Honda's EV Racing Builds To Break Cover At Tokyo Auto Salon 2021

Illustration for article titled Honda's EV Racing Builds To Break Cover At Tokyo Auto Salon 2021
Screenshot: Honda

Honda is building two hot EVs, new entries for its motorsport roster. They are making a drag racer out of a Honda E and a hillclimb competitor from an N-One. Big Red is teasing its reveal on yet another microsite in advance of the virtual Tokyo Auto Salon 2021.

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If I couldn’t convince you before to tune into this year’s online expo, allow me to try again — this time with the prospect of getting to see these two little EVs revealed with a performance overhaul, complete with custom liveries that Honda is inviting drivers to vote on. That Model E has me seriously excited, because really, what better platform to build a fast EV on than a little Honda E?

Illustration for article titled Honda's EV Racing Builds To Break Cover At Tokyo Auto Salon 2021
Image: Honda
Illustration for article titled Honda's EV Racing Builds To Break Cover At Tokyo Auto Salon 2021
Image: Honda

Sure, we’ve got seriously fast EV entries from the likes of Porsche and Tesla, but it wasn’t until I saw the Honda Sports EV concept that I truly lusted after an EV. The drag racer being teased for the show is no Sports EV, but in the interim between now and the Sports EV ever amounting to more than vaporware, the dragster E will do just nicely.

Because while the Sports EV concept is a platonic ideal, the Honda E is in this lower plane, where things actually exist, and a performance version of the Model E is what enthusiasts have been clamoring for. What the green future needs is a thoroughbred sports car lurking within the smooth, shiny curves of this innocuous urban dweller — except, maybe, with a different bumper and a set of aero rearview mirrors in place of those little cameras:

Illustration for article titled Honda's EV Racing Builds To Break Cover At Tokyo Auto Salon 2021
Image: Honda

And, while it is highly unlikely — more unlikely than the overlander Fit probably — that we will ever see production at scale of a hot-hatch Model E, we can sate our appetite when Honda shows off the drag racer E, which is set for the same date as that of the show kicking off, January 15.

Honda claims on its microsite that both the Model E and N-One will compete on actual racing circuits come March, but that raises the question of just what competition Honda plans to race these speed EVs in. I suppose the only way to know is to watch the 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

DISCUSSION

When can we get Honda’s with this design language stateside? I’m sick of the big “T” headlight/grille configuration