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Back in the game: Honda’s 2017 Ridgeline to debut in Detroit, star at Super Bowl 50

The 2005 Honda Ridgeline was a lovable hodgepodge of quirky features and polarizing designs. The brand’s first foray into the North American pickup market, the Ridgeline was highlighted by its in-bed trunk, dual-action tailgate, and innovative storage methods, and despite falling short to V8-powered competition in both towing and sales numbers, the so-called “anti-truck” was received quite well by the masses.

A new Ridgeline has been on the way for some time now, and the wait is nearly over. The 2017 model will debut on January 11 at the 2016 International Auto Show, and following that, the pickup will be the star of a 60-second TV spot during Super Bowl 50 on February 7.

“The big game is the largest and most coveted stage to show the world that Honda is back in a big way with an all-new Ridgeline truck,” said Jeff Conrad, General Manager of Honda Automobiles. “Super Bowl 50 is the right time and the right venue to communicate Honda’s continued leadership in light trucks. The multi-platform approach will enable Ridgeline to come out of the gate strong in 2016.”

Official details of the vehicle are few and far between, but we know that the “multi-platform approach” refers to the truck’s shared architecture with the Pilot crossover. Consequentially, we expect the 3.5-liter V-6 as well as the six and nine-speed transmission options to carry over.

Related: Honda started from scratch for an ‘epic’ Civic, and nailed it

As far as styling goes, Honda has given us subtle hints at the vehicle’s design over the last few months. A rear three-quarters sketch of the vehicle was released back in February, which shows a much more conventional aesthetic than the buttress-laden profile of the old one. Honda also previewed the new pickup with the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck (shown above) in November.

Will the new version be a cult classic like its predecessor, or will it offer a more traditional approach that fades into the background? For the answer, stay tuned to DT Cars’ coverage of the 2016 International Auto Show in Detroit.