We got a sneak peek of it last month, but now it's finally here. Or rather, it's finally there. Honda has launched the long-awaited update to its sharply-styled Odyssey people mover in Japan, giving us a good look at what to expect when the popular MPV eventually makes its way to Australia.
While the sheetmetal is all new, Honda has thankfully preserved the low roofline and angular styling that made the outgoing model such a hit. The entire package has benefited from stronger construction, larger internal dimensions and improved NVH reduction measures, which should make the new Odyssey a far more comfortable, durable and safe vehicle than its predecessor.
The interior has also been jazzed up by the addition of higher quality materials, more gadgets and an even more futuristic dash design. Among the JDM Odyssey's list of impressive tech gizmos are its Active Cruise Control system, Lane Keeping Assist system and multi-view blind spot camera system, which complement the 'usual' sat-nav display and the fancy-lookin' 3D luminescent instrument panel.
The seat layout is also just as flexible as the current model, with all seven seats able to be reconfigured into anything from a two-person bed to a flat-floored load area.
A 2.4-litre iVTEC inline-four propels the Odyssey from supermarket to school car park, delivering 127kW in the base model and 152kW in the range-topping Odyssey Absolute. As well as the standard FWD drivetrain, a 4WD system is also on offer, although 4WD models don't get the same CVT gearbox as the FWD cars - instead opting for a five-speed automatic. On-road dynamics should be superb too, as the new Odyssey now comes with double-wishbone suspension all around, which, combined with its low centre-of-gravity, should produce some pretty stellar handling for a large people mover.
A release date has yet to be confirmed for the Australian market, however given the current model is getting a little long in the tooth, we'd expect an announcement should be made sooner rather than later. We'll keep you posted.
Honda Announces the All-New Odyssey
October 16, 2008-Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that sales in Japan of the all-new Odyssey will begin tomorrow, October 17. The fully remodeled Odyssey features a low-floor and low center-of-gravity package that enables a low profile roofline and performance beyond ordinary minivans together with a spacious cabin. The new Odyssey is also equipped with advanced safety technologies, including the new Multi-view Camera System. A special mobility-assistive version equipped with a lift-up front passenger seat will go on sale November 13, 2008.
Designed around the concept of emotive quality that will move all who experience it, the new fourth generation Odyssey provides an advanced fusion of the human/machine interface, a liberated feeling for all occupants, and a distinctive presence. So, the all-new Odyssey was developed with the goal of generating strong feelings in every circumstance: riding in it, driving it, and looking at it.
To fulfill customer expectations for excellent fuel economy related to growing awareness of environmental issues, the all-new Odyssey is equipped with a 2.4L DOHC i-VTEC engine and torque converter-equipped CVT*1, a combination that enables the vehicle to achieve both superior performance and class leading*2 fuel economy of 13.2km/L*3. Moreover, the all-new Odyssey features DBW (drive-by-wire) control and an ECON mode which improves fuel economy by applying collaborative control of the CVT and air conditioner to reduce engine load.
M, L, and Li FWD vehicles
2.4L (gasoline engine) minivan class
M, L, and Li FWD vehicles. Fuel economy when driven in 10-15 mode (Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism figures)
?New 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine delivers nimble, lively performance
?Low center-of-gravity and advanced chassis balancing ensures luxurious ride comfort and handling that complies with the driver's intentions
?Also available is the Odyssey Absolute, a sporty model with further refined performance characteristics
?Liberated feeling for all occupants?
?More slender front pillars secure a wide, clear field of view for the driver, for a greater sense of security
?Spacious and well-lighted interior achieves liberated feeling with two-layer instrument panel design
?Advanced instrument panel design offers instant recognition and intuitive operation that enhances driving pleasure
?The three rows of seats are positioned in a V-shaped layout to allow all occupants to enjoy the forward view
?Distinctive one-motion form is lower and sleeker, providing a sensation of speed and functional beauty
?Resolute expression and contoured front styling emphasize power and vitality
Key Features of the New Odyssey
?The exterior is designed around a concept of sensual dynamism, with richly contoured surfaces to express both dynamism and solidity for conveying elegance and power.
?The front view features sharp graphics, with headlights flowing out from the chromed bumper center portion and a sculpted V-line extending up over the hood from the front grill to impart a sense of speed and power. The narrow headlights add an intrepid feel.
?The side view features a fluid silhouette with a one-motion line from front nose to roof end. This combines with the strongly contoured surface in an expression of sleekness and power.
?For the rear view, the cabin has been strongly tapered and the rear window rounded to impart a compact feel for the cabin. Horizontally oriented rear combination lights add a feeling of breadth.
?The voluptuous body contours are further highlighted with a super platinum coating.
?Six color variations are available, including two new colors.
?The interior is designed to achieve an advanced feel in a refined and comfortable space.
?The double-layered, gently sculpted instrument panel imparts a feeling of comfort and spaciousness.
?The 3D self-illuminating gauges and indicator lamps are laid out around the centrally positioned speedometer in a 3D arrangement and grouped into functional zones for instantaneous recognition.
?The audio, climate control, and navigation controls are positioned for easy operation in a highly intuitive center panel.
?The front seat cushions employ low-resistance urethane for low fatigue and an outstanding hold.
?A telescopic & tilt steering mechanism helps maintain the optimum driving position.
?The 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine combines outstanding fuel economy with powerful performance, featuring class-topping 13.2km/L and strong, torquey response at all speed ranges.
?The torque converter-equipped CVT combines outstanding fuel economy with smooth and seamless acceleration, for a more comfortable driving feel in a wide range of situations.
?Efficiency improvements and weight reduction in the engine and transmission have helped boost fuel economy, while ECON mode supports even more economical operation.
?The spacious interior comfortably accommodates seven occupants, while the low overall height of 1,545mm*5 is compact enough to access most standard, multi-level parking facilities.
?Innovative construction beneath the second-row seats provides an extra 40mm*6 of legroom for third-row passengers. Additionally, thanks to changes in the shape of the second-row seats, an additional 20mm*6 of knee space for third-row passengers improves comfort significantly.
?The upper portion of the rear door opening has been expanded for easier access to third-row seating.
?The front pillars employ high-strength materials and high-precision manufacturing methods to achieve an approximately 30%*6 reduction in width along with extra reinforcement. This results in improved visibility during cornering while opening up a more refreshing, panoramic field of view.
?The seating positions of the left and right second-row passengers have each been moved 25mm*6 toward the center of the vehicle, creating a V-shaped layout for the first- to third-row seating positions. This allows all occupants to enjoy a clear forward view.
*5 FWD vehicle
*6 Honda calculations compared to the previous Odyssey
?The second-row seats feature a three-way split back that allows the left, right, and center seatbacks to be independently folded down, allowing a variety of seating arrangements with a single action.
?The third-row seats employ an under-floor storage mechanism to create a flat, easy to use luggage space.
?The tailgate has been made thinner and shaped to secure more luggage space than the previous model. The luggage space is even easier to use, with a flat floor and a flexible luggage board that extends all the way to the backs of the second-row seats when the third-row seats are stowed.
?Improved joint efficiency at the upper and lower front pillar ends and other innovations result in a frame construction with outstanding rigidity. Optimized front/rear rigidity balance and stronger joints throughout also contribute greater dynamic rigidity.
?Strong, lightweight, high-tensile steel has been effectively deployed along with a larger cross-sectional area to allow the use of thinner materials while ensuring efficient strengthening.
?Road and wind noise have been kept to an absolute minimum by reducing sources of noise and vibration while making the body and chassis more rigid throughout to effectively prevent the vibrations caused by engine and road noise from reaching the cabin. Damping and absorption materials are also strategically located to block out unwanted noise.
?The low center-of-gravity chassis combines nimble handling with a comfortable ride for all occupants.
?In the front, a double-wishbone suspension delivers outstanding straight-line stability and ride comfort.
?In the rear, the reactive-link, double-wishbone suspension achieves a compact design that significantly contributes to the low-floor platform.
?A more compact powertrain and innovative body design secure ample tire turning angle to achieve an outstanding, class-leading*7 minimum turning radius of 5.4m.
*7 Japanese "3-number" minivan category
Driver support functions
?Active Cruise Control (ACC) and the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) help alleviate the burden on the driver during highway driving. Availability varies depending on the type*8.
?All types come equipped standard with Motion Adaptive EPS, which works in concert with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) to provide steering assistance for more stable vehicle control.
?Camera images are displayed on the navigation screen to reduce blind spots around the vehicle and facilitate smoother parallel and garage parking, as well as enhancing feelings of safety and security when driving along narrow roads or approaching 3-way intersections where visibility is poor. The Multi-view Camera System is available as a factory option on all types.
*8 Standard equipment on the Li
?The vehicle's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body provides a higher level of protection to vehicle occupants while also helping to mitigate impact on the other vehicle in a collision.
?The vehicle is also designed to mitigate pedestrian injury in the event of a collision, particularly to the head and legs, thanks to the use of impact-absorbing structures.
?The Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) with E-Pretensioners (driver and front passenger seats) helps anticipate collisions and mitigate injuries and vehicle damage should an accident occur. Availability varies depending on the type*9.
?A side-curtain airbag system helps mitigate head injuries due to a side collision in all three rows. Availability varies depending on the type*9.
?ISO FIX-compatible child seat anchoring bars and tether anchors (left and right second-row seats) are standard on all types.
*9 Standard equipment on the Li
?All models are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as having emissions levels 75% lower than