Next-gen Honda Ridgeline goes mainstream

A spy photo of the new Honda Ridgeline pickup shows a more traditional silhouette.

More revealing spy photos of Honda‘s second-generation Ridgeline pickup confirm what many in the industry had expected — that Honda would ditch the original Ridgeline’s controversial flying buttress profile in favor of a more traditional silhouette.

Some hallmarks of the old design remain, including a window behind the four-door cabin that tilts inward at the top.

The Ridgeline prototype — captured in testing on public roads — also appears to share much of its face with the redesigned Pilot crossover with which it shares a unibody platform.

The prototype’s softer, curvy look sets it apart from its more blocky midsize competitors such as the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

The new Ridgeline is expected to come with the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine that Honda uses in the Pilot. In that application, it makes 280 hp and 262 pounds-feet of torque. It’s hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission in lower trim levels or a nine-speed automatic in high-end models.

The next-gen Ridgeline is expected to debut in January at the Detroit auto show and go on sale later in the year as a 2017 model.

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