Honda and Off-Road Intelligence

“Intelligent” all-wheel or four-wheel drive systems are proliferating in vehicles nowadays. (Although “proper” four-wheel-drive systems generally have a transfer case and are deliberately engaged, the terminology is getting pretty fuzzy.) And dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) are being used more, now that the software has worked the jerkiness out of them.

“Intelligent” all-wheel or four-wheel drive systems are proliferating in vehicles nowadays. (Although “proper” four-wheel-drive systems generally have a transfer case and are deliberately engaged, the terminology is getting pretty fuzzy.)

And dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) are being used more, now that the software has worked the jerkiness out of them.

The “intelligence” and the DCTs are both things that automakers are finding useful for fuel efficiency.

So when you read about a Honda with an I-4WD system (with the “I,” of course, signifying “intelligent”) and a six-speed DCT, you’re probably thinking CR-V or Pilot.

But that’s not the case.

Rather, it’s the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE and Pioneer 1000 LE.

What?

17 Honda Pioneer 1000 EPS - red

Well, these are “multipurpose side-by-sides,” with the former providing seating for five and the latter three.

And they’re equipped with the intelligent four-wheel-drive system.

According to a statement from Honda Powersports, this is the first-application of a system of this type in the market.

I-4WD is a system that combines the four-wheel-drive and diff-lock functions into a single selection mode; though an off-road brake traction control system it manages the amount of slip between the left and right front wheels, applying additional torque to the wheel with the greatest amount of grip.

According to Lee Edmunds of Honda Powersports, “To develop this intelligent system, Honda engineers collaborated with our automotive division and then tailored a system specifically for the rigors of the off-road environment.”

Arguably vehicles like the Pioneer 1000 are more likely to deal with slippery conditions of a more-demanding character than a CR-V or a Pilot is likely to encounter.