The press kit for the Honda Odyssey Concept has “Odyssey” written in large font and “Concept” typed much smaller. That pretty much sums up how much of the van is the next-generation Odyssey that is due later this year and how much is pure fantasy.
Technically, the Honda Odyssey shown in Chicago was a concept, but then the marketing team began throwing around specifications and features for the all-new mini-van that will roll out for 2011. Take a shot of your favorite inebriation and imagine the concept with smaller wheels and a roof rack. That’s what’s coming.
A sleeker cab-forward profile is enhanced with a roofline that appears to slope towards the rear window. The D-pillar is rendered in a way that looks upscale, like an Acura MDX. Easily the most distinguishing feature is the lightning bolt windowline that is expected on the production model and makes it easier to see out of the rear seats. Honda claims the van has a one-inch lower roofline and will be 1.4-inches wider. Wheelbase dimensions remain unchanged at 118.1 inches, keeping interior space very close to the current model. Odyssey’s trademark third-row “Magic Seat” will still fold flat into the floor.
To further prove how close the concept is to production, the company announced it will come with an i-VTEC V6 with variable displacement that lets the engine run on 3, 4, or 6 cylinders, depending on need. A more efficient engine, combined with improved aerodynamics, will enable fuel economy ratings of 19/28-MPG city/hwy.
Through three generations, Honda has moved the Odyssey from a smallish sedan-based wagon to the gold standard of mini-vans. If you get all giddy over three-row people movers with rear sliding doors, you’ll positively puddle over the fourth-generation 2011 Honda Odyssey.
Here are our picks for the Top Five new models from the show. Click on a photo below.