Honda’s New Odyssey Concept—A Real Looker

12 Feb 2010 | 4,241 views | No Comment
What is this? A pretty minivan? Indeed it is. This is Honda’s Odyssey concept, expected to go into production pretty much as is. It looks sleek, modern, and thoroughly cool, especially when you consider Honda adds a heaping helping of sporty handling to everything it designs—even minivans. The Honda Odyssey Concept is on display this week at the Chicago Auto Show, and Honda says the minivan will go on sale this fall. A key element here is a “lightning bolt” beltline, which has been seen in similar form in a number of sporty cars, such as Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe. The concept is about an inch lower and an inch wider than the current production model and Honda says that the car’s sleekneses will “contribute to a sleeker, stronger and more dynamic presence with improved aerodynamics that help increase fuel economy. Forthcoming improvements to the production Odyssey's interior are designed to further enhance the current model's accommodating space for people and cargo.” "The Odyssey established its reputation by providing families with what they most want in a minivan - great functionality, an emphasis on safety and good fuel economy," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of American Honda product planning. "Odyssey then further delighted customers with its surprisingly engaging, fun-to-drive and dynamic nature. The next-generation Odyssey promises to take these strengths to a higher level while adding more style and personality." The news release says, “The steeply raked front and rear roof pillars, unique side-glass profile, chamfered roof line, and tapered rear cabin shape combine to create a dynamic and distinctive appearance from any perspective. The lightning-bolt beltline dives toward the rear of the vehicle emphasizing the new Odyssey's sporty appearance while enhancing outward visibility for third-row passengers. Aggressive body-to-wheel proportions reduce the perception of vertical height common to most minivan designs. Fender flares further accent the vehicle's securely planted and stylish persona. The concept vehicle's projector beam headlights, LED taillights and form-fit fog lights further heighten the sophisticated quality of the design.” It adds. “Enhanced aerodynamics and advanced powertrain technologies will contribute to the next-generation Odyssey's increased fuel efficiency. The all-new 2011 Odyssey is expected to achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating1 of 19 city/28 highway miles-per gallon on select models (preliminary estimate determined by Honda).” Things are suddenly heating up in the minivan segment. Toyota has an all-new Sienna, and Mazda has the all-new Mazda5.  And don’t forget Ford’s G-Max minivan, also due over the coming months. We look forward to testing all of them.

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