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First Oz look: Odyssey a sporting chance

Sports of sorts: The new Odyssey is not a people mover, says Honda.

Honda's new Odyssey set to debut here as a sporty family solution

2 Mar 2004

HONDA Australia will try to sell the new generation Odyssey based on its sporting capabilities rather than its people moving capacity.

The Odyssey, which goes on sale here mid-2004, made its Australian debut last Friday at the Melbourne motor show.

It is unusual among people-movers because it has dropped in height and centre of gravity for the latest generation, being 80mm lower than today’s model.

The new car will also be available only as a 118kW 2.4-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder and with seven seats. The current generation is also offered as a six-seater and with a V6 engine.

15 center image Inside the cabin, the Odyssey has a futuristic dash layout, with blue illumination. The Odyssey’s third row of seats folds into the floor, creating a flat cargo space.

It is understood Honda Australia is aiming to introduce the car with pricing unchanged compared to the current 2.3-litre 110kW four-cylinder, which retails for $45,990.

The new Odyssey has proved a spectacular success in Japan, even outselling Honda’s popular compact car, the Fit (Jazz here).

“I think the image of Odyssey is changing from people-mover to sports wagon,” said Honda Australia director Lindsay Smalley.

“We expect to sell around 200 per month but if the car is adopted more into the sports wagon market concept away from people-movers, then I think it has much more potential.” Overall, Honda Australia expects to sell 33,000 cars in 2004, which would be a new record.

Mr Smalley said that growth would be driven by a full year of the Accord range and the MDX soft-roader, the just-launched Civic hybrd, the facelifted 2004 Civic which comes in March, the arrival of Odyssey mid-year and significant updates to Jazz, CR-V and Integra in the last quarter.

* Honda also showed the 2004 S2000 at Melbourne. The hard-core sports convertible features a revised stability control system, anti-lock brakes, suspension and restyled front and rear bumpers, centre console and door linings. Pricing remains unchanged at $74,590.

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