: Honda's new JDM 8-pass minivan, the Elysion *LOTS OF PICS*
05-16-2004, 10:26 PM
If this is a bit jumbled please excuse me. It's 10:30PM, I just finished a 4 page essay due tomorrow and frankly it's been a long weekend. I'm just learning a lot of this myself and passing it on :)
The production model stays surprisingly close to the concept ASM back a few months ago. However, I don't think this will be the new USDM Odyssey for a couple of reasons. One reason is that a person in Japan talked to his local dealer and the dealer said it will not be the new USDM Odyssey, but may possibly come to the USA as a completely separate model. The other reason will be revealed later.
The van is very big and versatile, with 8 passenger flexible seating. It offers a choice of a 160PS 2.4L I4 for a 250PS 3.0L V6. Both engines will be employing i-VTEC technology, and can be mated to a FWD platform or a 4WD system. Both engines have also received an SULEV rating from the Japanese government. All models are connected to the 5-speed automatic. It HAS the Variable Cylinder Managament system. It's overall length is roughly 190 inches (Odyssey currently is 201.2), and the wheelbase is about 114 inches.
Other innovations include swiveling headlamps (like the RX330), Vehicle Stability Assist and an accident sensing system. Appears to use some sort of distance monitoring to show when the vehicle is headed for an object, and pre-tensions the seat belts when it senses imminent danger. Found out the system also applies brakes if it senses danger, and will assist the driver in an emergency braking situation. It uses audible and physical warnings (tensions the seat belt lightly at first) to warn the driver. If all else fails, there is side-curtain airbag protection for all three rows, optional on EVERY trim level. There is already a full list of accessories available, which is the norm for a Japanese vehicle intro. It has a power rear liftgate to compliment the dual power sliding doors.
By current exchange rates, it appears that a 2.4L FWD base model will run about $24,000, and a fully loaded 3.0L FWD model with every option is running about $44,000 :eek: :eek: Interestingly enough, the 3.0L FWD is more expensive that the 3.0L 4WD, because the FWD offers a higher trim level which is not available on the 4WD. The top level 4WD model with a 3.0L will run about $42,000. 4WD adds about $1700-$2500 depending on trim level.
Pictures are going to change with time since I linked them directly from Honda, so the descriptions might be off:
Front, looks a lot like the current Mazda MPV if you ask me.
Rear, note the high mounted rear lights and the reflectors at the bottom, slightly reminiscent of the RX330 and current Odyssey/Sienna.
Interior, has some interesting configurations but note NO FOLDING SEATS. Could you sell a minivan like that in the USA, now that Chrysler has folding seats? Doubt it. Strike two against it coming to the USA as the Odyssey.
Dash, rich wood with innovative instrument cluster, basically the same as the JDM Odyssey. Apparently, the wood is fake. What else is new, at least it looks really nice. Also note the i-Drive style controller at front and center in some of the pics without navi
05-17-2004, 06:56 AM
I'll admit, I'm NOT a van person.... I don't mind the outside, but I don't like the seats not disappearing. It's a well used feature in the Pilot. The idea of the middle seats turning around could be a plus......but I can imagine the 8 year olds having bruised chins from kicking each other!!:bawling:
05-17-2004, 05:15 PM
The middle seats turning around has long been a feature of many Asian market minivans. It allows people to turn around for card playing, etc. It always allows some stowage of luggage so that you can sit more comfortably :)
05-17-2004, 05:29 PM
I knew others had it....but with the way Honda tries to "stupid proof" I'm surprised they do!
Can't you just picture the kids kicking each other? That "something to do" factor. I know one 5 year that would definately love it just to kick his brothers. He loves his brothers, but pestering is SO FUN!!:D
Our boat seats lay down like that. It's now comfy! Napping.....I mean fishing..... with the way the seats aren't flat gets nasty on the ol' bod! OUCH!!:eek:
05-17-2004, 08:35 PM
What I really took notice to was the huge lack of space behind the rear seats for luggage. It seems like there's nothing back there.
05-26-2004, 09:00 PM
I saw the specs somewhere else that the Elysion is only 72" in width, far less than the Ody (77") and more tuned to JDM and Euro markets. I think it will do well over there in this format.
Over here I think that the upcoming Acura RDX will likely be based on this platform similar to the way the Pilot & MDX were based on the Odyssey.
With their intentions of switching all models to the ACE (advanced compatible engineering) platforms they couldn't introduce a new smaller luxury truck based on the current CRV.
Also to remain smaller and less expensive than the MDX it uses (similar to Elysion layout) the smaller engines (2.4 4cyl and 3.0V6) instead of the 3.5V6 used for the Pilot & Ody. Plus the Elysion optionally uses a revised Realtime 4WD instead of VTM4 also a cost saving measure.
Keep in mind I'm not saying it will look like the Elysion but I'm guessing it will share a platform with it. I'm looking forward to the RDX to be the small truck version of the TSX.
05-26-2004, 09:16 PM
I'm thinking that if they bring the Elysion platform over they're not going to be doing anything big. Perhaps it might be the CR-V's luxurious and slightly bigger brother for Acura, but not much else. They can't do much because the rear seat doesn't fold, and in today's market that's a huge liability. If they do built anything with 3 rows that don't fold, I'll be shocked and Honda will kick itself IMHO :)
05-27-2004, 06:05 AM
I think if they just dolled up a CRV it would sell as all Hondas do BUT it would get played down as a rebadged CRV by the press and that wouldn't enhance the Acura nameplate.
I disagree in that I don't think it needs or will have a third row. Those who need that can buy the MDX or Pilot. The RDX will be too small for a third row and will compete with the X3, FX35, Land Rover Discovery and Jeep Grand Cherokee in terms of interior size. It will of course offer less options and better MPG hopefully with a rumored hybrid option.
05-27-2004, 04:05 PM
I agree it doesn't need a third row, I was saying that if it did have 3 rows, I would be shocked if they didn't fold. Also the MDX is pretty similar to the Pilot and Odyssey but surely that has enhanced the Acura image, along with the TL.
05-27-2004, 04:28 PM
Point well taken. Honda only has so many platforms to work from and they do a great job of differentiating two or three similar sized vehicles from each platform. The size of th CRV is great in terms of passenger room, cargo utility and exterior dimensions so if the RDX was similar but an upgrade it would work.
I think the key mechanical upgrade would be a V6 option or as rumored a hybrid for more power than available from the 2.4L 4cyl. Perhaps a return to front wishbone suspension?
Inside the interior would need to remain versatile yet step up a grade or two to match the feel and amenities offered in the Accord EX or Acura TSX. Perforated leather seems to be Acura's new standard.
Additionally it was rumored that all Honda trucks would offer VSA, ABS and side curtains so thankfully that's a given.
05-27-2004, 04:35 PM
I think if they make something like that they should stick the TSX motor in, it's a pretty sweet deal. I don't think they're going back to the double wishbone though, unless they really felt bad about all the criticism. Remember not all Honda buyers care so much about handling and even those who did probably can't tell that big a difference since they'd have swapped out the suspension anyway. So I think Honda will stay with the McPherson strut. And I don't know if it will have leather. Even the $36,000 ML350 doesn't come standard with leather.
05-27-2004, 05:20 PM
I get your point with the front suspension but think the perforated leather interior will happen just to help differentiate it for the CRV at least in the beginning. They did that for the TSX even though the RSX has both cloth and leather and first year they will only offer a limited production (12000-15000) until demand heats up.
Based on the sketches offered by MotorTrend it will be interesting to see it come out. The sketch seems to have a similar A pillar to the Elysion.
Getting back to the Elysion do you think Acura needs a Minivan and specifically this minivan? Would it be better as Honda's 2nd minivan. Obviously I do not feel this will be the new Odyssey.
05-27-2004, 05:25 PM
An Acura minivan would be a hard sell because the Odyssey is already so loaded with features and value. If you had an Acura minivan, you'd really need to go upscale and into untested waters. Could you imagine a $40K-$60K uber-van with everything, even more than the Sienna? I mean we're talking about 6-7 seats, all heated and cooled with massage, power recline, etc etc. It would have to be crazy innovative to make it sell. Then again, who ever though Porsche would build an SUV?
Also those MT sketches look reallllly dead on. I don't know if they had inside info or what but in August 2003 the Elysion wasn't out yet. Look at the wheels though, they're a dead ringer for what's currently on the Elysion, and the nose is pretty Acura.
05-28-2004, 12:07 PM
I think the 'uber-van' idea has already been tried by Chrysler with the Pacifica. That has tried to be an upscale alternative and pretty much has had to define it's own niche (somewhat unsuccessfully - thanks in part to Celine Dion).
I don't feel an Acura minivan is feasible. I agree that the market doesn't exist and the Odyssey, Sienna, and Town and Country are upscale enough.
With the Elysion being bigger than the CRV (almost 2" wider, 12" longer in length and wheelbase) do you think we can expect a substantial increase in size for the CRV, RDX or both?
Certainly the 2" increase in width will benefit stability and interior utility without moving it to close in competition with the Pilot which would still be 5" wider.
But as far as length goes I don't think they will stretch it much further tan 4-5" as the CRV is a nice size at 178" long and already has plenty of legroom front and back.
05-28-2004, 06:29 PM
I don't think they're going to stretch the CR-V anymore than it is now. As far as SUV's go, they seem to be set in stone in terms of classes. The compact SUV's (CRV, RAV4, even the ML350, BMW X5) seem to hover around the 180-190 inch range. Then the next step up would be the 3 row SUV's, including Tahoes, Expeditions, Pilots, etc. These are about 200 inches. The next one up I see is the Suburban and Excursion, around 230-240 inches IIRC. To move the CR-V upscale, Honda would need to push the Pilot a bit bigger. I don't think that's feasible, since the Pilot is based on the Odyssey which is based on the Accord, so it's stretching a streched chassis....not the best idea. Remember, minivans are big empty boxes and they aren't that strong, so Honda wouldn't want to make a big, flexible box that would provoke rattles and loose trim.
Regarding the uber-mini idea, I think the Sienna and Town and Country already have been there. I mean we're talking about automated cruise control, heated leather, Navi, DVD, all sorts of neato stuff. This is the stuff that's in the LS430, and even then it's an option, so to move upscale even more you're nudging into S600 and 760Li class, which is really scary. As far as I'm concerned, the Pacifica is just a car for the regular Joe, it doesn't impress me with the features, styling, or innovation :) My 3 cheers for the most technologically innovative minivan/SUV would go to the Sienna, though I doubt I'd buy one.
05-28-2004, 08:27 PM
Looks like a VW Van.
05-28-2004, 08:27 PM
From the back at least.
05-29-2004, 06:00 AM
Benji, I only said Chrysler tried with the Pacifica, I don't think the succeeded either in terms of luxury, appeal and definitely not performance. The reviews I've seen say its underpowered or overweight.
Sienna does seem to have the crown for now but the 2005 Ody will beat it.
I still think the CRV will grow to 2" to 72" wide and about 4" to 182" in length. The pilot is 77" wide and 188" length and I think that will grow as well in the next redesign as the 3rd row is tight.
But I'm still not convinced the CRV and RDX will have the same platform? The CRV has always been Civic based and from the start the RDX has been rumored to be Accord based which perhaps the Elysion is as well?
Perhaps the RDX will end up being an in between model like the TSX in terms of size (between the civic and Accord). Larger and upscale from the CRV yet smaller than the MDX. If it does it would compete head to head with the Lexus RX330 which is a huge success for them.
05-29-2004, 06:09 AM
I haven't looked at the pictures in a few days, there is a bit of VW van in it from the back!
I don't like the taillights - too small - but the high mount running all the way across is an interesting touch. I like the front headlights and hood but the bumper seems too much like a scoop, like its vacuuming the road as you drive.
And is that an 'I-drive' control in the dashboard?? Please say it isn't. Honda/Acura is already getting too close to that madness with the controls in the RL. Systems like that (BMW, Mercedes) have gotten polarizing reviews either they love it or hate it and MOST hate it. Sometimes more controls can make it simpler and Honda has always had the best ergonomics.
05-29-2004, 07:36 AM
I don't like the back at all but that seems to be the trend - longer and thinner lights. The front I think is really well executed except for the grill, but I think they have a reason for that. While I was browsing through the OEM accessories I noticed a sort of blackout grill and I thought it was really nice, so I was thinking maybe that was their motivation to not make the stock grill that great. Dunno, that's kind of self sabotage isn't it? :D
As for that i-Drive looking thing I'd say it is actually is the real thing. I don't know of anything else it would be useful for, and there's not really a whole lot of buttons on the dash nor do I see a real radio. I don't think that we'll be seeing that anytime soon here, because Japan is basically used as a test ground for technology. Manufacturers over in Japan are much more aggressive because Japanese love technology and will pay oodles for it. For instance, in Japan, Toyota has cars that have DVD/Navi/MP3/Voice controls for under $15,000. You can even go on a payment/lease plan that bills you based on mileage. Yet you look at Toyota's USA lineup and you see the Camry, Avalon, Corolla...which they do have in Japan but they're also supplemented by other much more radical models.