Honda Urban EV Prototype to Debut in Geneva

honda urban ev prototype to debut in geneva

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • Spookiness Spookiness on Jan 23, 2019

    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.

  • Gedrven Gedrven on Jan 25, 2019

    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.

  • Dukeisduke Another article I read says this is all about defective fluid reservoir caps, which will be replaced. And also the software updates.
  • Lou_BC Suzuki Samurai's (Sammy's) are exceptionally popular. I'm amazed at the price good used examples bring. The Sidekick isn't as popular but has benefitted from the Sammy's popularity. These are great little off-roaders with some simple mods. I see these and Sammy's all over the place during hunting season. They are cheaper than any side-by-side quad and don't face hunting bans like quads and side-by-sides.
  • Bkojote People are like "dang, i'm glad people are becoming gearheads again take that you california soy boys!" Seriously, drive around today and most people are busy texting or not paying attention while driving. Seriously, not a day goes by I don't see the highways clogged because someone spaced out and rear-ended another motorist despite ideal driving conditions.Truth of the matter is these systems are only going to get better and drivers are only going to get worse. The same TTAC geniuses will ask "But what about the instance where a car needs to decide to save an occupant vs. someone else?" Yeah? You got that much faith in the judgement of your average Altima/RAM/Hyundai/Equinox driver? Didn't think so.
  • Tane94 The Shape of Things to Come -- that was the ad campaign and the driver would pull his TR-8 into a wedge shaped garage. Too bad the build quality on these shapely cars was so lousy.
  • Lou_BC 181 hp. Same as my diesel ZR2. MInd you, I win the torque game. LOL