Honda’s cute, pugnacious Urban EV concept brings a bit of Tokyo funk to Germany’s Frankfurt auto show, where it had its debut. Unlike some Japanese flights of fancy, however, this concept “sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model.” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo added that a “production version of this car will be in Europe in 2019.”.
Built on a new platform, the pint-size two-door EV is some four inches shorter than a Honda Fit. Borrowing from the far opposite end of the automotive spectrum, the concept uses rear-hinged doors, à la Rolls-Royce. This four-seater is unusual in that it has a bench seat in front; in addition, the front and rear seats are upholstered in different fabrics. The rear seatbelts pull out from the center, which is supposed to aid entry and exit. The interior is embellished with wood trim including a large panel spanning the dash, which gets an ultrawide, floating instrument
Outside, the space between the headlights where the grille normally would be is a screen that is able to display messages to other drivers or the status of battery charge; the rear end has the same feature. The blue backlit Honda badge is a design cue that will be used on the company’s EVs going forward.
The Urban EV earns extra Japanese-concept-car points by incorporating a personal digital assistant called Honda Automated Network Assistant that “learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments.” That sounds dubious, but we love the design of this EV, which despite its diminutive dimensions manages to avoid looking toylike. We hope more than just the light-up badge survives the transition to production—and that it gets a chance to roam American streets.
Source: Car and Driver.
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