Honda's Rugged EV SUV Is Designed In America, For America

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The EV still looks a long way off.

Honda has some big plans to enter the electrified space with two new sports cars and affordable models built in collaboration with General Motors. The electrified product onslaught will begin in 2024 with the GM-co-developed Prologue SUV, which has just been teased officially for the first time. Honda released its first design sketch of the Prologue, which the Japanese automaker says will be an "adventure-ready SUV capable of satisfying everyday driving."

The front-end styling is meant to remind us of the adorable Honda e, which sadly isn't sold in the US. While we can kind of see the connection if we squint a little, the Prologue looks far more aggressive to suit an American audience. This makes sense as the car is being designed at the Honda Design Studio in Los Angeles in collaboration with a Honda design team in Japan. The Prologue looks more unique than the European market Honda e-Ny1, which was also teased recently.

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"As the project leader for the exterior design of the Honda Prologue, it was very exciting to work with a young team of designers with new capabilities to create an SUV with clean, simple lines and a strong influence from our global EV models, including the Honda e," said Jiro Ikeda, Exterior Design Leader. "We balanced that with a neo-rugged look that you see in our current lineup to ensure Prologue represents a true Honda EV."

The Prologue will go on sale in 2024, followed by new models using the Honda e:Architecture in 2026. By 2027, Honda will start selling more affordable EVs that will use the co-developed GM platform. Under this strategy, the Japanese automaker plans to sell 500,000 EVs in North America by 2030.

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In order to sell so many EVs, Honda will change up its dealership design to better accommodate a new kind of customer and service experience. The new layout will offer "modular and flexible space" with less inventory than they carry currently (hinting at a more online approach to selling cars). Dealers will be required to install charging stations based on expected EV sales through 2030, and order special tools and equipment to service these new models. Since some markets will pivot towards electrification quicker than others, Honda will use a tiered approach to help dealers evolve at the right pace.

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