A Honda Odyssey with the hybrid powertrain from the Acura MDX may be on the way to rival the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
Speaking to Wards, Honda Americas Research and Development boss Tom Sladek revealed the automaker is looking at hybridizing its Odyssey minivan. He hinted at the powertrain from the MDX Sport Hybrid being used, which consists of a 257 horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine, a rear transaxle mounted 47 horsepower electric motor and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The engine and electric motor combo would be likely be down tuned for use in the Odyssey to boost efficiency, however.
“We just released the hybrid (Acura) MDX so that powertrain could be considered in the future, although we can’t comment on particular plans,” Sladek told Wards.
“The electrification initiative is definitely coming, but on which products and which timing is not 100% clear yet,” he added.
For now, the Pacifica Hybrid remains the only hybrid minivan on the market. Chrysler has the advantage of being first to the party, but Honda may also have a one-up. As we mentioned above, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s electric motor is rear transaxle mounted, which means if the powertrain were to end up in an ‘Odyssey Hybrid’, the minivan would be all-wheel drive. Judging by the comments in our report that Chrysler won’t offer all-wheel drive in the Pacifica, this could actually be a large advantage for Honda.
We’re sure Chrysler is keeping a close eye on the situation.