Honda has revealed something of its redesigned 2011 Odyssey minivan range for North America saying it would “redefine the concept of the minivan with its aggressive stance and sporty ‘lightning-bolt’ beltline. The lightning bolt not only provides an exclusive appearance, but also adds increased visibility for third-row passengers.”

New interior features include optional high-definition connectivity and split-screen viewing. The 2011 model, on sale next auyumn, is 1.6 inches lower than its 2010 predecessor with 1.4-inch wider track.

Engine options will include a 3.5-litre i-VTEC V6 petrol engine with three-mode variable cylinder management and preliminary estimated ‘official’ EPA’ fuel economy, for the Touring Elite version is 19 city/28 highway miles per gallon.

As common with today’s drip-feed new model announcements, that’s it for now but expect more detail soon, including I4 engines.

The Odyssey continuously rates highly, ahead of many domestic and foreign competitors, in US consumer writers’ reviews. “Both the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey have been winners in our previous Inside Line minivan comparison tests,” said the Edmunds.com website in a recent comparison test between the also fully redesigned 2011 Toyota and outgoing 2010 Honda. “The current-generation Odyssey has prevailed in these comparisons for more than three years,” it added, giving the nod to the newer Sienna this time. Expect a rematch soon.

US correspondent and independent analyst Bill Cawthon adds: Depending on what you call a minivan (ie, Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, Mazda 5, VW Routan), Honda’s piece of the pie, Jan-May, was 22.5%.

Segment sales are up, but by about 4.4% from 184,403 this time last year to 192,519 for the first five months of this year. YTD, Chrysler is number one in segment, followed by Honda, Dodge, Toyota.

Minivan sales are up 9.22%, Honda’s share is 21.5%. The top four ranking is still the same as last year: Honda at the top, followed by Chrysler, Dodge, Toyota. Total sales to date: 201,398, last year 184,403. Honda total is 43,296.