Honda Ridgeline might be a star of the next season in the mid-size truck market. The pickup is not the standard model with a ladder frame. Instead, the Japanese company sticks to the unibody architecture, but it doesn’t pay off so far. Last season, Ridgeline was the slowest-selling product in the segment. But, the future could bring novelties that will turn the attention to this vehicle. Type R is the performance-oriented package and rumors about this upgrade are becoming louder. But, another edition is about to steal the show – the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid.
It is not a secret that the Japanese carmaker is working on a hybrid system. Nevertheless, everything we know so far is coming from insider sources or speculations. Well, Honda will need such setup to stay in the game, mainly in the SUV segment. Some sources claim that the manufacturer is already testing Pilot Hybrid. Since the vehicle is sharing platform with the unibody truck, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid is going to borrow the drivetrain from its sibling.
2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid Expectations
Honda is already in the market with a hybrid vehicle. Accord sedan is one of the first models which offered this type of a drivetrain. But, we are more focused on vehicles that can help Ridgeline on this mission. Acura MDX is the luxury SUV and its Sport Hybrid package includes a more powerful and efficient setup. It enhances the power output to 321 horsepower. But, engineers are not building this type of a drivetrain on the standard 3.5-liter configuration, but a 3.0-liter displacement. So, fuel savings are also an important factor. With 320 hp, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid would be more than the competition in the segment.
On the other hand, the towing capacity is the major question and stumbling block. Truckers are looking for working machines. Top models in the mid-size segment can haul over 7,000 pounds. One of the reasons for slow sales is Ridgeline’s towing capacity of only 5,000 pounds. Well, the setup we find on Acura MDX is not beating this but drops the number to 3,500. This is the same level where Ridgeline starts its offer with the base setup. So, Honda will have to make some significant improvements to the hybrid system to draw the attention of buyers.
The base truck is using a 3.5-liter V6 engine, one of the most durable units in the market. Honda doesn’t want to ruin the reputation with the drivetrain that cannot meet expectations and requirements. So, engineers need to build a perfect configuration.
The first option is to improve the current version. A 3.0-liter engine with 320 horsepower is a good start. The company might sacrifice some miles from MPG rating to enhance power and towing potential. We believe truckers would be happy with at least 5,000 pounds. Furthermore, the option is also to use the same electric add-on for the larger 3.5-liter engine. This would be a partly new drivetrain. According to some rumors, experts think this one is also coming for the Pilot hybrid SUV. Finally, Honda might develop an all-new powerplant, that will be a perfect match for the hybrid and PHEV batteries. This is not the first time the plug-in system is being mentioned, since enthusiasts are speaking about the company’s largest SUV with this unit.
In all cases, we don’t have too many clues. Speculations and sources without a proven foundation are the only suppliers of information and rumors. But, one thing is sure – Honda wants to catch up with competition and the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid will be something completely different and new for buyers.
2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid Type R
The final rumor we will analyze this time is the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid Type R. It seems like a stunning project, but there is a sense of speaking about it. If the truck gets a setup from Acura MDX, then future performance-oriented vehicles can also share the same drivetrain. Type S is related to the premium brand and mid-size luxury SUV is about to bring back this badge. According to experts, there is room for squeezing more power from a 3.0-liter hybrid engine and the total power output can jump to 400 horsepower. This is enough for the high-performance SUV and Ridgeline truck. Of course, various other upgrades are required, including suspension and AWD. What’s more, the styling must show the sporty nature of special editions. There are too many reasons why fans wait for Type R and Type S eagerly.
There are no hybrid trucks in the US market yet. Rumors say Ford is working on the F-150 hybrid, but even the leader in the segment cannot meet towing expectations with such configuration. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Hybrid is not based on hauling potential, but driving dynamics, so it will be easier for the mid-size sporty truck to win the hearts of buyers. If Honda delivers the first such configuration to the pickup segment, that is going to cause a big bang in the entire market.
LATEST NEWS: 2021 Ram 1500 Gets Long-Awaited TRX Model