Concept previews new Honda minivan

  • 24-Feb-2010 09:00 EST
concept Odyssey.jpg
Honda officials talked about the exterior styling of the concept Odyssey but said details about the interior and powertrain will be released closer to the vehicle's production launch.

With the production vehicle slated to launch this fall, the Honda Odyssey concept strikes a new direction with "lightening bolt" styling on the minivan's sides.

The Odyssey's Senior Exterior Designer, Catalin Matei, said after the vehicle's debut at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show that the styling change addresses consumer complaints about "the somewhat generic appearance of the current Odyssey, which is a great vehicle but just in appearance we believe we can do a lot more to improve it."

The "lightening bolt" beltline gives the minivan a distinct profile and a viewing purpose in terms of "improving the visibility for the third-row passengers," said Matei. Compared to the current Odyssey, the concept's roofline is lowered by about 1 in (25 mm) and its stance is wider by about 1.4 in (36 mm).

Concept Odyssey emphasizes steeply angled A- and D-pillars, a chamfered roofline, and a tapered rear cabin shape. There are no carryover exterior panels on the new Odyssey, according to Matei. The fourth-generation Odyssey, both concept and production, was designed at Honda R&D Americas in Torrance, CA, and Raymond, OH.

According to Vicki Poponi, Assistant Vice President of American Honda Product Planning, the next-generation Odyssey will add functionality, interior space, and improve on V6 mpg fuel efficiency with an estimated 19 city/28 highway, compared to the current vehicle's 17 city/25 highway.

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