Honda's cool electric city car could get a big fat dose of performance.
It's such a shame the Honda e is going to be forbidden fruit in the US. The compact electric city car made its debut in prototype form at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show when it was known as the Honda Urban EV, and we've been pining for it ever since. It will go on sale in Europe this summer but Honda isn't bringing it to America since small cars don't tend to sell well in the United States (see: Fiat 500). And now, just to make us even more jealous, a more powerful version could happen one day, which would be the electric equivalent of the Honda Civic Type R.
Top Gear sat down with Honda's Takahiro Shinya, Assistant Large Project Leader, to find out if any more power can be extracted from the Honda e to potentially produce a hardcore Type R version.
"Well, this new platform, the motor and tires can all take more [power]," Shinya explained, clearly itching to tell me things he wasn't supposed to. "What I can say is we love Type R, it's such a strong halo brand for us. As engineers, we want to make Type R of every model, but it's whether the customer wants it that matters." This suggests a high-performance Honda e is technically possible, but there needs to be enough customer demand to make a business case for it.
Alternatively, a more powerful Honda e might not necessarily need the full-fat Type R treatment. "You'll probably see something more in a couple of years, not a Type R, but something," Takahiro Shinya teased.
The Honda e uses a rear-mounted electric motor that produces either 136 or 154 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. A 35.5-kWh battery that provides a range of 137 miles. While there are no plans to put the Honda e into production, the Japanese automaker told us last year that its all-electric platform is homologated for the US so don't rule out the possibility of an all-electric Honda sports car coming to America just yet.