When Honda pulled the wraps off of its Odyssey Concept at this year's Chicago Auto Show, we knew it was just a few small tweaks away from being production-ready. Well, four months later, the official details and images have been released, and while the 2011 Odyssey doesn't go a long way in offering fantastic new innovations for the minivan segment, it packages the whole thing together in what might be the best-looking minivan we have yet to see.
The 2011 Odyssey is lower and wider than the outgoing model, and features what Honda is calling a "lightning bolt" beltline, a feature that was present on the concept van that we saw in Chicago. We aren't sure if we're in love with that quirky design element, but one thing's for sure, you won't see the origami fold and stepped greenhouse on any other minivan in the shopping mall parking lot. Other new features for the 2011 model year include available HID headlamps up front, new 18-inch alloy wheels, larger 12.6-inch ventilated front disc brakes, revised side mirrors and a power tailgate. Honda has yet to release full performance specs, but we do know that there's a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 under the hood, and early estimates state that the top-trim Odyssey Touring Elite should achieve 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg(!) on the highway.
Inside, Honda has made the most of the Odyssey's extra width, offering an additional inch of shoulder room in the front row. What's most interesting, though, are the three second-row seat configurations, including an all-new wide mode which allows the two side captains chairs to be pulled away from the center seat, meaning three child car seats can fit all across one row. Again, the Odyssey hasn't really done anything innovative with its interior packaging, but new features like a chilled cool box in the front center console, HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) input, 16.2-inch widescreen entertainment system, 15 upholders and a trash bag holder (yep!) will make the cabin more attractive to consumers who need one heck of an all-around family hauler.
We'll have more details on the Odyssey's underpinnings in the future, but for now, hit the jump to not only read Honda's press release, but to see videos of the new Odyssey in action. A full gallery of high-res images is yours for the clicking below.