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Geneva show: Honda teases Urban EV prototype

Nearing production: The Honda Urban electric vehicle prototype looks significantly different to the Urban EV Concept that was shown in 2017.

New Honda prototype hints at production-ready Urban electric vehicle


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24 Jan 2019

HONDA has released a single rendering of its new Urban EV prototype ahead of its full reveal at the Geneva motor show in March, giving a better look at what to expect when the vehicle enters international showrooms later this year.
While there is only one front-on teaser image available, it is clear the prototype is significantly different to the Urban EV Concept that was first shown at the Frankfurt motor show in 2017.
The sharp and boxy proportions of the concept have made way for more conventional curves, and key production features are included, such as a receded license plate holder, head rests and more conventional headlights. 
The Urban EV Concept was praised by some for its retro styling cues reminiscent of early Honda Civics of the 1970s, however, it remains to be seen if the old-school design language will carry through to the road-going model.
A glowing light in the prototype’s cabin hints that it may feature a large panoramic screen similar to the concept, and the low-slung front diffuser and negative wheel camber suggests a sporty stance.
When the Urban EV makes it to production, it will be Honda’s first mass-produced battery-electric vehicle (BEV) to be sold in Europe, but it remains to be seen exactly what powertrain – or powertrains – will underpin the new Japanese hatch.
Australian customers will miss out on the Urban EV in 2019, with Honda’s local wing last year confirming that it is unlikely to import the BEV due to Australia’s low demand for electric vehicles.
“That car will only be available initially at least in Europe. I’m not ruling it out in the future … but what happens in the future I don’t know,” Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said.
“It could be an option available to us. I think it is a beautiful-looking car, and the styling of it would work for this market. But at this point it’s only available for Europe.” 
Honda plans to ensure that electrified vehicles will take up two-thirds of its global sales by 2030, and the Urban EV is its first step in making that happen.
It is expected that Honda will reveal more information about the Honda Urban EV when the prototype makes its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

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