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Old 01-16-2013, 12:33 PM   #481
gene r
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

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Originally Posted by jnc2000 View Post
A Ridgeline with a longitudinal setup would allow more efficient packaging, and a much better suspension setup. Placing the steering angle behind the front center drive-line should provide a much better turning radius. If Honda chooses to offer an adjustable airbag suspension similar to the Jeeps / Rams this truck wouldn't be DOA off the line. Deploying this also means engineering a active aero function into the logic of the suspension which will lower the vehicle at highway speeds to reduce drag (Ram / Jeep).

Sadly, I'm not sure Honda has the means to truly compete in this market. The new 3.0L Diesel which be used in the 2014 Jeep and 2014 Ram is truly world class - and offering up to 30MPG Highway in the Jeep.

If the the engineering for the Ridgeline took place between 2003-2005 - and is largely based on a very old MDX architecture they better not be basing anything on the 2nd Gen MDX. Honda must use advanced engineering and use more lightweight aluminum, and high tensile steel to reduce the weight of the chassis.

Anything but the best will not be accepted in the market. Given CAFE regulation, and how quickly other manufactures are adopting changes into thier current lineups Honda has a lot to loose - not just with the Ridgeline if they don't bring their "A" game.
That engine is coupled to an 8 speed transmission. Now if they would just put that combo into an updated Dakota...
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #482
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

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That engine is coupled to an 8 speed transmission. Now if they would just put that combo into an updated Dakota...

Killer combo. I have an 04 QC Dak right now and will be looking very hard at a new Ram for replacement with the 3.0L oil burner. If Fiat is serious about competing bring back the Dakota with the new world class interior and offer it with the Penstar and a diesel option.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #483
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

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Originally Posted by jnc2000 View Post
Anything but the best will not be accepted in the market. Given CAFE regulation, and how quickly other manufactures are adopting changes into their current lineups Honda has a lot to loose - not just with the Ridgeline if they don't bring their "A" game.
Agreed, although Ridgeline sales are mostly a footnote to Honda in the current scheme of things. I think Honda definitely has an "A" game, as demonstrated by their newest models. We'll see if they bring it to the next RL ...if they don't, the RL will go the way of the Element.

I understand the love of diesels among truck enthusiasts (torque, efficiency and more), but I'm inclined to think Honda can hit their target market for the Ridge without the additional overhead costs (development, pollution regs, parts and mechanic training) of adding a diesel engine to one model in their lineup (OK, maybe a diesel Pilot too).

It can be argued that the present RL niche is too small for the truck to remain viable, but as we've all noted, Honda hasn't aggressively marketed it's most attractive features like AWD versatility, outstanding ride comfort and rear seat room, unmatched safety ratings, dual tailgate and weatherproof trunk...plus it fits in most garages. It just doesn't look like Honda wants to target the diesel truck buyer who typically wants a more heavy duty hauler than a family-friendly utility vehicle that's also capable of transporting an ATV or a load of lumber for home improvement projects. But as others have suggested, the competition could drive Honda in a new direction...or just out of the pickup market!
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:48 PM   #484
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

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Thank you for sharing you insight with Audi's longitudinal engine. Do you if this the same case for a 09 TT or A5?


Carolinaridgeline,

The TT is transverse. The original TT was built on redesigned VW Golf chassis, I think the TT, A3 and Q5 are the only Audis with transverse engines.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:35 PM   #485
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

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Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
If there are such strong benefits to the longitudinal setup, then why do so many go with the transverse arrangement? Is it easier to engineer, manufacture, cheaper to produce? Are there performance benefits one way or the other? Is one lighter weight than the other?
Transverse (east-west) layouts make for better packaging for FWD vehicles.

It was much cheaper for Honda to develop an AWD vehicle using their (east-west) FWD-based V6. To engineer a (proper) north-south layout would have been prohibitively expensive.

I keep hoping Subaru will re-enter the truck market with their north-south boxer engine, but that seems unlikely.

Bob
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:45 AM   #486
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

Dogonboard, if you understand the love for diesels. Do you own one, driven one or even towed with one?
This goes out to all ROCers who are on ten fence for diesels.
Getting an oil change the other day and got to talk with an owner of a new ford 250 super duty 4 door 4x diesel. He gets 22 on highway. Which is funny as my friend who owns one said he got 22 on highway. I don't get that in my Honda! I'm happy with 20
Do you people get it why some of us so hard up for mid size diesel?
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:58 PM   #487
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

Yes, I get it. I don't own a diesel but have driven them frequently, most recently towing fishing boats as a shuttle driver for river guides. One of the guides owns a Ridgeline, so I've been able to compare trucks for towing light fishing boats (not a serious load). The new diesel pickups are smooth, quiet and much cleaner than previous models.

My point was simply that I don't think Honda is targeting Ford 250 diesel truck buyers with the RL. But a smaller diesel in a mid-size truck sure makes sense for Ford and Ram because they're already set up to acquire, stock parts for, and service diesels. No doubt they could steal away potential Ridgeline buyers if they decide to introduce such a vehicle.

There's nothing wrong at all with keeping the dream alive for a diesel Ridge. IMHO, I think some major costs and obstacles would have to be overcome before Honda will pursue a diesel option for the RL in the US. Where I live, diesel fuel is running about 25% more expensive than gas -- that puts a sizeable dent in the mpg advantage (e.g., 22 mpg diesel = 16.5 mpg gas in cost). That's less true in Europe where diesels are very popular. And some farmers here are making their own cheaper biodiesel from camelina and crop waste for use in their tractors, which makes diesel engines the GREEN option! I'd love to burn biofuel rather than fossil fuel in my next pickup!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:17 PM   #488
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

Let us not forget that even if Honda blessed the Ridgeline with a diesel engine, the transmission, VTM-4 unit, and other driveline components aren't designed to handle the torque. It would have to be detuned or crippled using torque management software so there wouldn't be any significant increase in performance or towing capability. Two things that would increase would be fuel economy and cost. The Ridgeline is already expensive enough. It doesn't need another $2,000+ for a diesel engine.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:29 PM   #489
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

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Originally Posted by DogOnBoard View Post
Where I live, diesel fuel is running about 25% more expensive than gas -- that puts a sizeable dent in the mpg advantage (e.g., 22 mpg diesel = 16.5 mpg gas in cost).
Oops...the math is a little trickier than I thought. I re-calculated and it looks like 22 mpg diesel = 17.5 mpg gas, based on costs in my area.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:31 PM   #490
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Re: Ridgeline - 2013, 14 & 15 - the future.

Never meant to compare the ridge and F250 on same playing field. Just that a ford truck with 6.7L v8 at 7000+ lbs gets better mpgs than a honda 3.5 v6 at 4500bs.
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Last edited by AndrePS; 01-17-2013 at 07:39 PM.
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