Honda’s Odyssey has been a sales success globally in its current form but now it’s time for a redesign. The present model has been on the market since 2005 with only minor tweaking, and keen rivals are making a play to be the new minivan kingpin.
To guard its position Honda has announced that it will unveil a new concept version of the Odyssey at next month’s Chicago Auto Show, showing what the engineering-focused company’s fourth-generation minivan will look like.
Honda is making promises that the next Odyssey “will further enhance its hallmark qualities of innovation, quality, safety and fun-to-drive character, while increasing its overall efficiency.”
Honda has already given a clue to what the next Odyssey will look like in the SkyDeck concept (above) from the Tokyo Motor Show last October. The six-seat MPV was all pimped out a suitably over-done interior, Lamborghini-style front doors and a hybrid drivetrain. The Chicago showcar is expected to be significantly more toned-down than the Skydeck, and it will likely lead to the eventual production version.
If you’re a Honda fan this new video just released may be of interest to you. It features chief engineer Terakazu Torikai describing the philosophies and the process used in the development of the 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car.
With a power output of 91kW and 173Nm of torque, the CR-Z hasn’t got the goods to really excite Honda enthusiasts looking for the next CR-X. The only consolation at this stage is that a six-speed manual is touted to take the place of the optional CVT.
While all concerned will need to wait for a drive before a final conclusion can be reached, Honda’s video offers some insight into the decisions that lead to the CR-Z’s final specification and design.
Speaking on the handling of the CR-Z, Mr Torikai said that his team looked to other cars, both established and new, in developing the CR-Z’s characteristics.
“During the development if the CR-Z we drove many cars and also bought several models for comparison and benchmarking including the MINI, the VW Scirocco coupe and also a Lotus Elise,” Mr Torikai said. The target of this car was to realise enhanced handling.”
From that list, the Elise remains the pinnacle of how important kerb weight and weight distribution is in determining a car’s handling. If Honda has managed the CR-Z’s rumoured 1225kg as well as the Elise will be revealed shortly.