BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Honda is adding an upscale Touring model to its Odyssey lineup to attract empty nesters to the minivan.
Thomas Elliott, executive vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co. Inc., says empty nesters - adults whose grown children have left home - account for 40 percent of Odyssey sales.
"We've reset our targets for a new generation of minivan buyers," Elliott said at a press event here last month.
The Touring model emerged from a redesign of the 2005 Odyssey, which goes on sale Sept. 22 and has more power, safety features and interior room than its predecessor.
"We developed the new Odyssey to reflect the changing values of Gen X and Gen Y families while still reaching out to (baby) boomers," Elliott says. The redesigned Odyssey has a base 3.5-liter V-6 engine mated with a five-speed automatic transmission. It produces 255 hp, 15 more than its predecessor, and the highest horsepower of any minivan on the market.
Its 250 pounds-feet of torque is more than the 2004 model. That is the highest torque of any major competitor in the minivan market.
The Odyssey is the only minivan that offers cylinder deactivation. The fuel-saving feature automatically switches between 6-cylinder and 3-cylinder combustion, depending on driving conditions.