Let’s go back to 2006 and take a look around.
It might be a bumpy ride so let’s go in a couple of trucks… 2006 Toyota Tacoma and 2006 Honda Ridgeline.
2006 Toyota Tacoma
The 2006 Toyota Tacoma was the second year of this second generation Tacoma. In 2005 Toyota unveiled a bigger and more powerful Tacoma. This new Tacoma was available in eighteen different configurations, that included three cab configurations, four transmissions, two engines, and two bed lengths. The three cab configurations consist of regular cab, access cab, and double cab. The transmissions come in 4-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, and 6-speed manual. Beds are: 6 ft (1.8 m) long bed, and 5 ft (1.5 m) short bed. The Tacoma’s 4.0-liter 1GR-FE V6 took the place of the original 3.4-liter 5VZ-FE V6. The new V6 had many enhancements, such as a tow rating of 6,500 lb (2,948 kg), and a payload capacity of 1,650 lb (748 kg). It produces 236 horsepower (176 kW) and 266 lb·ft (361 N·m) of torque.
Toyota also introduced an X-Runner trim, which replaces the slow selling S-Runner trim from the previous generation. The Toyota X-Runner is a limited production trim. The X-Runner is only available in three colors per year, and only five colors total. Key differences between the X-Runner and the other packages include tweaks to the suspension, hood scoop, ground effects kit, driving lights, sports wheel and tires, and a 3.15 Final Drive ratio (3.73 for V6 PreRunner and 4X4). Toyota added a rear-mounted X-Brace to stiffen up the rear end (hence the name X-Runner). The chassis was further stiffened by adding two more support braces to the frame. An optional big brake kit by TRD is also available on the X-Runner; which consists of a 332 mm slotted rotor and 4 piston caliper.
2006 Honda Ridgeline
The Ridgeline was released in March 2005 as a 2006 model and is Honda’s intended first foray into the North American pickup truck market. Until 2009, the Ridgeline was built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. The Ridgeline was awarded Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year for 2006.
The Honda Ridgeline uses unibody architecture ladder frame/unibody hybrid chassis. Honda claims this design gives it 2.5 times more ball rigidity and 20 times the torsional rigidity than the standard ladder frame only type of chassis construction, while retaining the load carrying capacity of the traditional ladder frame.
The truck also boasts four-wheel independent suspension which, coupled with the unibody design, provides a new level of stable and sure handling under load well beyond that which could be achieved with older platforms.
Another advantage of the independent suspension is that it opened up enough space for Honda to create the second pickup truck to include a storage trunk below the bed, which can be locked to secure contents such as a tool chest (the first such pick-up having been the pickup version of the Volkswagen Type 2 (T3)).The bed comes standard with a composite liner that resists dents, corrosion, and can easily be hosed clean. The trunk has drainage holes to allow wash water to flow out.
It became clear to designers that a lowered tailgate created too long a reach for a consumer to get into the trunk. However, the relatively short bed was built with a lowered tailgate acting as an extension in mind, so a purely conventional tailgate action was not dismissible. Engineers met this challenge with a dual action tailgate. This design was first used by 1966 model Ford station wagons. The tailgate opens conventionally in a downward motion that can handle a load in the horizontal open position, but can also be swung to the side like a door, allowing a consumer to stand straight up at the rear bumper and reach down into the trunk.
No 2015 Honda Ridgeline, will return in 2016 as a redesigned vehicle.
An all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup truck will come to market in less than two years and, Honda shared a sketch expressing the new truck’s styling direction. Honda also confirmed that production of the current Ridgeline (http://automobiles.honda.com/ridgeline/), built exclusively by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, in Lincoln, Alabama, will conclude in mid-2014.
Like the innovative first-generation model that earned 2006 North American Truck of the Year and Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors after its fall 2005 debut, the next-gen Ridgeline is being designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. at its Los Angeles and Ohio R&D centers.
“The next generation Ridgeline will build on Honda’s role in creating new value with a new take on advancing form and function in the truck segment,” said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With a clear path forward, Ridgeline will play an even more important role in our future product portfolio and strengthen an already class-leading lineup of light trucks.”