It looks virtually the same as the conventionally-powered Odyssey, but it uses a proprietary Sport Hybrid i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) system which makes its debut on a minivan. Honda mentions the 26 km/L (61.1 mpg US or 3.8 liters / 100 km) fuel economy achieved in the local JC08 test cycle is the best result in its class and this was possible by developing a new motor benefitting from a bespoke winding method and structure.
The electric motor is around 23% smaller and lighter than the previous unit and at the same time it manages to deliver more power and torque. Honda’s engineers have mounted the lithium-ion battery pack underneath the floor of the front seats, so the cabin room is not affected by the added hardware. While the regular Odyssey has a 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine linked to a continuously variable transmission, the hybrid model uses a 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine teamed up with the aforementioned i-MMD system.
Depending on trim, the Odyssey and its hybrid sibling can host seven or eight people inside the cabin. The conventionally-powered MPV now comes with a bigger armrest for the driver’s seat and a revised climate control system with Sharp’s Plasmacluster technology. All versions can now be fitted with Honda’s suite of SENSING safety and assistance systems which are standard on a new trim added to the gasoline model.
In terms of pricing, the 2016 Honda Odyssey JDM begins at 2,760,000 yen ($23,650) and goes all the way up to 4,056,000 yen ($34,755) for the hybrid in the highest trim and with the SENSING pack.
As a final note, we should remind you that Honda has commenced testing for an all-new model which could be unveiled by the end of this year or early 2017.