New Pilot Prototype: Will Honda Try to Play It Both Ways?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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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]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 13 comments
  • Jurisb Jurisb on Jan 14, 2008

    I don`t see a reason why they couldn`t succeed with new pilot. An honestly built honda product with an in-house engineering, behind which stands honda expertize, reliability and fit -and-finisha nd unique non-borrowed exterior.

  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Jan 14, 2008

    We already see Honda V8s - everytime we watch an IRL race. No suprise really if they were to make a "civilian" V8.

  • Blautens Blautens on Jan 14, 2008

    As much as I love Honda's...what they've done to the Pilot is just wrong (speaking only of styling). The original Pilot was the best looking of the line. Then they "butched up" the car, blunting and raising its snout and hoodline for no functional reason and making it look more..."trucky"? I always thought form followed function at Honda, but the current Pilot, the "Pilot" Pilot, and the current CR-V schnoz is really depressing me. Maybe they'll rework one or all like they did with the ugly butt on the previous gen Accord.

  • D.Smithee D.Smithee on Jan 14, 2008
    I don't mind that front end so much...somewhat unique looking.