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As the owner of a somewhat modified Jeep Rubicon......
Looking under the RL the first thing I noticed is that the exhaust pipe transits under the rear axel. :(
First rock of any significance is gonna take that out unless you're paying close attention.
Maybe the tailgate camera could be remounted under the vehicle so you could keep an eye on the underside :p
Another clue......no underside armor accessories.
OK, so it's not up for serious off road......
It should do fine with muddy trails, sand and not too deep water crossings.
 

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Don't worry.... with the parking cable dangling an inch or two under the framerail, any rock or branches will snag it and engage the parking brake as a safety measure before the rock or branch has a change to hit the exhaust pipe :D
 

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Yeah, I think this truck needs some real beefing up before it can be considered a reasonable offroader.

But the aftermarket is already working on it (Fabtech) so we'll just have to wait and see.

But I highly doubt it will ever be as good offroad as your modified Rubicon, it's just a different animal.
 

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RidgelineRob said:
But I highly doubt it will ever be as good offroad as your modified Rubicon, it's just a different animal.
Right. Remember the RL is basically a front wheel drive vehicle that transfers up to 70% torque to the rear wheels on demand. The VTM-4 can't compare to a fully locked part time 4WD system.
 

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Actually the VTM-4 is a FWD *biased* system. In normal conditions, 70% of power goes frontwards, 30% goes rearwards. This can be varied up to 30% front/70% rear torque split.

So, the Ridgeline never operates with power only going to the front wheels, which is good, and under load, more power is transferred to the rear.

It should be noted that this torque split is computer controlled, so with some ingenuity, you can tweak the ridgeline to normally operate at 50/50 f/r torque split (ie like a normal 4WD with locking transfer case) or you can even shift it to a rearward bias, to help invoke a power-oversteer kind of attitude.

I expect that if the Ridgeline is a hit in the aftermarket, you will see VTM-4 control modules hitting the market within the year.

I think it will be very interesting to see how the aftermarket responds to this innovative and unconventional pick up.
 

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RidgelineRob said:
It should be noted that this torque split is computer controlled, so with some ingenuity, you can tweak the ridgeline to normally operate at 50/50 f/r torque split (ie like a normal 4WD with locking transfer case) or you can even shift it to a rearward bias, to help invoke a power-oversteer kind of attitude.

I expect that if the Ridgeline is a hit in the aftermarket, you will see VTM-4 control modules hitting the market within the year.
...and if the aftermarket is successful, the factory usually follows.

IMO, as long as this drivetrain stays fully computer controlled as it is today, with no manual override, it will remain a niche vehicle in a very crowded and competitive market. If Honda decided to make a "VTM-5" which allowed the user to select several drivetrain "patterns" - i.e. VTM-4, 50-50, RWD only, etc., then it could more directly compete, and would be able to grab more market share from the big three.

It will be interesting to see how the aftermarket responds to this vehicle. It will also be very interesting to see, a year from now, what percentage of the owner base were previous big three owners that moved into the Ridgeline.
 

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Actually, I think you guys are right. I was confusing it with the new SH-AWD system for the Acura RL, which goes from 70:30-30:70.

The Ridgeline's looks like it is 100% FWD at certain times, varying up to 50:50.

It does have the manual rear diff lock, which locks both rear axles together and apportions torque 50:50 front to rear.

I don't think the VTM-4 system can ever apportion more than 50% torque to the rear wheels, unfortunately.
 

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I wouldn't mind seeing a system similar to the new Land Rover LR3. You just turn the dial to the off-road condition and the vehicle adjusts itself (including air suspension).

I have no personal or anecdotal evidence of how well this system works. It sounds really cool, though.
 

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RidgelineRob said:
Actually, I think you guys are right. I was confusing it with the new SH-AWD system for the Acura RL, which goes from 70:30-30:70.

The Ridgeline's looks like it is 100% FWD at certain times, varying up to 50:50.

It does have the manual rear diff lock, which locks both rear axles together and apportions torque 50:50 front to rear.

I don't think the VTM-4 system can ever apportion more than 50% torque to the rear wheels, unfortunately.

VTM-4 lock can deliver up to 70% of it's power to the rear wheels.
 
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