At the 2018 SEMA show, Honda unveiled an unexpected concept. It’s called the Rugged Open Air Vehicle, and it started life as a Ridgeline pickup truck. The roof is gone. The bodywork resembles an oversized Honda Talon, but with a much larger bed. Yet instead of a motorcycle engine under the hood, Honda stuck with V6 power. This one packs a 3.5-liter mill mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
To handle off-road duty, Honda has lifted the chassis a bit. A 33-inch tire sits shod at each corner. Seats from a Civic Type R keep your rear in check and the steering wheel was plucked from a Pioneer UTV. It’s a concept, an odd one at that, yet it has us wondering what other vehicles might look like as off-road prepped beasties with no rules.
Which vehicle would you like to see given a similar treatment? And I don’t mean something that’s street-legal and on-sale, like a Ford Raptor. I’m talking about a vehicle that’s been melded with the idea of a real side-by-side. The Jeep Wrangler doesn’t count either, even if it’s the closest production vehicle on the market to something like this.
And if you’re eager to learn more about the one above… I’m driving it later today out in the California desert. So stay tuned for more on that.