• Jan 27th 2010 at 10:29AM
  • 33
2009 Honda SkyDeck Concept - click above for high-res image gallery

With apologies to Get Shorty and the 1995 Oldsmobile Sillhouette, the Honda Odyssey may well be the Cadillac of minivans. Honda's big, luxurious people hauler has been the hottest-selling minivan in the U.S. over the past two years, besting Chrysler and Toyota for the minivan sales title. With the success of the Odyssey over the past couple of years, it's almost hard to believe that Honda is already looking forward to a redesign, but the present model has been on the market since 2005 with only nominal tweaking, and there's a bold new Sienna to contend with from its crosstown rivals, too.

To that end, Honda has announced that they will unveil a new concept version of the Honda Odyssey at next month's Chicago Auto Show, showing what the engineering-focused company's fourth-generation minivan will look like. Honda 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."

We may have already seen the first indication of 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 with a pie-in-the-sky interior, Lamborghini-style front doors and what is fast becoming standard-issue for concept vehicles, a hybrid drivetrain. Strip down the concept-ness and we're thinking the SkyDeck would make a very attractive Odyssey. However, we expect the Chicago showcar to significantly more toned-down than the JDM concept, and it will likely be a 'concept' in name only. Hit the jump to read Honda's very brief press release.



[Source: Honda]


PRESS RELEASE:

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will debut a concept version of the next-generation Honda Odyssey minivan at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show on February 10, the company announced today.

The next-generation Odyssey will further enhance its hallmark qualities of innovation, quality, safety and fun-to-drive character, while increasing its overall efficiency. The Odyssey, currently in its third generation, was the best-selling minivan in the United States in 2008 and 2009. It is produced from domestic and globally sourced parts by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC in Lincoln, Alabama.


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  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like that really old version of the Honda Odyssey that Isuzu made for them, with an Audi grill and headlights and big wheels.

      What the hell is happening to Honda?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That Isuzu made for them?? Boy do you have it backwards! Isuzu made the Passport and the Acura SLX, in turn, Honda made the 1st gen Odyssey off the Accord platform and Isuzu put their badges on it, one of which I own. This does look like a modern version of that model and its successors that we don't get. But don't expect the new US Odyssey to be anything like this as this car will not fulfill the needs and wants of the Odyssey buyer. I know several Ody owners (current model) and they are not interested in smaller sleeker transport for their families, regardless of how cool it looks. They like the space and amenities of the current model and there is no way Honda will turn away from them.

        Form follows function in a minivan, and that form dictates a big box with a snout in front. You might as well argue that your monitor would look way cooler as a triangle. So you can play with the details but the basic proportions are set in stone. And frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way. For a family trip across country, nothing beats a minivan. Not an S-Class, not an Escalade, not anything.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So it looks like the new CRZ is going to be the new design language for Honda, shame because I feel hondas at the moment are more attractive than the acura offerings.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Am I the only person that wishes minivans didn't exist anymore? :-/
      • 5 Years Ago
      I prefer the original gullwing concept.

      http://www.samochodyswiata.pl/viewtopic.php?t=4238
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is, to my eyes the only attractive Honda in either concept or production form in ages. I especially like the black roof that harks back to the original NSX. The wheels-to-corners stance is powerful too, and a far cry better than the overhang-heavy Crosstour or CR-Z.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So they go from ugly truck front ends, to the look of an angry Walrus?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I like it. This will make soccer mom look much cooler.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's clearly better than the Crosstour.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, the grille is a bit off-putting.

        But other than that, the pictured vehicle looks quite good for it's form factor/body style.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if they fixed the current Odyssey transmission problems.
      The rear visibility is an improvement. The Jetson style is unique.
      Can they (will they) sell it for a family frendly price?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would love to see that SkyDeck become the next USDM Odyssey. I have a feeling the SkyDeck concept will remain just that (a concept), as it would be too radical to turn the USDM Odyssey back to its original low-slung wagon-y design; also, the current JDM Odyssey has only been on sale for about a year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is a people-mover that might be actually decent to also drive.

      The jack-knife and sliding door combination is brilliant for parking lot access.

      It is low, sleek, and looks good.

      Who says that someone with a family has to drive a vehicle with the aerodynamics of a cinder block, and the ground clearance of a rock-crawler.

      More low sleek cars, please. From 2-doors to this 5-door 7 passenger vehicle...

        • 5 Years Ago
        Gemtrader...

        A minivan's front two doors still swing open, like most other cars and trucks.

        This concept has vertical front doors (lambo-style jack-knife doors), and sliding rear doors.

        The width of this vehicle is almost unchanged with ALL the side doors open or closed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Indeed. "Concern" is an understatement when you come out to your car in a parking lot, only to see a family of five starting to load into their minivan, parked conveniently and too closely next to your car...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. Decreased door dings on both your car and your neighbor's in the parking stall next to you. Lower center of gravity for safer handling (it is your children after all, no compromises). Better aerodynamics for cheaper cruising--a little saved cash for college and less foreign fuel and entanglements , with all the benefits that derive from that last statement.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "and there's a bold new Sienna to contend with from its crosstown rivals, too"

      Your definition of bold confounds me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I, too, find the new Toyotas ugly to a disturbing degree.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the new Odyssey looks like the SkyDeck, I'll never again fear reaching the age of needing a minivan.
      • 5 Years Ago

      The design doesn't bother me as much as it's lack of originality. Will every future car end up adopting the same tear-drop shape?

      Geese, I hope not.
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