Is it a quad? Is it a car? No; it’s Honda’s all new pocket-size off-roader, the Pioneer, set to burst on to the scene here in the UK in early 2017. But what’s lowdown on the Japanese marque’s other all-wheel-drive two-seater?
Well, from what we can gather thus far, it’ll certainly get the better of its illustrious stable mate the NSX in a drag race – as long as that sprint is run over boggy wetlands, arctic tundra or vast expanses of desert.
Honda accounts for over half of all all-terrain vehicle sales in the UK, in no small part thanks to its perennial family favourite the big-selling CR-V. Building on this long-established ATV kudos, the new Pioneer is set to become Honda’s first Side-by-Side utility vehicle, or SxS. Confused? Well don’t let the jargon run rings around you. Think of the new Pioneer as a kind of quadbike-SUV hybrid – a micro-SUV if you will – and you’re somewhere near the mark. If that famous purveyor of holiday hijinks the Mini Moke were alive today, it might just look something like this.
Designed explicitly to be more practical than a quad and more manageable than a traditional full size 4×4, the Pioneer will build on Honda’s vast experience making all-terrain vehicles. Featuring a new, super-efficient 700cc engine, the Pioneer will be sold as a two or four-seater.
Seemingly, the Moke analogy wasn’t lost on the Honda design team. They envisage the Pioneer making a big splash in the leisure industry, with particular reference to the holiday rental market. Since the demise of that cult-favourite the Moke, it’s a domain that’s long been the preserve of the quadbike and moped-riding masses. This new arrival from Honda could change all that.
Of course, day-trippers aren’t the only ones bidding to reach the world’s most inaccessible, tucked-away places. Honda also sees the Pioneer attracting the interest of commercial operators, specifically those whose work is carried out in the most hostile and dangerous of conditions. Who knows, like the Moke before it, the new Pioneer might even get a call-up from the military.
The true identity of the new Honda Pioneer will be revealed before next year’s official release through social media, meaning we’ll be keeping an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the coming weeks.