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Torque (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Honda and MINI have un­veiled bat­tery-pow­ered run­abouts which are as cute as a but­ton cell. Both are promis­ing pro­to­types des­tined to be­come eco-friendly pro­duc­tion mod­els in 2019. Honda’s Ur­ban EV Con­cept is smaller than the Jazz su­per­mini, but far jazz­ier in terms of styling. The pro­por­tions, stance and de­tails (es­pe­cially the ex­te­rior lamps and light­ing ef­fects) of the con­cept hatch­back make it look like a funky blend of Tamiya RC car kit and Ta­m­agotchi gadget. Those rear-hinged doors re­veal an equally funky in­te­rior. There’s a “float­ing” dash­board with a slab of dig­i­tal dis­play, a space-age steer­ing wheel, ex­tremely sim­ple con­trols, and door-mounted screens that serve as side mir­rors. In­side the den-like footwell are two ped­als straight out of sci-fi manga. Nat­u­ral fab­ric and mod­ern wood dec­o­rate the cabin.

The MINI Elec­tric Con­cept (right) looks like an elec­tri­fied ver­sion of the reg­u­lar three-door hatch. The smoothly con­toured body is painted in Re­flec­tion Sil­ver (de­scribed as “a matt liq­uid metal colour shade”), with con­trast­ing Strik­ing Yel­low ac­cents/ gra­di­ents. The wacky 19-inch wheels have 3D-printed aero­dy­namic in­lays, and each of the tail-lights uses an LED dot ma­trix to cheek­ily form one half of the Union Jack.

As for the per­for­mance po­ten­tial of its Elec­tric Con­cept, MINI men­tions a zero-emis­sions drive sys­tem that is al­ways quick off the mark and a pre­ci­sion-tuned sus­pen­sion, along with max­imised range and unique driv­ing dy­nam­ics.

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