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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Disclaimer: All of the information contained in my posts are my personal opinion and should not be considered official information from Honda, its employees or suppliers. I will try and keep this post updated with the latest information. For those interested you can Subscribe to this thread without posting a message. Just use the Thread Tools above and Subscribe to this thread.

I started posting information about the next-generation Ridgeline over 2 years ago. This was at a time when many major publications were saying the Ridgeline was a dead product. I clearly said they were wrong and I can say with near high certainty that we'll see the next-generation Ridgeline with a year of this post.

I don't know all the information about the next-generation Ridgeline, but there are some things we can be pretty sure of.

Overall they didn't quite make the 400 lb. weight loss goal... closer to 300 lbs.

EXTERIOR: As most of you know the next-generation Ridgeline will have a more traditional pickup truck appearance. The bed sail is gone. The overall width of the vehicle be an inch or so narrower, but interior room will not be diminished. I'll list some of the items I've heard and my opinion:
UPDATE The best info at this time is that the overall length of the vehicle will increase by up to 4" or so.

05/20/15 the LED headlight information is incorrect. projection headlights, LED DRL's, and taillights. FINAL UPDATE: High end models will get LED headlights.

Bed Length: I expect it to be UPDATE: between 5' 3" and 5' 6" ft. in length. Yes, there is a gap between the cab and bed more like a traditional pickup.FINAL UPDATE: Bed length is 5' 4" long and 5' wide.

In bed trunk: Yes, close to current design and lockable.

Dual action tailgate: Yes, same functionality and will include a new multi-view rear camera. UPDATE: the rumors of a split tailgate are not true. The way the tailgate works is essentially a carry-over. FINAL UPDATE: Tailgate functionality same as first generation, but has a much larger plastic lip on the top, and the internal mechanism has been simplified.

UPDATE 7/22/15 The bed material composition has changed. It will be both lighter and tougher than the first generation. Still composite. FINAL UPDATE: Bed composite material has been altered to remain black when scratched rather than white like the first generation. RTL-E and Black Edition will get a six exciter in-bed audio system.

Wheels: Most recent news says 18" wheels for all models. FINAL UPDATE: 18" confirmed.

Two door long bed version: Possible late introduction. UPDATE 8/4/15 Seems that this model has been tabled... put on hold.

Front wheel drive version: Very probable. FINAL UPDATE: Confirmed.

INTERIOR: My best information is that there will be a wider variety of models available. From a possible low end "work truck" with basic interiors to a top-of-the-line version Lane Watch, Blind Spot, and Cross Traffic monitor. All should get the latest version of the HondaLink infotainment system and is both Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatible. On navigation equipped models will feature better graphics, 3D display of buildings, terrain and freeway signs; live search capability; and more detailed lane guidance.

UPDATE 06/11/2015 The rear seat configuration is essentially unchanged from the first generation. .

POWERTRAIN and SUSPENSION:

3.5L V6 Earth Dreams Direct Injected engine: Premium fuel is not required except for towing.

Push Button Start: Yes.

Remote Start: On higher end models.

Transmission: Improved Honda 6AT. The 5AT is gone.

Bed Capacity: The bed is a bit longer (as mentioned above) slight increase in payload capacity. FINAL UPDATE: Payload is just under 1600 lbs.

Towing Capacity: At least 5000 lbs. (same as current). FINAL UPDATE: 5,000 lbs. on AWD and 3,500 lbs. on FWD models.

Turning Radius: I don't know the numbers but it is improved from the current model. About 39.5'

AWD: The existing electro-mechanical VTM-4 system is gone (will now be called iVTM-4). The new system is a Honda in-house design that improves rear ground clearance, and is a hydraulic clutch system that reacts much faster and has higher torque capabilities than the previous design. Yes, this is an improvement. UPDATE 06/11/2015 All confirmed.
UPDATE 8/4/15 The new iVTM-4 system and does have yaw and torque vectoring. It is very similar to the SH-AWD with different logic.

The Ridgeline will be assembled at the Lincoln, AL plant exclusively.

TIMELINE: I expect Honda to start production of the next-generation Ridgeline in the late 4th quarter of 2015 and should show up at dealers in mid-February of 2016 as a 2017 model year vehicle. UPDATE 7/22/15 Production timeline seems to have changed. Given the latest information I believe the earliest we would see the 2017 Ridgeline at dealers lots would March, 2016, but a more realistic timeline would be mid to late April of 2016. FINAL UPDATE: Production has begun and I expect vehicles to start arriving at dealerships in late May.

UPDATES: The next-generation Ridgeline will be officially unveiled at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 11, 2016.

UPDATES:
As far as I know the spare tire will remain inside the in-bed trunk with an optional bed mount. There were rumors of a change but I think those were false.

UPDATE 02/21/15
The radiator / transmission cooling line issue has been addressed for the next-generation Ridgeline.

UPDATE 04/24/15
The official Honda name for the AWD system will be called: "Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VTM4™) AWD System and all-new selectable Intelligent Traction Management". So it's i-VTM4 from now on. Here's a bit of information on the system from Honda: "This entirely more capable system progressively distributes optimum torque between the front and rear axles and, for the first time ever in a Honda vehicle, dynamically distributes engine torque between the left and right rear wheels using the new, lightweight rear drive unit. Benefits include superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power that is unmatched by front-drive, rear-drive or conventional all-wheel-drive systems."

Powertrain - The next-generation Ridgeline will have only one powertrain (unlike the new Pilot). It will be the Earth Dreams 3.5L direct injected V6 mated to the improved Honda 6AT transmission. This means the vehicle will have push button start, and several different modes (Snow, Sand, Mud). The engine will include the new dual mode VCM, but the Ridgeline will not have the engine stop / start feature.
UPDATE 8/4/15 It seems that the Tow / Haul mode has been dropped. The modes will be Normal, Snow, Mud, Sand. The cruise control will only work in Normal mode. The Sand mode will allow lower tire pressures without having to pull a fuse.

Infotainment and navigation system: It will be Android Auto and Apple Carplay based, but not open source. It will have a similar user interface as the latest Honda systems, but will be much faster and more responsive. It will integrate with both Android and Apple iOS devices. Will support USB 2.5 standards (sorry not 3.0) but will have enough power to charge devices at higher rates. 8" touch screen.

Tilt / Telescopic steering wheel.

Capless fuel filler (no fuel cap).

Most models will get the Homelink system.

The DRL's will be LED but not the main headlight system.

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Will that tow rating we SAE J2807 certified? I know some of the crossovers like the Hyundai Santa Fe have a 5k tow rating, but its nice to know that if Honda slaps a rating like that on the new truck that it will have gone through the same testing as every other truck on the road.
 

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I understand it is just a rough rendering, but does it appear that the ground clearance is increased? I know it was said in the previous thread that it likely wouldn't change much, however the rendering definitely sparks some interesting conversation. I will be very interested to see what the final power and fuel efficiency numbers are and also if the front end will be more masculine-looking than the new 2016 Pilot. I really think this will be a step in the right direction for the evolution of the RL, but I just don't know if it will be as "tough" as the 1st gen.
 

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Joe,
Given the minor differences in power plants for the Honda "truck" family of vehicles in the past, do you think it is possible that they might build a slightly longer stroke version of this engine for the RL to gain added torque??
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Will that tow rating we SAE J2807 certified? I know some of the crossovers like the Hyundai Santa Fe have a 5k tow rating, but its nice to know that if Honda slaps a rating like that on the new truck that it will have gone through the same testing as every other truck on the road.
(on edit I have been informed that both Toyota and all RAM trucks are now meet SAE J2807 and there may be more... I really don't know other than the Ridgeline will be). I could be wrong on that, but there are some very wild towing claims out there. I believe Honda is trying to give honest tow ratings.

The next-generation Ridgeline will have considerably more torque off the line to work with. If it does get the 9AT (ZF 9-HP) then that transmission has very low first and second gears and also shifts about 25% faster than the Honda 6AT.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Joe,
Given the minor differences in power plants for the Honda "truck" family of vehicles in the past, do you think it is possible that they might build a slightly longer stroke version of this engine for the RL to gain added torque??
To be blunt... no. The next-generation Ridgeline will have a very similar engine as the new Pilot (not identical). They may include the intake riser and be tuned for more low end torque rather than higher end horsepower. No major changes from the other 3.5L V6 family.
 

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The rendering, loosely based or not, looks great. I'm in.

Thanks for starting this thread. Hopefully, you'll be able to update Post #1 as information comes along. It would be easier to reference.

Cheers,
 

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Do you know if keeping the GVWR above 6k lbs is important to Honda - particularly for those of us that have businesses we write off our vehicles toward? If the truck drops 300 lbs and maintains its current GVWR that would give it a whopping ~1800 lb payload capacity. I *really* hope that they do this, and FYI for any Honda employees / decision makers reading this thread. I would already own a canyon if GM had given at least one wheelbase option a 6001 lb GVWR.
 

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Joe, the bed appears to be separate from the cab, a la conventional pickups. Knowing that this is a unibody with a subframe for reenforcement, I'm assuming it will be similar to the old Jeep Commanche pickup which was set pretty the same way. Your thoughts?
 

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The rendering, loosely based or not, looks great. I'm in.

Thanks for starting this thread. Hopefully, you'll be able to update Post #1 as information comes along. It would be easier to reference.

Cheers,
Areed! While I will prob read every post, it would be helpfull to update the first post in Red and a date or something as changes happen/info released.

The new look is fantastic if they stick to the rendering. Give me the new pilot interior (with a proper center console arm rest) and I am in.
 

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Im not the one that would know best as I have no contacts but I would say the 9 speed transmissions will be the one in that truck. I was shocked to see it in the new Pilot already. Almost everybody was predicting the 6 speed. To me that was a statement and a bold choice that I see as the right one. If we get new features like we saw today in the new Pilot I can't see how anybody can complain. Seriously a nice interior that Honda incorporated. The new exterior lines are what perhaps 95% would prefer so all in all it will probably be a real nice second addition. I see a higher price tag with the new Ridgeline.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I understand you said 18" and 20" wheels. Did they make any suspension changes. I know what can happen running 20" wheels on a 4x4.
Yes, the entire platform is different. Much stiffer and more capable. Extensive use of high strength steel components.
 

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It was mentioned in the other thread (by Makaze) that the tailgate will be split in the middle. Do you know anything about this Joe? Regardless, it is an interesting idea . . . .GenI Ridge tailgate needs be strong enough to make do with one retention strap. It certainly feels sturdy and it is a heavy piece when compared to other pickups. . . .A split tailgate would have a few advantages, including the obvious reduced extension when open and the ability to have a retention strap on both sides. This might help to reduce weight but engineering a way to solidly lock the two pieces together when folded down might eat up much of any weight gain.
 

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Thanks for the great update, Joe. I don't want to get too excited yet, but this truck is starting to look like a winner. Increased rear ground clearance sounds good, but will it be matched by the same useable ground clearance up front? I'm not a fan of 18" or 20" wheels, tho, because tires will be very expensive. As zroger pointed out, big rims don't necessarily mean more ground clearance...it's the tire OD that matters.

I was glad to see your opinion that the new AWD system will be an improvement. Are you now less concerned about possibly poorer split-mu performance compared to the VTM-4? Regarding the 9AT, I'm very happy that Honda will have many thousands of Pilots and Acuras out there testing its reliabiity before the next gen RL debuts. They should be able to get any bugs out of it, and hopefully increase its efficiency by early 2016.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks for the great update, Joe. I don't want to get too excited yet, but this truck is starting to look like a winner. Increased rear ground clearance sounds good, but will it be matched by the same useable ground clearance up front? I'm not a fan of 18" or 20" wheels, tho, because tires will be very expensive. As zroger pointed out, big rims don't necessarily mean more ground clearance...it's the tire OD that matters.

I was glad to see your opinion that the new AWD system will be an improvement. Are you now less concerned about possibly poorer split-mu performance compared to the VTM-4? Regarding the 9AT, I'm very happy that Honda will have many thousands of Pilots and Acuras out there testing its reliabiity before the next gen RL debuts. They should be able to get any bugs out of it, and hopefully increase its efficiency by early 2016.
The bed and tailgate information was updated in the original post.

From what I understand the new AWD system will be as competent or better than the first generation on a split-mu test.

I'm still getting details on the transmission issue. There is a third option that is a possibility.

Again, for those wanting to keep up with the info in this thread you can simply Subscribe to the thread at the top using the Thread Tools. You don't need to post to Subscribe to this thread.
 

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Thanks for all the info Joe.

Do you think the RL will have a proper center console harm rest? That soccer mom purse shelf in that new Pilot makes it a real woman's SUV in my book. I like to believe that Honda will make it a real man's arm rest console for the 2017 Ridgeline.

J
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the info Joe.

Do you think the RL will have a proper center console harm rest? That soccer mom purse shelf in that new Pilot makes it a real woman's SUV in my book. I like to believe that Honda will make it a real man's arm rest console for the 2017 Ridgeline.

J
I have not seen the interior detail so I have no idea. I personally like a center armrest as well.
 
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