All we have to go on are the images and information posted on Carscoop, but it appears the redesigned 2009 Honda Ridgeline is stepping out a bit early to what may be disinterested public. The Ridgeline for '09 gets Honda's new grille that first appeared on the '09 Pilot CUV, along with a new front bumper, headlights and all that jazz in the rear. The interior, while not all-new, gets major upgrades like a new steering wheel, gauges, and HVAC controls, as well as a Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, satellite navigation, a 115-volt power outlet and requisite jacks for the iPod and other MP3 players. According to Carscoop, Honda has largely left the Ridgeline's 3.5L VTEC V6 the same except for a new camshaft profile and better breathing practices that net a 3 horsepower bump to 250 at 5,700 RPM and a torque increase of 2 lb-ft to 247 at 4,000 RPM. New ratios in the 5-speed automatic transmission are said to take advantage of the new torque and improve acceleration.
We admit that Honda was smart not to dive head first into the full-size truck market in the U.S. like Toyota did with the Tundra, but the Ridgeline with its V6 and unit body has never enjoyed hot sales. It's both terrifically ugly and ill-suited for those super hard core tasks that, while rare, require a real rig. Nevertheless, this is Honda, a brand that really doesn't care what we think about its trucklet and will continue tweaking and perfecting it until we change our minds. Looks like that won't happen in 2009, though we're told to expect it in dealers as early as this September.