Rene Garcia, a Californian concept designer working at ILM, has previously worked on many Hollywood movies. These include The Mandalorian, Thor: Ragnarok, The Avengers, and the Transformers anthology. However, his latest creation has picked him up from Hollywood and placed him in the automotive industry. Garcia began designing a Dakar rally truck, but a large number of iterations took him in a slightly different direction – an electric pickup truck concept for Honda.
Named as the Ridgeline EV concept, the first look of this truck tells you that it is of the no-nonsense kind. It has a very rugged design and looks ready to tackle whatever is thrown at it. This kind of vehicle isn’t for fun. You can’t lob steel balls at its windows to show its toughness. It has toughness embedded in every single ounce of its design. The very purpose of this kind of truck is to challenge anything coming it’s way.
Exterior Design Overview
This electric truck comes with its own winch hook in the front, with a frunk behind it. The suicide-style rear doors give you access to the spacious interior, which we will come to in a minute. The expandable trunk bed comes equipped with tools and emergency medical kits.
One of the striking features of this truck is the way the designer has used the hollow spaces. Yes, it looks quite bulky. But the negative spaces in its design help use the volume properly. At the same time, it makes the car look chiseled. Two cutouts in the hood let you look at the top of the car’s shock absorbers. The doors come with two sets of windows, and there’s a skylight too. And if you need more space at any point, the back of the truck opens up and you can flip the rear seats through 180 degrees!
The concept has an electric skateboard with front and rear motors and a relatively large battery pack in the center. The large battery makes sense as pickup trucks with high range will soon have a lot of demand. The charging port is unveiled by popping open the Honda logo in the front.
Interior Design Overview
The interior of the truck also looks very promising. Immaculate leather surfacing on the seats as well as on the door and dashboard trim stands out. The front dashboard covers the entire field of view. Side cameras and a rear-view camera send the footage from the sides and the back respectively to the dashboard.
The rear seats have their own entertainment systems too, with interactive displays integrated into the backside of the front seats. The skylight offers a lot of natural light, but there are ceiling lights for night driving too. Moreover, the seats recline fully and the back opens up into a really comfy bed if you want to set up camp anywhere.
Is This a Potential Cybertruck Killer?
Now, all this is just speculation. The Ridgeline EV is at the very first step of the design process, and there is no guarantee that Honda will ever launch this vehicle. But just for fun, what if we pit it against two of the most awaited electric pickup trucks, the Tesla Cybertruck and Ford F-150 Lightning.
On the outside, the Ridgeline looks massive and tough. But all that ruggedness will also bring in quite a bit of weight with it. The Cybertruck will weigh around 3000 kg (6613 pounds), while the F-150 will weigh a little less. These are decent figures, and if Ridgeline wants to compete with these two heavyweights (pun intended) and perform well too, it needs to be on the lighter side. Because a really heavy truck with quick acceleration can be a bit of a problem too.
Of course, the overall rugged look of the Ridgeline will attract many customers, as it stands out quite well in front of a Cybertruck. Yes, the Tesla truck has a futuristic feel to it, but there is something about raw looks that makes it hard to look away. The Ford F-150 Lightning looks practical, and that is exactly what Ford is going for. The Dearborn automaker is banking on the legacy of the F-series to sell cars, not the looks.
Inside, the Ridgeline gives a very rich experience. The Cybertruck, on the other hand, has a rather simplistic look to its interiors. Ford has once again gone for a practical look to its upcoming truck’s interior. So, there is a chance that Ridgeline could nudge forward again.
Of course, no one knows if the Ridgeline Concept will ever materialize. A look at Honda’s current lineup will tell you that the Ridgeline if it ever gets built, will be unique. Why this is interesting is that it further fuels the electric pickup truck segment. This segment has been recording top sales in the United States for a long time now. So the option of going electric without changing segments will attract a number of customers, thus increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road. This eventually leads to the development of the electric vehicle infrastructure, and that is the most important thing here.
So while we ponder over whether the Ridgeline will materialize and increase the competition in the pickup truck segment, we can just admire the current design.