What is it?
This is Honda’s vision for the (near) future – the Urban EV Concept. If you listen to the journalist at the show it looks like everything from a Peugeot 205 to a first-generation Volkswagen Golf, with a touch of Rolls-Royce Phantom in between (actually that last bit is made up).
At any rate, the car’s designers have taken inspiration from the first-generation Honda Civic for their new electric city car concept.
It does smart charging, has some lovely grey fabric and wood accents decking out the interior…but what we’re really interested in is the display between the headlights. It can display charging status, greetings or messages for other drivers on the road. Honda probably wouldn’t programme in the ones we’d want to use…
When will it be on the road?
Honda president Takahiro Hachigo made pains to point out that this concept car isn’t some far-off vision of the future, but will be hitting the road soon. In fact, Honda aims to have a production version of this car on sale by 2019.
What does it mean for the future?
It’s the little touches – Honda’s put the rear seatbelts in the middle of the bench so that passengers don’t get tangled up when they leave the car. The front pillars have been slimmed for extra visibility and Honda has put lots of effort into making the cabin a nice place to be in. Forget the rest of the car, if the Japanese manufacturer can get some of this kind of thinking into its 2019 city car the world will be a happier place.
More practically for Honda, this concept car is built on its new EV platform, which will underpin a whole series of future electric models.