'An adorable homage to some of Honda’s first cars'

The Honda Urban EV Concept is the cool electric city car we need
Sep 12, 2017  Zac Estrada

Honda Urban EV Concept Honda



Preview of production EV for Europe in 2019

While it was slower getting into the dedicated electric vehicle game than
others, the Honda Urban EV Concept is a sign that the Japanese automaker is
making up for lost time.

Shown Tuesday at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Urban EV
Concept is an adorable homage to some of Honda’s first small cars, such as
the diminutive Civic hatchbacks of the 1970s, and about the size of a Fiat
500e. For fans of its charmingly nostalgic looks, Honda says this concept is
a good hint at what a production version will look like when it goes on sale
in 2019.

"An adorable homage to some of Honda’s first small cars"

While Honda has just started to offer the Clarity EV in the US and Japan,
the company once known as a pioneer of hybrids has fallen behind rivals such
as Nissan with their 2018 Leaf in the electrification stakes. The Urban EV
Concept is supposed to represent a clean slate and the indicator of the
direction Honda wants to take its EVs in.

Details about its propulsion were not revealed with the design, but the
Honda Automated Network Assistant concierge service is part of this concept.
The company says the system “learns from the driver by detecting emotions
behind their judgments,” and bases future recommendations off of that. Like
so many other automakers, Honda thinks we want to talk to our cars in the
future, too.

Inside, Honda made the design simple, starting with the rear-hinged doors
that are about the only thing this concept has in common with a Rolls-Royce.
There is space for four people inside the very cool interior. A superwide
display sits on top of a dashboard that looks more like a sideboard. There
is a noticeable lack of buttons and switches on it and the steering wheel,
too, hence the need to actually talk to the car.

Still, it would be great if Honda made an interior that looked anything like
this, and then managed to sneak it into a Mini-rivaling electric hatchback.

For now, Honda is only saying the production version of the Urban EV Concept
is destined for Europe in 2019. While it would seem silly not to also sell
the car in Japan, the American Honda office will likely push the larger
Clarity line and hybrid versions of cars like the Accord. It’s still too
early to rule anything out, however.

If this is any indicator of Honda’s design direction for EVs, good things
should start happening.
[© theverge.com]

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