Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: Honda's Urban EV Concept previews 2019 production model

Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: Honda's Urban EV Concept previews 2019 production model

The round LED headlamps and angular body are clear references to the first-generation Honda Civic, while the backlit Honda emblem will become a feature on all Honda EVs.

What's even more important, a production version of this exact study is planned for 2019, as confirmed by Honda president Takahiro Hachigo during the brand's press conference at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. "This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this vehicle will be here in Europe in 2019", he added, confirming that the concept is set to be launched within two years.

Revealed at the Frankfurt motor show on 12 September, the Honda Urban EV Concept is an all-electric glimpse at what small city cars could look like towards the end of the decade.

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There are bench seats both front and rear, which does beg the question as to how rear-seat passengers access the cabin, but there's a wonderful lounge-like vibe to the auto. The front can also display interactive multilingual messages between the headlights, including greetings, advice for other drivers on the road, or charging status updates.

Honda Urban EV Concept.

The Honda Urban EV concept is a sub-4m hatchback that also reminds one of the Japanese Kei cars. Honda president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo said: "This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this auto will be here in Europe in 2019". Another large screen is fitted to the inside of each door to act as rear-view mirrors, and the doors are rear-hinged (like those on a Rolls-Royce) to aid entry and exit. This electricity can be used to power and heat the building, as well as to charge the EV. The dashboard is dominated by a huge computer screen which "floats" above wood details. This is claimed to create a "lounge" feel, to which the wide front-row bench contributes with a neutral grey fabric finish.

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The "floating" dashboard features this same wood finish and houses the steering wheel column, a set of a control buttons and a large panoramic display screen that shows a range of vehicle information.

Honda also detailed its vision for a future in-car concierge functionality that detects the emotions behind the driver's decisions and then applies what it has learned to make new choices and recommendations. This behaviour is then considered when the auto offers new choices and recommendations.

Honda's not saying too much about what powers it, instead concentrating on its Honda Power Manager technology, as showcased on vehicle earlier this year, and the company's "Electric Vision" for 2030 and beyond.

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