Honda was once a force in the hybrid world, with the groundbreaking Insight launched way back in 1999, since then it, rightly so, has focussed on its best sellers, the Civic and the accomplished CRV SUV.
Recently the Japanese brand gave details of its electric vehicle strategy and at the Frankfurt Motor Show gave use the cute as a button EV Urban Concept with a production model of the electric car to arrive in Europe in 2019.
The concept showcases advanced technology within a simple and sophisticated design with hints of Volkswagen‘s Mark 1 Golf and Peugeot‘s 205. It manages to be butch and cute all at the same time. Low and wide proportions give the car a planted, muscular stance that hint at sporty driving performance. Its compact proportions mean it has a total vehicle length 100mm shorter than the Jazz supermini.
The Honda emblem on the concept is backlit in blue, which previews a new styling feature for the company‘s future electric cars. 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.
Despite its small dimensions the EV is able to accommodate four occupants, across two bench seats, entry is via rear-hinged coach doors. Inside passengers are treated with naturals materials and contemporary wood finish accents.
This wood finish wraps around a large ‘floating’ dashboard console. This 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 presents a range of vehicle information including remaining battery level. Whilst the extended door screens function as the car’s wing mirrors through digital camera displays.
With so many over-designed show cars elsewhere, Honda really managed to capture the mood with the EV Urban Concept – simple, functional and forward thinking. We need more please Honda.