Honda to show new Pilot SUV at Chicago Auto Show

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

American Honda Motor Co. Inc. Wednesday said Honda will debut the new 2016 Pilot SUV at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show next month.

The re-engineered, eight-passenger Pilot includes new technology not currently available in the mainstream three-row SUV segment and has class-leading fuel economy. Honda said it takes a "dramatic shift in design" but remains family friendly. Honda said the new Pilot will hit dealerships this summer.

Honda said it also will give a glimpse of the styling cues for the new Ridgeline truck and reveal some details during its Feb. 12 press conference at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Japanese auto manufacturer said the new Pilot and forthcoming Ridgeline will improve the Honda truck lineup. Honda will launch this spring its new HR-V small crossover and the popular selling CR-V was recently redesigned.

"Honda continues to fortify its light-truck lineup in 2015, this time turning our eye to the fast-growing family SUV segment," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division, in a statement. "The new Pilot will raise the bar in a segment it helped to create, with more innovation, style, premium features and family utility than ever before."

The first Pilot was introduced in 2002 and a second-generation launched in 2008. The Pilot and its engine are manufactured at Honda's Lincoln, Ala., plant. The vehicle was designed and developed in California and Ohio.

Honda sold more than 108,000 Pilots last year in the U.S., but sales fell more than 14 percent from 2013 sales.

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