Gone are the days when Chinese cars were the laughingstock of the automotive industry. Not only has quality massively improved in recent years but so have the designs. It took them long enough to stop copying global models and come up with something that doesn't look like a rehash. However, Honda reckons there's still room for improvement.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Honda's e-mobility design division creative director and general manager was brutally honest. Speaking about electric saloons, Daisuke Tsutamori said: "In China, you have seen a lot of further refinement of that kind of styling. But it is very superficial. Refined but superficial. Honda wanted to come up with something that was simpler, more essential."

2024 Honda Saloon EV Concept

He was referring to this edgy EV we saw at the beginning of the year at the Consumer Electronics Show. The wedge-shaped concept unimaginatively dubbed "Saloon" will spawn a production version due in North America in 2026. According to Tsutamori, the CES showcar from Las Vegas has the "wow factor" with its sleek shape.

Although a concept, the subsequent road-going model will retain 90 per cent of the styling, according to a statement made by designer Toshinobu Minami in an interview with Autocar. Predictably, the spectacular gullwing doors are not going to make the cut, but that front screen might survive.

2024 Honda Saloon EV Concept

2024 Honda Saloon Concept

2003 Honda Kiwami Concept

2003 Honda Kiwami Concept

If the Honda Saloon looks a bit familiar, it's because the Kiwami had a similar silhouette. That's not to say the two are related since the other concept is more than 20 years old, having debuted at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show. Tsutamori admitted that iconic designer Marcello Gandini served as a source of inspiration. The Turin-born automotive designer has penned one of the most beautiful cars ever, the timeless Lamborghini Miura. He also worked on the Countach, Diablo, and Lancia Stratos along with more attainable cars such as the BMW 5 Series (E12), Fiat X1/9, and the original Volkswagen Polo.

Speaking about Marcello Gandini, Tsutamori told ANE that "I love and respect him, but we wanted to reflect Honda values in a new way." This Saloon concept foretells a production model sitting on a dedicated electric platform that'll underpin the "0 Series" lineup of EVs. The low-slung saloon will act as the flagship model and aims to provide a "surprisingly spacious interior," according to Honda's press release.

A name has yet to be decided for the car but we're hoping for something more original than just "Saloon." Designer Toshinobu Minami has said it might get a real name instead of the equally unimaginatively alphanumeric designation used for the e:NY1 crossover. Meanwhile, the Japanese automaker recently axed its most adorable EV, the diminutive Honda e hatchback.