Some concept vehicles are more production-viable than others and Honda's new Odyssey Minivan Concept looks like just about all it needs to hit the streets is a set of license plates. That's a good thing. It's slated to hit showrooms this fall.
A full inch lower than the current production Odyssey and 1.4-inches wider, the Odyssey concept is clearly aimed at attracting new buyers with sleeker, sportier styling. A steeply-raked windshield, "lightning-bolt" beltline, and tapered rear roof line all help to rework the popular people-mover for the new decade. Projector beam headlights and LED taillights fall in line with current design trends and Honda's larger chrome grille is found front and center. The Odyssey Concept's more aerodynamic look is also said to be functional, with a lower drag coefficient to help increase fuel economy.
Speaking of fuel economy, the production 2011 Honda Odyssey is expected to achieve 19 city/28 highway mpg on certain versions. Does that mean the Odyssey will receive a four-cylinder engine option a la 2011 Toyota Sienna that just hit showrooms? Most likely. The '11 Sienna is the new minivan to beat in the revitalized segment, and is capable of 19 city/26 highway, which according to Honda, the Odyssey narrowly beats.
So what will change from this thinly-veiled concept when the 2011 Odyssey arrives in the flesh? Well, those diminutive boy-racer mirrors won't make the cut and we're skeptical of those aggressively-styled rocker panels. The interior won't be quite as flashy as the design sketches suggest, and we're also not sure if Honda will be able to integrate such flush-mounted door handles. But generally speaking, at least from the exterior, what you see is pretty much what you'll get.