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Honda's first EV edges closer to reality

By Tom Fraser, 28 Feb 2019 Car News

Honda e Prototype

Despite losing some cool design characteristics, the Honda e Prototype is looking more production-ready than ever

HONDA has taken the wraps off its (almost ready) production incarnation of 2017’s Urban EV concept, debuting the Honda e Prototype.

Set to be shown at Geneva Motor Show, Honda’s latest concept now sports four traditional doors (losing the rear suicide doors in the process), and it has unfortunately lost some of the finer details of the Urban EV’s retro touch. Not to worry though, it still looks like the e Prototype retains the Urban EV’s signature blend of retro and futuristic styling on the interior and exterior.

Top: Honda e Prototype, Bottom: Honda Urban EV concept

The bonnet cut line appears to taper down in comparison to the Urban EV concept, and we’ve lost the body-coloured roof and Alpina-esque wheels.

But the windscreen sits flush within the thin A-pillar to reduce wind noise and aid outward vision, and it gets pop-out door handles and compact cameras replacing traditional side view mirrors.

Read next: Honda’s electric hatch will have a classier interior than most houses

A big black square sits proudly on the bonnet, which pops up at the press of the key to provide a charging port. The e Prototype will deliver a range of 200km and will be able to be charged to 80 per cent capacity in a short 30 minutes – ideal for everyday urban environments.

Details are scarce on its performance as yet, but it seems Honda is keen to illustrate the e Prototype’s dynamic ability with its rear-wheel-drive platform and wide stance.  

Top: Honda e Prototype, Bottom: Honda Urban EV concept

Appearing to mimic the eco-friendly interior touches of the BMW i3, the cabin features a thin wood-style veneer and a recycled polyester seat material, but most noticeably the interior is dominated by a bank of six screens set up in a desk-like fashion. The two most outer screens house the rear vision displays, while the inner three comprise a digital instrument cluster, as well as two infotainment screens.

The e Prototype also includes a digital rear view camera in place of a conventional mirror.

Honda’s first foray into compact EVs will go into production later this year, first in Europe, then followed by other markets, according to Honda.

On the whole, it seems as though the quirky nature of the Urban EV concept is here to stay, minus a few knock-out design features.

Top: Honda e Prototype, Bottom: Honda Urban EV concept