Chicago Show 2010 Highlights: Honda Odyssey Concept


Minivans suffer from a combination of a low glamour and intense practicality, and Honda hopes its next-generation Odyssey will enhance the first of these attributes without diminishing the second.

Unveiled at the Chicago auto show, the new Odyssey displayed on the Honda stand was presented as a “concept,” a typical ploy the manufacturer uses for soon-to-be-introduced production models. Lending credence to the production-readiness of the show car, insiders say the concept will differ little from the saleable version that will appear in Honda showrooms this fall.

A wider track; more aggressive fender flares, particularly in front; a slightly lower roofline; a rear spoiler that wraps around the rear window; and a steeper rake to the windshield all contribute to a look that’s sleeker than that of the current Odyssey. But the defining element of the new design is a dip in the rear beltline that designer Catlain Matei calls “the lightning bolt.” According to Matei, it serves two functions. The dip gives third-row passengers a little better view of the outside world, and it also enhances the generally more action-ready look of the whole package.

Product specifics were scarce. At 202.8 inches, the Odyssey concept is a little longer than the current model, a little lower at 68.3 inches, and considerably wider—78.5 inches versus the current 77.1. The wheelbase is unchanged at 118.1 inches. There was no information concerning the interior furnishings, but Honda was willing to say that there will be more room for second- and third-row occupants, plus accommodations for three child seats in the third row.

The powertrain will continue to be a 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 with variable cylinder management, mated with an automatic transmission. The current automatic has five forward speeds, and a six-speed transmission is anticipated for the next generation, although Honda sources refrained from publicly verifying this expectation. Again, there was no official word on engine output, but it was suggested that we should expect a small increase in horsepower and torque.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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