Project Lead for Honda E Says Model Originally Intended for America

Since even before its debut, the Honda E has been showered with the kind of praise the American media usually reserves for controversial topics that split the nation, despite the model not being sold here. That’s likely fine. While its visual charms are undeniable, its small stature and electric powertrain probably wouldn’t do it any favors on the U.S. market. We could see it having an impressive first year before settling into a prolonged sales slump (think Fiat 500).

There are certainly alternative scenarios, but few involve Honda E supplanting the Civic. Being adorable will only take you so far. However, it seems Honda was originally willing to take a whack at it. The model’s product leader, Kohei Hitomi, said the little electric was always meant for America.

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Admire It From Afar: Honda Reveals Specs for the 'E'

Honda’s upcoming electric city car, destined for consumers in tightly-packed cities in Europe and Japan, has a significant fan base among online North Americans. To this group of consumers, the Honda E is the antithesis of Tesla — minus the emissions-free driving.

While the Honda E also aims to get drivers out of internal combustion cars, it goes about it in a different way. For one thing, it’s an EV fielded by a robust and profitable automaker. Sales and service should not bring a Honda buyer any worry, nor should the automaker’s balance sheet. The wee Honda aims to attract Earth-savers with modest proportions, modest price (for an EV), and modest range, with attainability and retro looks being its biggest non-ideological selling points. For all of this, the little car has earned much love from car watchers living on the wrong side of the ocean.

Ahead of its Frankfurt debut, Honda has finally revealed the E’s specifications.

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The Honda E is Starting to Sound Like a Lot of Fun

Honda has released a few new details regarding its upcoming, and adorable, electric runabout. Based on the Urban EV concept we saw debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017, the Honde E has endured some minor changes. Rounder than before, the vehicle’s headlamps are no longer partially obfuscated by the hood. The tail lights have also been converted to circles, giving the car a slightly goofy — but not unpleasant — external demeanor.

Having opened the (refundable) reservation booklet in May, Honda promised a quintet of color options and a standard side-mounted camera mirror system that effectively makes the model impossible to get in the United States. For now, the Japanese automaker seems content targeting European city dwellers who need more than a bicycle to get around or just happen to be in the market for a cute little electric car that might be a lot of fun to drive.

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  • Stanley Steamer What is that white roadster in the background?
  • Bufguy The Seville was not an X car....Yes the Seville was based on the x car platform but the changes were so extensive that GM designated the platform “K,” because it very little in common with the X. Only the rear subframe, front suspension, part of the floor and the roof were carried over unchanged.
  • Spookiness I kind of like this. Somebody in my building had a late (77?) Chevy Concours, silver with burgundy cloth interior.
  • Jeff S These were good cars. Came close to buying a new 75 Chevy Nova 2 door. My father had a 62 Chevy II 300 for 12 years which my 2 brothers and I drove to high school and then I drove the 1st year of college. My middle brother had a 2 door Limited Skylark X car with the 4 cylinder, fuel injection, and 4 speed manual that went well over 200k miles--it had the most comfortable red velour seats it was light gray with a maroon half vinyl top. He never had to replace the clutch and mostly routine mileage mostly highway.
  • MrIcky Toyota keeps hinting at 'the next big' and hasn't really delivered that much new since the prius. Maybe the most conservative company on the face of the planet for good and bad and if it's a 3-5 year time frame to come into existence, who cares. Hopefully the new Taco brings that vehicle up to date and it isn't just a new fascia and a 12 inch touch screen. Yes I've read all the rumors, we'll see. Maybe they'll close the c channel frame and put disc brakes on it?