New Pilot Prototype: Will Honda Try to Play It Both Ways?
If you want proof that brand perception is based on a single focused concept, consider the fact that Honda makes America's most fuel efficient fleet of vehicles, without a single V8 amongst them. Meanwhile Toyota builds the gas-friendly (in the sense of using a lot) Toyota Sequoia, Land Cruiser and Tundra and Lexus LS460– and gets all the green credit for the Prius. At Honda's Detroit Auto Show expense account ho'-down, the "other" Japanese automaker seemed to demonstrate a growing realization that they need a foot in each camp: mean and green. First, they re-introduced the California-bound hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, and kicked the lightweight "sports hybrid concept" CRZ with "clean performance" and plenty o' gas-electric torque into the spotlight. And then Honda unveiled the new eight-passenger 2009 Pilot Prototype, complete with a beefy "ACE" crash management structure. The Prototype features the kind of ugly, prison wall front end styling that makes fuel economy-minded aerodynamicists unemployable. Although Honda equipped the beast with 6-4-3 cylinder deactivation, the fact that they're selling its "real offroad and towing" capability tells you something. Could we live to see a Honda V8 in an Acura RL or Honda Pilot? Stranger things have happened.Click here for more TTAC photos of the Honda 2009 Pilot Prototype
[Reported by Sajeev Mehta]
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