LAS VEGAS -- If Charles Baer has his way, Honda will have a souped-up Ridgeline pickup on U.S. roads soon.
Baer, 29, is responsible for the exterior design of the Ridgeline Street Sport concept shown at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show last week. His colleague, Kimberly Marte, designed the interior. Both designers work at Honda's design center in Torrance, Calif.
The jet black pickup is 4 inches wider than the current model and sports 22-inch wheels. Functional aluminum side exhaust pipes give it a street-savvy look.
Baer denies that he borrowed cues from the defunct Lincoln Blackwood pickup, but there are subtle similarities.
"The Blackwood was more of a luxury truck," he says.
"This is to embrace someone who wants the street-racing look. It's for young people."
On the exterior, Baer's truck features a wide and sporty fascia with fog lamps. Aluminum accents adorn each side.
There are no exterior door handles; the vehicle opens via remote control.
"Honda needs variations of the Ridgeline," he says, to attract younger buyers.
Jeff Conrad, vice president for advertising and public relations for American Honda Motor Co., says the company will gauge the reaction of SEMA visitors.
Conrad says, "We'll see what type of feedback we get and adjust accordingly."
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