Introducing the SUV e-concept.
Honda has continued its advance into the all-electric vehicle market with its latest concept called, very appropriately, the SUV e-concept. It has just made its official debut at this year's Beijing Auto Show. Unlike the already on-sale but overseas-only Honda e city car, the SUV e-concept "indicates the direction of a future mass-production mode," meaning it appears to be a future global model.
Equally important, it will be the first EV Honda will launch in China, a vital market because of the government's determination for emissions-free vehicles. Teased just last week, the e-concept looks to be similar in size to the Nissan Ariya, which will soon go on sale in the US and elsewhere. The concept's front end boasts LED headlights and accents and an overall cleaner and smoother design compared to its current production vehicle lineup.
But the SUV e-concept's main selling point does not appear to be its design, but rather its technology features. Honda says both the concept and the future production version is equipped with the next-generation Honda Sensing safety suite, now being billed as omnidirectional ADAS, or advanced driver-assist systems. This will include improved recognition, prediction and decision-making performance made possible by widening the front camera angle and incorporating 360-degree radar which, once enabled, allows the system to more accurately detect surrounding vehicles.
Honda says this new and advanced system will be able to assist drivers in more complex and diverse road conditions on both highways and regular surface roads.
Official demonstrations of this latest Honda Sensing tech will get underway in China before the end of this year. Honda has also taken this opportunity to debut its next-generation Honda Connect, featuring an AI assistant interface, smartphone link and wireless updates. Honda has not provided details regarding a production version of the SUV e-concept but we wouldn't be surprised to see it arrive sometime next year or early 2022.
Also at this event, the new Honda CR-V PHEV is being shown, the first vehicle the automaker will sell in China equipped with a plug-in hybrid system. Sales for it are due to get underway this January.