Special Coverage

Chicago Auto Show

American Honda Motor Co. Inc. says some versions of the next-generation Odyssey minivan will achieve 19/28 mpg (12.4-8.4 L/100 km) city/highway, giving it best-in-class fuel economy.

The new ’11 Toyota Sienna achieves 26 mpg (9.0 L/100 km) highway in front-wheel-drive models with a 2.7L 4-cyl. engine.

Honda releases no engine data regarding the concept or production Odyssey, but an insider says the minivan’s standard engine will be a V-6.

The current Odyssey’s i-VTEC 3.5L V-6 produces 244 hp and 240-245 lb.-ft. (325-332 Nm) of torque. The higher torque figure is for EX-L and Touring grades, whose V-6s have fuel-sipping cylinder-deactivation technology.

Dubbed Variable Cylinder Management, the technology allows the engine to operate in 3-cyl., 4-cyl. or 6-cyl. mode, depending on driving conditions.

The ’10 Odyssey with VCM achieves 17/25 mpg (13.8-9.4 L/100 km) city/highway.

Honda unveils a concept version of the upcoming ’11 Odyssey today at the 2010 Chicago auto show. The production version going on sale in the U.S. this fall is expected to possess “more style and personality,” Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning-American Honda, says in a statement.

The Odyssey has been the best-selling minivan nameplate in the U.S. for two years, with 100,133 units sold in 2009, Ward’s data shows.

The concept of the new Odyssey is 1 in. (2.5 cm) lower at the roofline and 1.4 ins. (3.6 cm) wider than its predecessor. The revised dimensions give the vehicle a “sleeker, stronger and more dynamic presence, with improved aerodynamics that help increase fuel economy,” Honda says.

The concept is 202.8 ins. (515.1 cm) long, 78.5 ins. (199.4 cm) wide and 68.3 ins. (173.5 cm) tall, with a wheelbase of 118.1 ins. (300 cm).

The current ’10 Odyssey has the same wheelbase but is slightly shorter overall and taller.

Other concept design cues include steeply raked A-pillars, a chamfered roofline, tapered rear cabin and “lightning bolt” beltline, which partly serves to enhance visibility for occupants in the third row, Honda says.

The auto maker releases no details of interior features.

The ’10 Odyssey features Honda’s third-row Magic Seat, which stows in the floor.

Honda says the ’11 Odyssey was developed in the U.S. at its Raymond, OH, and Torrance, CA, R&D Americas facilities. The minivan is built in Lincoln, AL.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com