The Honda SUT Concept made its world debut at the 2004 North American International Auto Show as American Honda announced plans for the launch of an all-new sport-utility truck slated for introduction in 2005.
The Honda SUT Concept is a next-generation truck concept that takes a clean slate approach to the light-duty truck segment by combining a roomy and practical SUV-style interior and a pickup-style cargo bed with traditional Honda strengths including refined styling, superior ergonomics, innovative design and world-class build quality.
Taking advantage of its unibody underpinnings, the Honda SUT Concept offers superior packaging efficiency, ride comfort and handling dynamics versus traditional truck-based vehicles in the class.
"The pickup market is evolving to meet the changing tastes of a new generation of truck buyers," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Honda SUT Concept takes this evolution to the next level with higher levels of refinement and sophistication in a sporty and socially responsible package with Honda durability, quality and reliability."
Envisioned as a next generation truck, the SUT Concept's reinforced unibody chassis design allows for new inroads into the light truck market where truck utility is combined with innovative packaging, sporty handling and advanced safety technology.
The SUT Concept features a refined and spacious cabin with seating for five adults and a five-foot long cargo bed with reduced intrusion of the real wheel arches for maximized cargo hauling capabilities.
Built around the image of an active young father, the Honda SUT Concept represents a fusion of this "cool dad's" family life stage and active life style - where everyday work life and family responsibilities are combined with weekend sports, hobbies and family
The Honda SUT is also designed as the ultimate vehicle for bringing together Honda's diverse line of products, including motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), personal watercraft, marine engines and power equipment. "This vehicle serves as the hub of Honda activity," said Dave Marek, chief designer of the Honda SUT Concept.
The styling theme for the SUT Concept was "billet machined aluminium" capturing the idea of a vehicle that has been machined from a single block of metal. From its wide stance and bold face, down to the smallest interior and exterior details, the SUT Concept's next-generation styling conveys a look of strength and agility with a modern, technical appearance. The design also takes advantage of its unibody frame to deliver the first fully integrated cab and bed, lending the SUT Concept a twenty-first century truck appearance.
"People will recognize this as a new kind of truck," said Marek.
"We wanted to express the unique character of Honda in a vehicle that we think will take all trucks into the next generation, stylistically."
Design details include a roof with a four-panelled skylight; a cargo bed with integrated lights and speakers; seats featuring a Roll bar appearance; storage bins made with climbing rope; and front door liners with integrated Mag-Lite, flashlights.
Combining fun-to-drive performance with environmental responsibility, the concept vehicle is powered by a high performance, high torque all-aluminium VTEC V-6 engine coupled with an advanced electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system for outstanding all-weather handling performance and medium-duty towing and off-road capabilities, along with ultra-low emissions and class-leading
With its wide track and sophisticated four-wheel fully independent suspension, the SUT Concept also delivers a new level of ride comfort and handling prowess to the light truck segment.
In addition to offering a high level of handling stability, the SUT Concept also offers a full array of advanced safety technology.
In keeping with Honda's "Safety for Everyone" concept, the Honda SUT Concept integrates safety features such as side curtain airbags with rollover sensors, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), front-side airbags with the Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), four-wheel anti-lock brakes and pedestrian safety features. With its unibody frame design, the SUT Concept provides a high level of occupant protection along with reduced aggressivity toward other vehicles
in a frontal collision.