Honda is the latest brand to launch an off-road-focused sub-brand for its models, like GMC’s AT4, Subaru’s Wilderness, or Toyota’s TRD Pro. The automaker uses the Trailsport moniker for these upcoming, more rugged products. The first of them arrive this fall.
Honda indicates the TrailSport models would have parts like more aggressive tires, an increased ground clearance, a re-tuned suspension for improved off-road driving, underbody protection, and improved all-wheel drive. There are revisions to the front and rear styling, in addition to more body cladding. The cabin gets orange stitching and all-weather floor mats.
Honda’s teaser image only shows a vehicle from the back as the model kicks up dirt. Judging by the taillights, it’s a Passport (see comparison above). The automaker says that goal of these products is to improve the vehicles’ off-road ruggedness without giving up on-road ability.
“TrailSport represents the next chapter in our rugged direction and will bring exclusive styling to our existing light trucks that will appeal to buyers seeking adventure,” said Dave Gardner, Executive Vice President of National Operations at American Honda.
Future TrailSport vehicles would get parts like a full-size spare tire, in addition to all of the other upgrades the automaker mentions. The company says these other products are arriving over the next few model years.
The logo for the TrailSport models is orange with a depiction of mountains over the top of the letters. The mix of hard angles and curves subtly suggests off-road trails and rock climbing.
While Honda certainly has an off-road legacy in dirt bikes and ATVs, this doesn’t really extend to the company’s automobiles. With so much competition in this segment right now, it will be interesting to see how the company will position the Trailsport vehicles to make customers notice these rugged Hondas.