We first saw Honda’s clean, friendly, and fun-looking vision for an electric city car back in 2017, when it was called the “Urban EV.” Very soon at the Geneva International Motor Show Honda will show the latest development of that concept, and they say it’s very close to production-ready. That’s good news, since it has all the simple charm of the original. This is an EV I’m excited about, even if it’s not coming to America and I’ll just be disappointed, as usual.
The latest version of the concept now has four doors, with the rear door handle hidden in the black window surround area just in front of the C-pillar.
The car still looks like a very modernized original Civic, with appealing round headlights and a glossy black panel standing in for the original car’s grille. Unlike the Civics of yore, though, this car is a rear-wheel drive vehicle, and despite looking like a cute city car, Honda seems eager to emphasize that it should be fun to drive. From their press release:
Beneath the skin is an all-new, EV-specific platform that allows for compact proportions, while a relatively long wheelbase, wide track and short overhangs facilitate exceptional urban manoeuvrability and dynamic driving characteristics. The appearance of a low, muscular stance – emphasised by the flared wheel arches that accommodate the wide tyres – lends a dynamic accent to the simple, clean exterior design.
The prototype’s side-view cameras replacing traditional mirrors are features that I wouldn’t hold my breath on making it to production, but who knows?
The E Prototype is said to give about 125 miles per charge, and should be able to charge up to 80 percent charge in 30 minutes. The range isn’t especially high for a modern EV, but given the context of the Honda as a city car, and the likely price point Honda will target—well below, say, a Tesla Model 3—the range numbers make sense.
We’ve seen the desk-like interior of this before, and while we often complain about overdoing it on the LCD screens, I can’t help but like what I’m seeing here.
I like the design of this thing an awful lot. It’s got some retro inspiration without being cloying, unlike many modern cars it doesn’t look like an asshole who wants to shiv you, and it seems useful and fun.
I’m going to quietly hope Honda will eventually decide to sell these in America, even though I know it very likely means I’ll just get hurt again.