We know this is likely to be a polarizing fantasy. Honda’s Type R models, and the badge they wear, represent the soul of the company’s sporting heritage. Slapping it on a truck? Sacrilege, or worse. But when our talented artist Abimelec Arellano whipped up these Honda Ridgeline renders, resplendent in a variant of the 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition’s Phoenix Yellow paint, it seemed a little less sacrilegious and a lot more fun.
Fun trucks are having their heyday right now, aren’t they? The Ford F-150 Raptor, the steroidal Ram 1500 TRX, the Chevy Colorado ZR2. Why not let Honda owners get in on the fun, and burnish the Ridgeline’s “actually, it is a truck” cred? A Type R would be the loudest, most outrageous way to call attention to a sportier truck, but of course Honda’s marketing department could riff on it or go another direction altogether. Type X? HPD Off-Road?
We looked to the Type R for inspiration, but Honda could also look to its Baja Ridgeline Race Truck run by the Honda Off-Road Racing Team. Its twin-turbocharged V-6 is a race-prepped variant of the J35 V-6 engine found in a number of Honda products, including the current Ridgeline. HPD extracts 550 horsepower out of it in Baja truck duty, and a 550-hp Ridgeline would be a lot of fun. Ask us how we know: We took a spin in one of these trucks, and, uh, we need one. Badly.
While the race truck is really a tube frame chassis covered in Ridgeline-inspired fiberglass, a road-going Ridgeline Type R would need to beef up the truck’s unibody construction and fit longer-travel independent suspension, but that’s no impossibility. And looking at this render’s swollen fenders, fat rubber, big red “H” badge, and that flashy yellow paint, and considering the overheated truck environment that’s produced 700-plus-horsepower supertrucks you can just walk into a dealership and buy, maybe it’s even sensible.
Look closer and note the clearance lights in the grille, the Power Wagon-style integrated winch, and the red tow hooks. Black alloys with beadlocks riff on CTR wheel themes—a marked contrast from the equally awesome bronze wheels on the RTL-E HPD appearance package optional wheels. It’s a compelling vision, but for now, just a fantasy.
The updated-for-2021 Ridgeline’s tougher new styling has been a hit, so maybe Honda will take things further and evolve this pleasant, practical, and capable truck into something a little more monstrous. We’d like that.
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