This May Be The Coolest Honda Off-Road Machine Ever! (2018 SEMA Show)

What do you get when you take the body and suspension from a Ridgeline and make it into a side-by-side?

Meet the merger of a traditional side-by-side and a mass-market light truck: the Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept. To create this SEMA build, Honda took the body and suspension from a Ridgeline and grafted on the doors from a Pioneer 1000 side-by-side. The bed and tailgate panels are custom built to fit the larger truck chassis, while Honda R&D reskinned the seats from a Civic Type R for this Rugged Open Air Concept.

Strangely, Honda doesn’t mention what’s powering the Rugged Open Air Concept. The standard Pioneer 1000 comes with a 999cc fuel-injected engine making 72 horsepower, hooked up to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. That seems a bit weak for a much larger concept – given the Ridgeline’s contributions to the concept, the Rugged Open Air side-by-side may pack the truck’s 3.5-liter V6 engine as well.

Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept - SEMA 2018

As you’d expect, this Rugged Open Air concept has skid plates all over the place and definitely looks like it can kick up some serious dirt off-road. In fact, it looks like a noteworthy rival for the Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo S. And as luck would have it, we just published an epic off-road race that shows just how remarkable that side-by-side is off-road. Check it out below!

Come back to for more side-by-side news, views and real-world reviews.