The minivan is to car enthusiasts what kryptonite is to Superman; a soul crushing, people hauling, unexciting excuse for an automobile. Every man dreads the day that they have to park one in their driveway. But the practicality of a large box on wheels can’t be argued and hence is the reason there are so many on the road. It’s just such a shame that they aren’t more fun to drive.
As with all things cool, the Japanese have yet again beat us to the punch and found a formula that makes their minivans look and drive much sportier than our American flavors. Take the 2000-era Honda Odyssey, which came with a 200hp i-VTEC K24A4 engine. In stock form, the JDM Odyssey is a sleek and stylish van that I wouldn’t hesitate putting in my garage.
Now imagine if someone told you they were going to convert their baby hauler into a time attack machine. Loud obnoxious laughing would usually ensue. One man has taken it seriously though and his name is Takero-san, the owner of this insanely awesome and legitimate circuit ready Honda Odyssey.
There’s not much left in terms of creature comforts (or bench seats) inside the Odyssey, it’s been stripped bare minus one of the stock rear seats which I only assume is used for ride alongs.
You wouldn’t normally find a Pivot tachometer with shiftlight and a Blitz SBC boost controller mounted on the dash of a minivan but it’s all in the name of fast lap times.
The engine bay is equally as impressive as the exterior with an HKS GT2530 turbocharger and intercooler aiding in power delivery.
But wait, what’s that lurking in between the two front seats? A funny bottle of some sorts possibly filled with some go-fast gas. With the turbo churning out a healthy 7psi and the nitrous adding another 70hp the engine turns out a respectable output of 330hp.
The aero kit on this van is all custom one-off parts that Takero-san built himself including the gorgeous rear carbon diffuser.
Even though the graphics package is very fitting for the van, I can’t help but wonder what it would look like sans decals. Perhaps, a street version of this vehicle exists?
With Takero-san behind the wheel of the Odyssey, it has turned many respectable 1:10sec lap times at Tsukuba, which when you consider the vehicle is quite a feat indeed!
- Peter Tarach