We were all first treated to Honda’s charming vision for their all-electric car model at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.
Small, retro, and simplistic with a silvery white finish and contrasting black touches, the retro three-door design was only but one of the many charming features of the Honda Urban EV Concept – one of the most appealing electric vehicles I’d ever seen, with a throwback to the past, married firmly to an allusion to the future.
With the 2019 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, we have now been conducted to what Honda describes as the 95% production ready version of the concept.
With this show, Honda announced that the concept car will officially be known as the ‘e Prototype’, and that it will be starting production towards the end of 2019:
A few of the original concept designs have been altered – the front seats have changed from bench-styled to conventional; the enormous ultra-widescreen display has been scaled back for a segmented version, with a pair of rear-view mirrors on the sides and two touchscreens in the middle. And the three-door model has been ditched for a more practical five-door model hinged to the front rather than the back.
Still, it retains much of the fusion of retro and futuristic (chic if you may) exterior which made it a darling. Likewise, the interior takes the best of past and future, combining a striking wood paneling with the technology’s latest gadgets.
The e Prototype is said to have a range of 200 km or 124 miles, and boasts fast charging capabilities that take it from 0 to 80 percent in all of 30 minutes. At 3,895 x 1,750 x 1,495, the car is much more compact than its major competition – the BMW i3 and Kia e-Niro.
And while these other vehicles can cover as much as 310km and 453km respectively, the Honda e’s range should be enough for the urban needs it was designed to fulfil… Besides, in the e-vehicle world, vehicle size is directly proportional to battery size, and thus, range.
Although no official technical specifications have yet been revealed, reports confirm the Honda will pack 300Nm of torque and hp in its engine. Power will be drawn from its under-floor Panasonic-produced batteries, while charging will be done from bonnet-mounted charging ports beautifully encased in a glossy black glass cover.
With digital displays favored over analog, and a huge software interface, the interior is not only neat and tidy, but it is also very much efficient!
Honda’s pricing plans for the e Prototype remain firmly under the wraps too, but estimations have begun to fly following the near-production-ready presentation in Geneva. Current speculation puts the price somewhere between $33,000 and $52,000 (£25,000 to £40,000).
This will put it within the same bracket as the Tesla Model 3 when sales resume later this year. Although Honda has not confirmed this pricing, they do consider it “reasonable”. Sadly for US consumers, it will only be debuting in select European markets for now.