Honda developing new hybrid system for large cars like Odyssey, Pilot

Honda is making strides towards developing hybrid systems for use in larger cars, according to the company”s head of automobile research and development. “We’ve left the research stage and entered the field of development,” Tomohiko Kawanabe, chief operating officer of automobile r&d at Japan’s No.2 automaker.

Right now, Honda”s hybrid system is based off of a single motor which limits the size of the vehicles it can move, unlike the Prius, which is able to move heavier vehicles by virtue of its two-motor system. Honda had previously abandoned their diesel based strategy to improve fuel-economy in 2008, and is focusing on a hybrid system capable of powering larger vehicles like the Odyssey and Pilot.

An exact ETA on the new technology could not be obtained, but Kawanabe said that we can expect roughly the same three-year time frame that it takes to develop a standard vehicle. A diesel engine is still in the works for the Indian and European markets, where a diesel offering is almost a prerequisite for competition.

2011 Honda Odyssey Concept:

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)