The covers have come off the Honda e Prototype, a Geneva-bound, concept electric city car that is set to enter production later this year.
The e Prototype is an evolution of the well-received Urban EV concept shown off at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. Honda claims the car due to be shown in Switzerland is a 95% accurate representation of the vehicle that will go into production.
Visually, it’s clear to see the Urban EV lineage. The concept’s design is nearly unchanged – an extra set of doors have been added for additional practicality, the external screens have been replaced with conventional LED headlights and tail-lights, the huge multi-poke wheels have been shrunken down, and more conventional skirts have been added. The elements that made the 2017 version so popular have been retained – the cute proportions, Mk1 Civic inspired looks, stylish C-pillar, side cameras and black light surrounds are all still present.
Inside, the e Prototype has been updated to be more production-ready. The front passengers sit on plush comfort seats trimmed in a sofa-style material – Honda claims this is to give the cabin a “lounge-like feel”.
In front of them is the wood-trimmed dashboard, which is dominated by five screens: two for the side cameras (no mirrors, just cameras), one sitting on front of the driver to provide speed and driver data, and two more to control the infotainment system.
Below the screens are the semi-digital climate control and transmission functions. Other interior features include a heated two-spoke steering wheel, a camera-operated rear view mirror, two 230V mains ports, a 12V cigarette outlet, two USB ports and one HDMI port.
Powering the e Prototype is a small lithium-ion battery mounted between the axles, which drives an electric motor that spins the rear wheels. The size of the battery hasn’t been divulged, but Honda claims the EV city car can drive for up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) on a charge, and can be recharged from zero to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. The Japanese company has not quoted performance figures either – this story will be updated if and when they are released.
The Honda e Prototype will make its public debut at the Geneva motor show in a few days time, ahead of a nearly identical production version hitting European city streets in late 2019. Unfortunately, an Australian launch will not take place.