Automotive

Honda's cute Urban EV Concept set for production

Honda's cute Urban EV Concept ...
Those wheels are retro-inspired, and they look fantastic
Those wheels are retro-inspired, and they look fantastic
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The Honda Urban EV Concept launched in Frankfurt 
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The Honda Urban EV Concept launched in Frankfurt 
The Urban EV Concept launches without any powertrain details 
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The Urban EV Concept launches without any powertrain details 
The Urban EV Concept was inspired by the original Civic 
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The Urban EV Concept was inspired by the original Civic 
Honda will be putting the Urban EV Concept into production
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Honda will be putting the Urban EV Concept into production
The Urban EV Concept is actually 100 mm shorter than the Fit 
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The Urban EV Concept is actually 100 mm shorter than the Fit 
The space next to the headlights can be used to display a message on the Urban EV
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The space next to the headlights can be used to display a message on the Urban EV
A peek inside the Urban EV Concept 
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A peek inside the Urban EV Concept 
Those wheels are retro-inspired, and they look fantastic
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Those wheels are retro-inspired, and they look fantastic
Behind the wheel of the Urban EV Concept
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Behind the wheel of the Urban EV Concept
Slim pillars on the Urban EV Concept should make for a light, airy interior
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Slim pillars on the Urban EV Concept should make for a light, airy interior

Honda has used the Frankfurt Motor Show to unveil a delightfully retro electric concept dubbed the Urban EV Concept. With cute looks inspired by the first Civic, an airy interior and a tiny footprint, it previews a proper production electric vehicle set to arrive in 2019.

Although we're light on details about the Urban EV, it certainly shows plenty of promise. As safety standards have become tougher, pillars have become thicker and visibility worse from behind the wheel. Just like the first-generation Civic that inspired it, the little concept has spindly pillars and a massive glasshouse, bathing the interior with light.

The car itself is almost square. It's 100 mm (3.9 in) shorter than the (already small) Fit, and the wheels are pushed all the way to the edge of the body for a sporty stance. The wheels themselves are beautiful retro units, while the Civic-aping headlights and brake lights are flanked by screens capable of displaying messages. For the concept, Honda chose to show #UrbanEV.

The Urban EV Concept was inspired by the original Civic 
The Urban EV Concept was inspired by the original Civic 

There's seating for four inside, with pared-back benches front and rear. The front row is trimmed in gray fabric, while dark wooden accents adorn the seat backs and dashboard. Atop the dash is a massive widescreen wrap-around display, which flows down into the door panels. The central screen displays driving information, while the door displays do the job of door mirrors, showing a feed from aero-cameras mounted on the doors.

This wouldn't be a modern concept EV without some kind of active assistant. The Honda Automated Network Assistant is designed to act as a concierge, learning about the driver by reading their emotions. Once it learns about the driver, it can offer recommendations or suggestions about what they might enjoy listening to.

In keeping with the detail-light, excitement-heavy theme of the car, Honda has also used the show to announce plans for a power management system capable of shuffling electricity between the car, house and power grid. Nissan does something similar in the new Leaf, so it will be interesting to compare the two approaches when Honda puts its system into production.

"This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019," says Honda President and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo.

The Urban EV Concept was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action. Stay tuned for the latest.

Source: Honda

6 comments
DFrancis
Was the body designed by those responsible for the old VW Golf?
Mattiede
Great! Drop the unnecessary gimmicks to keep the price reasonable and it will be our next citycar.
DavidB
I would totally drive that! DFrancis: One of the things I like about this car is how it manages to combine the original Civic look (right down to the little square on the hood) with the early Golf look. We still own a 2000 Golf, which I consider the best-built car I've ever owned, better even than my dad's '69 Lincoln. The fact that it's a Honda puts it over the top—we also still have a '96 Odyssey (the early model, basically a square-back Accord) that's running like a champ as a daily driver and long-haul trip master. Throw in the fact that it's an EV, and I might give up my 500e to get into this.
*Joe*
The Chevette lives!!
MK23666
CVCC hatchback reborn. Show me a 4 door sedan version and I'm sold.
Johannes
Rear quarters look a bit like the Peugeot 205. Hot hatch anyone?