The production Honda E has arrived two years after the Urban Concept debuted at Frankfurt.
With its retro-inspired looks mixed with modern tech, the electric Honda Urban EV Concept was one of our favorite model debuts at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. Two years after the concept's debut, Honda has unveiled the production model ahead of its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show, and it looks nearly identical to the concept, retaining its elegant, minimalist design, circular headlights, and pop-out door handles. That's a very good thing because we were smitten with the Urban Concept's retro-inspired styling.
According to the automaker, the Honda e is designed to "meet the needs of modern urban lifestyles through seamlessly integrated connected technologies and exceptional driving dynamics". In a first for the compact segment, cameras also replace conventional side-view mirrors, broadcasting live images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. Honda believes this technology brings "significant benefits for styling, safety, aerodynamics and refinement."
Powering the Honda e is an electric motor available with two power outputs: 134 hp or 151 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. 0-62 mph takes around eight seconds. Honda claims the 35.5kWh battery is one of the most compact in its class yet delivers a range of up to 136 miles from a single charge, making the Honda e ideal for urban commuting. A fast-charging capability also allows recharge to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes. Power is sent to the rear wheels, so the Honda E should be fun to drive.
Inside, the interior is dominated by a full-width digital dashboard featuring five screens and a connected infotainment system. The largest area is occupied by dual 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens that display applications and connected infotainment services, allowing the driver and passengers to enjoy the same connectivity and comfort whether the car is driving, parked or charging. Connected services and applications can also be accessed using voice commands to engage with the Honda Personal Assistant service, an AI system that uses "unique contextual understanding" to provide natural conversations and allow the user to access to a range of online services.
Pricing details haven't been confirmed yet, but Honda is accepting reservations online in the UK, Germany, France, and Norway, or users can register their interest in other European markets on Honda national websites. The bad news is that the Honda e won't be going on sale in the US since it was designed for the European market, but the EV platform has been homologated for America. Let's hope this means the Honda Sport EV gets the green light for the US.