SEMA 2018: Honda Ridgeline Overland

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Halloween is on Wednesday, a time when kids and adults alike dress up as Dennis Rodman and other truly frightening beings. Honda is getting into the spirit of things by apparently slicing the top off one of its concept vehicles.

Before diving into the Speculation Machine, let’s look at a rig for which we have concrete details – the Ridgeline Overland Project. This machine incorporates a slew of upgrades and modifications to turn the 2019 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition into an overland adventure vehicle. Working with Jsport Performance Accessories, the mods on this Ridgeline Overland are meant to bolster its off-road cred without compromising its on-road comfort.

In a fit of great news, this is apparently approved for production and will soon be available for purchase. Skid plates, off-road wheels and tires, and a leveling kit are designed to help Ridgeline make the most of its all-wheel drive system. JSport sidesteps offer a leg up when accessing the roof rack system, while a Mesa bed rack allows for more cargo flexibility. Mounted in that roof rack is a lightweight generator – a Honda unit, natch – for powering electrical accessories brought along on your overland excursion.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Honda Pilot Review

Elsewhere, the company isn’t doling out too much detail about its forthcoming Rugged Open Air Concept, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture what it might be. One of the possibilities is, of course, some sort of powerful side-by-side or dune buggy built to take on the Polaris RZR and its ilk. Such a machine would fill the “Open Air” promise of this announcement.

The company could go in another direction, crafting something completely new out of an existing platform such as the one underpinning the Ridgeline or CR-V. A rig hewn from those bones would put Honda on the map in terms of having a factory off-roader to sell in their showrooms, a market in which the company does not currently play. An open-air CR-V or Ridgeline, especially the latter given that the upcoming Jeep Scrambler is allegedly keeping the Wrangler’s folding top, would be a delightful departure from Honda’s generally staid and play-it-safe attitude.

We won’t have long to wait. Honda will be revealing the Rugged Open Air Concept tomorrow, October 30th, at the SEMA show in Vegas.

A version of this story originally appeared on

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Living in rural Canada, Matthew has immersed himself in car culture for over 30 years and relishes the thought of a good road trip. A certified gearhead, he enjoys sharing his excitement about cars and is very pleased to contribute at AutoGuide. Matthew is a member of Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

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