By on January 23, 2019

Back in 2017, Honda debuted its adorable Urban EV Concept, a vehicle that ended up becoming the belle of the Frankfurt Auto Show. Its cheeky design was suitably modern while still adhering to traditional automotive models. In fact, the car seems styled in a manner that’s intentionally reminiscent of the first-generation Civic.

Having already promised a production version for the European market, Honda has issued an update on the vehicle’s progress. The automaker recently confirmed it will show a new prototype of the Urban EV at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March, ahead of a production model slated to debut later this year. It also provided a teaser sketch of the model (above), proving that Honda doesn’t want to alter the cute little car more than it needs to. 

The sketch shows a more-rounded hatchback than what we saw in 2017, with bucket, not bench, seats (dang). However, everything else appears relatively unchanged. Its two-tone paint remains intact, as do the round headlamps, fender flares, rearview cameras, and basic shape. We expect a bigger vehicle than the concept, with enough room for a second set of doors to help broaden its general appeal. As well, expect Honda to drop the large internal screens for a more traditional layout. Most of these assumptions are based on spy shots of the model undergoing testing in Europe; United States-bound models would require the use of traditional side mirrors.

However, Honda still hasn’t said whether the Urban EV will make it to North America. Thus far, it’s being built exclusively for the European market with no word to the contrary. But we would love to see it here, even if it offers no significant advantages over something like Volkswagen’s e-Golf. Ideally, it would undercut its price and compete with its tepid 125-mile range.

Honda has already managed to produce an endearing design. If the company can also find a way to make it affordable and useful, at least within an urban environment, we might have something truly special on our hands. Hopefully, Honda will have good news for us in March.

[Images: Honda]

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5 Comments on “Honda Urban EV Prototype to Debut in Geneva...”

  • avatar

    Hmmm. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the original concept. Total fun, retro, home run. Maybe it’s the slightly strange angle of the new rendering, but I am decidedly not loving this evolution of the styling. It seems strangely and unhappily bulbous. I hope I am wrong.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly the same thoughts here.

    • 0 avatar

      The first concept was a home run. This new version is definitely watered down, putting curves where there were creases. On the prior concept, the front fenders had a harder edge where they met the hood, and the front end was more square and lower, cutting off the top of the headlight halos. This new version still looks ok but it’s lost the appeal.

  • avatar

    I like the original better also, but at least Honda is trending in a better design direction than what they have going on currently. The Civic hatch still makes me wanna barf. I still recall a nice nearly production appearing Civic 2 door hatch concept called Gear shown in Montreal several years ago. I waited but nothing happened.

  • avatar

    No advantages over a Golf? VW may have caught up to Honda in overall reliability, but when any maintenance does need to happen – and it will, even in an EV – the former’s boneheaded levels of unnecessary complexity make the choice of which to own long-term quite easy.

    The original is much better-looking. Its headlights mimic a 90’s BMW (a very good thing IMO), while the new one’s look like a cheesy cartoon character.

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