The norm of our minicars articles is to report breaking news on miniaturized JNCs. Today, however, we’re telling you about a new Hot Wheels, um, minivan. Worry not, it’s a Honda! Not good enough? Read on, you’ll like it.
At first glance, this appears to be merely an Odyssey on steroids in true Hot Wheels style: Carbon fiber front splitter, racy black wheels, and some decals and numbers. However, keen JNC readers, especially Honda heads, may find something familiar in the looks — those red and blue stripes, the number on the door, and the “turbo” script on its flanks. How about those side-facing scoops on the hood? These are not arbitrary; they’re a clear nod to the racing Honda City Turbo straight out of the 1980s.
As we profiled before, the original “Tall Boy Design” Honda City was a hugely popular hatchback in its day. In a stroke of genius, Hirotoshi Honda — Soichiro’s son and head honcho of Mugen — put a turbo on it, and a quirky legend was born. A high performance hot hatch iconic of 80s Japan, the City Turbo spawned a one-make race series. The Hot Wheels Odyssey, a Jun Imai’s creation based on his own 2016 Odyssey family hauler, pays creative and cheeky homage to the early version of this “Hyper Turbo” racer.
It gets slightly more meta next. In 1983, Tamiya released a 1:10 scale radio control model of the racing City Turbo dubbed “Willy’s Wheeler.” The comical, super deformed, wheelie-popping model actually faithfully recreated key elements and details of the City Turbo racer’s look. Curiously, the new Odyssey wears the same number 4 on the door as Willy’s Wheeler.
Clearly the new Hot Wheels contains quite a few easter eggs for Honda otaku. When you see it on the pegs, may you see visions of Honda and Mugen heritage. And if you have a full-size white Odyssey, it just may inspire you to do awesome things.
Images: Mattel, Honda, Tamiya