pilot in their crossover lineup.
      The Pilot DNA's is clearly evident in the Passport's design as the two have the same profile and design cues such as the front grille and sculpted sides. The Passport uses the same platform and 111-inch wheelbase as the Pilot, but is 6.5-inches shorter in overall length. Step inside and you might think that you're in either the Pilot or Ridgeline. The dashboard and center stack design in the Passport is the same as in those two models. One item we're happy to see is a volume knob for the 8-inch infotainment system.
      Power comes from the 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with a nine-speed automatic and the choice of front or Honda's  i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system. Along with a one-inch increase in ground-clearance, Honda claims that the Passport will be very capable off-road (we shall see).
      As for towing, the Passport is rated at 3,500 pounds for FWD and 5,000 for AWD.
      Honda isn't saying on pricing, but we would expect it to be slightly less than the $31,450 for the base Pilot LX. Sales are expected to begin early next year.
      Gallery: 2019 Honda Passport

      Source: Honda


      2019 Honda Passport Makes World Debut: Adventure-Ready All-New 5-passenger SUV on Display at 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show
      Nov 27, 2018 - LOS ANGELES
      Passport provides a unique blend of on- and off-road prowess with exceptional occupant and cargo hauling capability 280-horsepower V6 and available sophisticated all-wheel drive system give Passport robust towing and off-road capabilities Standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive tech on all trims Multiple accessory options to personalize Passport ownership The all-new 2019 Honda Passport 5-passenger V6-powered SUV made its world debut today. Going on sale early next year, Passport provides a unique combination of on-road driving refinement and off-road adventure capability along with best-in-class interior space.
      The all-new Honda Passport will slot between the compact CR-V and three-row Pilot in Honda's award-winning SUV lineup. The model's reinforced unibody frame, powerful direct-injected i-VTEC® V6 engine, fully independent suspension and nimble steering make it an ideal choice for driving long distances or around town. In addition, the robust off-road capability offered by the available Honda i-VTM4™ torque-vectoring all-wheel drive and its four-mode Intelligent Traction Management system means Passport can tackle the kind of tough terrain normally reserved for less refined body-on-frame or off-road focused SUVs.
      "The all-new 2019 Honda Passport provides the on-road comfort and nimble handling buyers will appreciate on their daily commute with the robust off-road and all-weather capability that make for a great weekend adventure vehicle," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and general manager, Honda Division. "We saw an opportunity to deliver something that Honda is uniquely capable of making and the new Passport is in a great position to capture buyers looking for a more personal, powerful and capable Honda SUV."
      Designed and developed exclusively by Honda's North America R&D teams in Torrance, California, and Raymond, Ohio, the Passport and its V6 engine will be manufactured at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant.
      Additional key product highlights include:
      Standard 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter, direct-injected V6 engine with i-VTEC® valvetrain mated to latest-generation 9-speed automatic transmission Available Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4™) torque-vectoring all-wheel drive enhances on- and off-road performance Intelligent Traction Management system with available Snow, Sand and Mud modes help optimize performance for varying surface conditions Standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technology Standard 20-inch alloy wheels and tires on all trims Best-in-class underfloor cargo storage Wide range of Honda accessories for active lifestyles, including Adventure and Urban accessory packages The all-new 2019 Honda Passport's rugged exterior design and stance is highlighted by standard 20-inch wheels, a matte-black grille, floating roof design, aggressive wheel arches, increased ride height and a tailgate design that emphasizes width. 
      Inside, Passport offers best-in-class passenger space (115.9 cu.-ft.) and total interior volume (157.1 cu.-ft.) for carrying family, friends and weekend adventure gear. Passport features a large (best-in-class 2.5 cu.-ft.) segmented underfloor cargo compartment for carrying dirty gear or keeping valuables out of sight.
      Passport will be offered in four trims: the well-appointed Sport, upgraded EX-L, high-tech Touring, and the fully equipped Elite. All models except the line-topping Elite can be configured with 2- or all-wheel drive – all Elite trims come standard with all-wheel drive. All trims will feature 20-inch alloy wheels and tires, the Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technology, LED headlights, fog lights, taillights and DRLs, Smart Start and Smart Entry and three-zone automatic climate control. EX-L and higher trims utilize Honda's latest Display Audio interface with an 8-inch touchscreen, a physical volume knob and Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration. 
      Additional exterior upgrades, depending on trim, include a power tailgate with available hands-free operation, a one-touch tilt/slide moonroof and heated auto-dimming and power folding side mirrors. Furthermore, the blind spot information system, rear cross traffic monitor, and front and rear parking sensors are available driver assistive technologies. Available premium features include second-row sunshades, wireless phone charging, embedded Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, 4G LTE in-vehicle Wi-Fi, premium audio, and HondaLink® cloud-based services, including remote unlocking, concierge services, stolen vehicle tracking and more. 
      Powertrain
      All 2019 Honda Passport trims are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 280 peak horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net), placing Passport in the top of its class for standard horsepower in a segment where some competitors offer less powerful 4-cylinder engines as standard equipment. The Honda i-VTEC® V6 is mated to the latest-generation of Honda's 9-speed automatic transmission (9AT) that is among the most advanced in the class, offering smooth and responsive power delivery.
      At the heart of the robust all-weather and off-road driving capabilities is Honda's available i-VTM4™ all-wheel drive system. Unlike most competing systems, i-VTM4™ uses active torque vectoring to send up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear axle and 100 percent of that torque to either the left or right rear wheels. This capability gives Passport excellent handling in all conditions, such as rain-slicked or snowy roads or sandy trails, while also contributing to more responsive performance by overdriving the outside rear wheel in turns. In addition, the Intelligent Traction Management (ITM) is standard on both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive Passport. In all-wheel drive applications, the four-mode ITM systems works in conjunction with i-VTM4™, allowing drivers to customize powertrain performance for different weather and terrain, including sand, snow and mud. In front-wheel drive models, the system has two modes for normal and snow conditions.
      Tested in the world's harshest environments, including the sands of Dubai, muddy country roads of Russia, and snowbound trails in Minnesota, the combination of i-VTM4™ and Intelligent Traction Management make Passport more capable off road than many unibody SUVs, giving drivers the confidence to tackle not just wet or rainy conditions, but a variety of harsh off-road terrains.
      Passport is well equipped for towing, with 3,500-pound capacity on front-wheel drive models and 5,000 pounds on all-wheel drive models when both are equipped with the optional towing package. Passport is the gateway to adventure being able to tow camping trailers, boats, or "toy" haulers, over more rugged terrain. The standard multi-view rear-view camera makes connecting to a trailer easier than ever with its "overhead" option giving the driver a bird's eye view of the hitch and trailer.
      Exterior Design and Platform
      Honda's most rugged light truck yet, Passport's expressive design leaves no doubt of its adventure-seeking mission and is highlighted by its higher ride height, standard 20-inch wheels, 245/50R all-weather tires and sporty styling cues, including a matte black grille and bumper, blackout headlights and black wheels. LED headlight accents, gloss black trim, a "floating" C-pillar, and chrome exhaust finishers hint at Passport's around-town sophistication. Trim-exclusive wheel designs are available across the lineup, and Touring and Elite trims offer upsized 265/45R20 tires as standard equipment.
      Beyond good looks, Passport's design offers superior functionality as well. Ground clearance is up 0.5 inches on front-wheel drive models and 1.1 inches on all-wheel drive models compared to Passport's three-row sibling, Pilot, while its shorter overall length and shortened rear overhang offer improved approach, departure and breakover angles, suitable for more rugged terrain.
      Passport's wider wheels and tires complement its athletic and sporty stance and support both responsive around-town handling and increased grip off-road. A ruggedly styled front end stands out on the road with its scratch-resistant matte finish grill suited to the off-road adventures Passport is designed for.
      Passport is based on Honda's Global Light Truck platform and shares much of its underlying structure with the three-row Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup, including its highly rigid unibody construction. This platform has a fully boxed floor that is sophisticated yet strong with a four-wheel independent suspension, with MacPherson struts in front and a multilink independent rear. The latest generation of Honda's proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, provides outstanding frontal collision protection and collision compatibility with larger and smaller vehicles.
      Interior Design and Packaging
      Passport's modern and sophisticated interior design offers ample space for five people and provides class-leading passenger volume of 115.9 cu.-ft. and best-in-class total interior volume of 157.1 cu.-ft. From Sport to Elite trims, Passport features high-quality interior appointments including attractive and durable cloth on Sport or perforated leather on EX-L, Touring and Elite trims, a blackout headliner, and generous use of soft-touch surfaces on the dash and doors.
      Passport's interior also offers class-leading utility. Behind the second row of seats is a cargo area generously sized for weekend camping trips or excursions to the home improvement store, with 41.2 cu. ft. of space, expandable to 77.9 cu. ft. with the second row folded flat, which is more than enough to accommodate mountain bikes or a week's worth of camping gear. From the cargo area, the second-row seatbacks fold with the push of a button, and Passport's main cargo floor is reversible between carpeted and easy-to-clean hard plastic surfaces. Passport features class-leading underfloor storage, with 2.5 cu. ft. of easily accessible compartmented storage, which can be accessorized with removable washable bins, including a custom bin for storing the available accessory trailer hitch receiver.
      There's also plenty of space for small stuff. Passport offers generous storage space for front seat passengers, including a huge center console bin between the front seats with a rolling cover that serves as a tray when closed. Additional storage is found in the doors and ahead of the push-button gear selector.
      Technology
      Packed with available modern amenities such as an audio and connectivity system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration and a digital driver's meter, Passport delivers all the modern technology that today's SUV buyers demand.
      Passport Sport trim comes standard with a 215-watt audio system with a 5-inch display monitor and 6 speakers, plus a subwoofer. Passport EX-L, Touring and Elite trims feature Honda's 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ smartphone integration and manual power/volume knob. The Display Audio system uses gestures common to smartphones and tablets, such as swipe, tap and pinch, to control the vehicle's audio system, display settings and other advanced features. Intuitive and easy to use, with a simplified menu structure, it also offers customizable shortcuts for commonly used features and customizable app locations. Passport Touring and Elite trims come with a 590-watt 10-speaker premium audio system.
      Passport's instrument cluster uses a 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) screen with a wide range of information content. In addition to displaying typical vehicle functions such as vehicle speed and RPM, the full-color digital meter includes a Multi-Information Display (MID) with customizable features, such as audio system information, a detailed trip computer, phone information, and turn-by-turn route guidance on Passport models equipped with navigation. Drivers navigate the new TFT using steering wheel controls designed for intuitive operation, such as Bluetooth® phone buttons that are more easily distinguished by touch.
      Touring and Elite trims of Passport provide 4G LTE in-vehicle Wi-Fi TCU that can supporting up to seven devices and a free 90-day/3GB trial period AT&T data plan. The TCU is key to Passport's support of numerous HondaLink® cloud-based services. Using an app, owners can keep track of maintenance and even book appointments, remember their Passport's location and numerous other functions.
      Safety and Driver Assistance Technology
      The Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies is standard on all 2019 Passport trims. Honda Sensing® helps provide greater awareness of driving conditions around the vehicle, in some cases helps drivers maintain lane position and, under certain conditions slowing or even stopping the vehicle if it detects a potential front collision. Honda Sensing® includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) featuring Forward Collison Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) including Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assistance System (LKAS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The new Passport was designed to provide a high level of active and passive safety performance and targets an NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score safety rating and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK rating. All tested 2019 model-year Honda vehicles achieve an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score safety rating.
      All Passport trims come equipped with a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with overhead "bird's eye" view, ideal for trailer hookups. Additional available driver-assistive technologies include dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, blind spot Information system (EX-L, Touring and Elite) with Rear Cross-Traffic Detection, and front and rear parking sensors (Touring and Elite).
      Accessories
      A wide variety of Honda Genuine Accessories are designed for Passport, including roof boxes of various sizes, a roof basket, and roof-mounted bike, kayak and ski or snowboard racks. Inside, Passport owners can weatherproof their cargo area with hard plastic covers for the floor, sides, and seatbacks. The underfloor storage can be divided with separate, removable and washable bins.
      For those seeking a more sophisticated urban look, a variety of cosmetic exterior items are available, such as a colored graphics package, undercarriage welcome lights, and lighted door sills. From the outset, Passport will be available with two accessory packages. The Adventure Package adds running boards, a trailer hitch, fender flares and more for outdoor weekend getaways. The Urban Package adds front and rear underbody spoilers, unique 20-inch wheels, cargo storage bins and roof rails and crossbars for a sophisticated in-town look.
    • By William Maley
      Honda creatively hid most of the Passport in a dust plume for one photo and zoomed out the vehicle in another. That said, we can make out that the Passport will share a number of design cues with the larger Pilot.  The automaker touts the model will be built at their Lincoln, Alabama plant - home to the Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline. This likely means the Passport will be sharing the platform underpinning the Pilot and Ridgeline.
      "The new Passport is a more personal, powerful and off-road-capable SUV that hits the sweet spot between daily driving comfort and weekend off-road, all-weather adventure capability," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. & General Manager, Honda Division.

       
      All-New 2019 Honda Passport Starts Adventure with Global Debut in Los Angeles
      Nov 15, 2018 - TORRANCE, Calif.
      Honda to expand light-truck lineup with new Passport, designed, developed and manufactured in America Passport positioned between CR-V and Pilot in Honda's light-truck line up Video teaser hints at Passport's on- and off-road capabilities With a video teasing its on- and off-road capabilities and adventuresome spirit, today Honda announced it will unveil the all-new 2019 Honda Passport on November 27, the day before making its auto show global debut the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The reveal will be livestreamed and available for viewing on Honda's YouTube channel (https://honda.us/PassportReveal) starting at 3:30 p.m. PST.
      The new Passport, launching early next year, expands on Honda's award-winning light-truck lineup, joining the HR-V, CR-V and Pilot as Honda's fourth SUV and its sixth light-truck model, including the Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline pickup. Passport was designed and developed in the U.S. by Honda R&D Americas and will be manufactured at Honda's Lincoln, Alabama plant.
      "The new Passport is a more personal, powerful and off-road-capable SUV that hits the sweet spot between daily driving comfort and weekend off-road, all-weather adventure capability," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. & General Manager, Honda Division. "With customer demand for SUVs continuing to grow, the new adventure-ready Passport is going to further solidify our lineup, attracting new buyers and keeping existing customers in the Honda family."
      Honda brand light-truck sales are on track for a fourth-straight record year, on the way to top 700,000 units for the third year in a row and now accounting for more than half of the Honda brand's U.S. sales so far this year, with light-truck sales up 5.3 percent from year-ago results. Further strengthening its capacity to meet record demand for light trucks, in August Honda added production of the CR-V to a fourth North American plant, in Marysville, Ohio. The CR-V is now Honda's top-selling model and continues as the most popular SUV in America over the past 20 years. Earlier this year, Honda launched freshened versions of its Pilot and HR-V sport-utilities, with upgraded technology, expanded availability of Honda Sensing®, and more premium features. Strong demand for the Honda Pilot has sales up more than 41 percent for the first ten months of 2018.
      The Honda light truck lineup has been widely recognized for excellence in design, packaging, safety features and performance, with Honda named America's "Best SUV Brand" by U.S. News and World Report in 2018, for the second straight year. Reflecting Honda's commitment to local production, the Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline recently took three of the top 10 spots in Cars.com's 2018 American-Made Index.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Honda creatively hid most of the Passport in a dust plume for one photo and zoomed out the vehicle in another. That said, we can make out that the Passport will share a number of design cues with the larger Pilot.  The automaker touts the model will be built at their Lincoln, Alabama plant - home to the Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline. This likely means the Passport will be sharing the platform underpinning the Pilot and Ridgeline.
      "The new Passport is a more personal, powerful and off-road-capable SUV that hits the sweet spot between daily driving comfort and weekend off-road, all-weather adventure capability," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. & General Manager, Honda Division.

       
      All-New 2019 Honda Passport Starts Adventure with Global Debut in Los Angeles
      Nov 15, 2018 - TORRANCE, Calif.
      Honda to expand light-truck lineup with new Passport, designed, developed and manufactured in America Passport positioned between CR-V and Pilot in Honda's light-truck line up Video teaser hints at Passport's on- and off-road capabilities With a video teasing its on- and off-road capabilities and adventuresome spirit, today Honda announced it will unveil the all-new 2019 Honda Passport on November 27, the day before making its auto show global debut the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The reveal will be livestreamed and available for viewing on Honda's YouTube channel (https://honda.us/PassportReveal) starting at 3:30 p.m. PST.
      The new Passport, launching early next year, expands on Honda's award-winning light-truck lineup, joining the HR-V, CR-V and Pilot as Honda's fourth SUV and its sixth light-truck model, including the Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline pickup. Passport was designed and developed in the U.S. by Honda R&D Americas and will be manufactured at Honda's Lincoln, Alabama plant.
      "The new Passport is a more personal, powerful and off-road-capable SUV that hits the sweet spot between daily driving comfort and weekend off-road, all-weather adventure capability," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. & General Manager, Honda Division. "With customer demand for SUVs continuing to grow, the new adventure-ready Passport is going to further solidify our lineup, attracting new buyers and keeping existing customers in the Honda family."
      Honda brand light-truck sales are on track for a fourth-straight record year, on the way to top 700,000 units for the third year in a row and now accounting for more than half of the Honda brand's U.S. sales so far this year, with light-truck sales up 5.3 percent from year-ago results. Further strengthening its capacity to meet record demand for light trucks, in August Honda added production of the CR-V to a fourth North American plant, in Marysville, Ohio. The CR-V is now Honda's top-selling model and continues as the most popular SUV in America over the past 20 years. Earlier this year, Honda launched freshened versions of its Pilot and HR-V sport-utilities, with upgraded technology, expanded availability of Honda Sensing®, and more premium features. Strong demand for the Honda Pilot has sales up more than 41 percent for the first ten months of 2018.
      The Honda light truck lineup has been widely recognized for excellence in design, packaging, safety features and performance, with Honda named America's "Best SUV Brand" by U.S. News and World Report in 2018, for the second straight year. Reflecting Honda's commitment to local production, the Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline recently took three of the top 10 spots in Cars.com's 2018 American-Made Index.
    • By William Maley
      If we were to award the most outrageous concept from an OEM at SEMA 2018, then Honda would be walking away with it thanks to the Rugged Open Air Vehicle concept. You might be thinking this just a large side-by-side utility vehicle. Well, yes and no. While a number of parts are borrowed from Honda Powersports' Pioneer 1000 like the doors and steering wheel, the mechanicals are provided from the Ridgeline. This is evident when you look inside as the shape of the dash and instrument are the same.
      No word on what powers the Rugged Open Air Vehicle concept, but we would guess it is the 3.5L V6 from the Ridgeline with 280 horsepower.
      The interior boasts a set of seats from the Civic Type R that are upholstered in waterproof material. A set of RAM smartphone holders are placed throughout to keep your phone in the vehicle.
      Don't expect this concept to hit the showroom floor anytime soon, but we do have to give Honda's R&D office in Ohio a round of applause for coming up with something very ridiculous.
      Gallery: Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept
      Source: Honda


      Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept Debuts at 2018 SEMA Show
      Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept merges light-truck and side-by-side vehicles into ultimate open-air off-road Honda Oct 30, 2018 - TORRANCE, Calif. Headlining a star-studded lineup of vehicles, the Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle concept took its bow today in the glittering environs of Las Vegas at the 2018 SEMA show. Combining elements of two production Honda vehicles from different genres, the Rugged Open Air Vehicle concept is based on Honda's Ridgeline pickup and its Pioneer 1000 side-by-side to create the ultimate open-air off-road Honda adventure vehicle.
      Designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, the Rugged Open Air Vehicle concept is a physical thought exercise of what the ultimate off-road Honda four-wheeled vehicle could look like. The vehicle combines the utility of the Honda Ridgeline with the off-road ruggedness and extreme styling of the Honda Pioneer 1000 side-by-side. While the Rugged Open Air Vehicle is a concept, it nonetheless uses existing Honda components, such as modified Ridgeline body and suspension, along with production Pioneer doors and custom designed bed and tailgate panels modeled after the Pioneer. The Ridgeline-based interior has been modified for a life exposed to the outdoors and features a Pioneer 1000 steering wheel adapted to the Ridgeline steering column, along with Civic Type R seats reskinned in waterproof Pioneer 1000 material, smartphone holders from RAM Mounts, and durable paint-on surfaces to protect the exposed instrument panel from the elements.

      View full article
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