IF you have been paying attention to the Frankfurt Motor Show you may have noticed that the world appears to have gone slightly mad – for the Honda Urban EV Concept.
This little car has blown the socks off everybody who has seen it. And rightly so.
It’s apparently inspired by the original Honda Civic but the general consensus seems to be the Urban EV Concept looks like the love child of a Mark 1 VW Golf and a Peugeot 205.
It does, but quite frankly, who cares? It’s just a wonderful piece of design that put a smile on the face of everyone who saw it.
The Honda Urban EV Concept showcases advanced technology within a simple and sophisticated design. Its low and wide proportions hint at sporty driving performance but with a total vehicle length 100mm shorter than the Jazz supermini. Company car drivers looking to downsize should pay close attention.
The Honda emblem on the concept is backlit in blue – a preview of a new styling feature for the company‘s future EVs – whilst at the front of the car, interactive multilingual messages can be displayed between the headlights, including greetings, advice for other drivers on the road, or charging status updates.
We doubt this feature will stay due to the potential for embarrassment should your children get hold of it. It would be brilliant, if a little risky, if it stayed.
The view from the Honda Urban EV Concept is excellent thanks to slim A-pillars and a wide windscreen that appears to sweep around the entire front of the car. Entry and exit from the vehicle is via rear-hinged coach doors.
Despite its relatively small size the Urban EV Concept can accommodate four occupants, across two bench seats. To create a lounge feeling it is upholstered with natural grey fabric and contemporary wood finish accents.
The same wood finish wraps around a large ‘floating’ dashboard console that houses the steering wheel column, a set of simple control buttons, and a panoramic display screen. The dashboard itself is completed by a wrap-around screen that runs behind the console and extends into the doors. The main dashboard screen shows vehicle information whilst the extended door screens function as the car’s wing mirrors through digital camera displays.
The best part of all is not the looks, or the technology. It’s that during the big reveal, Honda CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, stated that,
This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019.
Honda has already committed to an electric future. The Urban EV Concept is exactly where they need to start.