Honda's Urban EV Concept Borrows From The Past, Looks To The Future

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The focus at the Frankfurt Motor Show may be more on European automakers, but Honda has attracted its fair share of attention as well with the handsome little Urban EV Concept you see here.

The electric hatchback adopts a decidedly retro design and proportions, but not without its modern flourishes – especially when it comes to the powertrain.

Despite its old-school appearance, the Urban EV Concept is a pure EV. No details were disclosed as to how much power it packs, but it does incorporate a new Power Manager Concept system designed to “store energy more efficiently, releasing electricity generated by renewable sources back into the home or selling it back to the grid.”

Into the form that's four inches shorter from bow to stern than the Jazz/Fit, Honda has fit a four-seat cabin accessed by a pair of rear hinged “suicide” coach doors.

The interior is split between two bench seats upholstered in grey cloth and accented by wood trim, with a wrap-around panoramic infotainment screen. Occupants can even spell out messages to other drivers in a display in the vehicle's snout, where you'd expect to find the grille on a fossil fuel-powered vehicle.

The most interesting part of the Urban EV Concept is that it's set to reach production – albeit likely with some modifications – within the next couple of years. “This is not some vision of the distant future,” said Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo in presenting the concept; “a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019.”

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