The Japanese carmaker's EV platform is ready for anything.
Honda won over a lot of people with its new Honda e, an electric hatchback destined for the European market. The Honda e first debuted a few years ago as the Urban Concept and will now reach production looking remarkably similar. It will arrive with two power outputs, either 134 or 151 horsepower, both with 232 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 mph takes around eight seconds and Honda claims the car can go around 136 miles on a charge, making it ideal for small, European cities.
There are no plans to offer it outside of Europe, which is a shame, although we can see why Honda would be hesitant to offer such a small vehicle with a low range here in the US. In a recent interview with Autocar, Honda quashed rumors of a sporty variant of the Honda e, but that a sporty EV is not out of the question.
Honda e project leader Kohei Hitomi says a performance version "is not the way to go" on this car. "A performance version, like Type R, as we have on different models: I see this is not the way to go with the e," he stated. "For some segments, it might be the right choice and Type R is a way to express Honda's capability as a sporty brand. But for Honda e, we want to provide a new dimension of values for our customers."
Instead of performance, the e will focus on delivering other benefits to customers. "There will be more interaction, AI, connectivity, and other services to provide new values to the customers which are not able to be provided with conventional propulsion systems," Hitomi said.
This doesn't necessarily mean we won't eventually see a sports car based on the Honda e platform. Hitomi has said in the past, "It [the platform] can be any car. It can be a sporty car or a box-type car. Personally, I'd very much welcome a sporty car on that platform." So although Honda hasn't completely ruled out an electric performance car, it has killed off any rumors of an Si or Type R-badged Honda e.