The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - LIFE -

Ty­ing with the Mini Con­cept for cutest elec­tric car at the show was Honda’s idea for a fu­ture city run­about. White, with white wheels and a Honda logo il­lu­mi­nated in blue, it looked both mod­ern and retro: its face and pro­por­tions re­minded many of a 1970s Volk­swa­gen Golf GTi. But the Urban EV Con­cept is all about the fu­ture and sets a di­rec­tion for a com­pany that needs it more than most. Honda used to be a favourite among Ja­panese car buy­ers but in re­cent years has lost its way. “This is not some vision of the dis­tant fu­ture; a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of this car will be here in Europe in 2019,” says Honda chief Takahiro Hachigo.

Built on a ded­i­cated elec­tric plat­form, it em­ploys a high-den­sity light­weight bat­tery pack recharged via a con­nec­tion on the bon­net. The doors hinge from the rear and oc­cu­pants sit on two bench seats up­hol­stered in con­trast­ing fab­rics. The dash is wood and above it, a wide screen con­trols car func­tions. Fur­ther screens in the doors are dig­i­tal wing mir­rors fed by cam­eras. Be­tween the head­lights an ex­ter­nal screen dis­plays mes­sages to other road users.

The car was de­signed with Europe in mind but will be sold glob­ally. Let’s hope the even­tual pro­duc­tion car is just as cute.

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