DETROIT – The all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck is a “true truck.”
The pickup, introduced this week by Honda at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, “isn’t just about doing what other trucks can do. It’s about creating new value and new capacity for customers,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda’s automotive division.
Parts of the truck, to be released for sale in the first half of this year, will be made in Anna at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant, said Stacey Pond, a media representative for Honda of America Manufacturing, in an email.
No jobs will result directly from the parts made in Anna, but the plant will make the Ridgeline’s cylinder sleeves and machined camshafts, she said.
There was recently a $340 million investment in the engine plant, announced at last year’s auto show, so it could make the new 4-cylinder VTEC Turbo engine. Production of the engine began in June at the plant, according to Pond.
The engines go into the 2016 Civic, voted North American Car of the Year at the auto show, and into the European Civic Type R.
Features of the new Ridgeline include new powertrain, medium duty towing capability, about 1,600 pounds of payload capacity, front- or all-wheel drive, 5-foot-wide-by-5-foot-4-inches bed space, under seat storage and more.
It also has a “level of ride comfort that … far surpasses the competition,” Mendel said.
“It’s the most versatile packaging in the segment,” he said. “It’s the latest and greatest technology we have to offer.”
The NSX, announced at last year’s auto show, was on display at the Acura booth and the company recently announced sales information for the car.
The 2017 Acura NSX supercar will start at $156,000, with customer orders being taken starting Feb. 25, according to a release.
The car will come to market next spring and is designed, developed and manufactured in the United States.
It’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with dry sump is hand-assembled at the Anna Engine Plant, according to Pond’s email.
The individual engines each take more than six hours to build and are machine balanced, she said.
“NSX is more than just an iconic new product. It is a pinnacle expression of our Acura DNA,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura Division. “Because NSX will deliver Precision Crafted Performance, with incredible speed, fidelity, quality and zero delay, together with dynamic styling, amazing innovative technology and challenging new methods of manufacturing for world-class quality and craftsmanship.
“These are essential elements of what we mean by Precision Crafted Performance, and this new NSX will be held up as the gold standard by which we judge every new product and every facet of our Acura customer experience,” he added.
Acura also revealed a precision concept car, what it’s calling a “model that will set the direction for the future of Acura design,” said Takahiro Hachigo, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co.
The sleek red sedan looks like a sports car, and has “an emphasis on high contrast details, and the intersection of modern, sheer surfaces and muscular, organic sculpting,” said Dave Marek, global creative director of Acura Division, American Honda Motor Co.
The car “is a design study model that literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products,” he said.
“At the end of the day, the essence of design is, you see this car, you see us,” Marek added.
Reach Danae King at 567-242-0511 or on Twitter @DanaeKing.