Production Honda Urban EV Spotted For The First Time With Five Doors, Rearview Cameras [47 Photos]

The retro-styled Honda Urban EV Concept enjoyed an enthusiastic reception in 2017 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Since then, the question on everyone’s lips has been when would Honda finally put it into production. The answer came earlier this year when the automaker confirmed that a production version inspired by the cute study would arrive in 2019.

Well, it looks like Honda is sticking to its word, as an Urban EV prototype has been spotted for the first time on public roads. While completely wrapped in camouflage, the small electric vehicle bears a striking resemblance to the namesake concept car.

The production model has five doors instead of three, becomes a five seater

There are some important differences, however. The production model takes practicality more seriously as it adds a pair of rear doors. Another big difference is that all doors are front-hinged as opposed to the study’s suicide doors.

Practicality-driven “compromises” also include the switch from a four-seat layout to a five-seat configuration but chances are no one will complain about that.

The more practical approach doesn’t necessarily mean the Urban EV will compromise on styling, though. As the photos reveal, all doors have frameless windows and integrated door handles. If you can’t spot those on the rear it’s because they are “hidden” at the lower end of the C-pillar.

The cute retro styling remains and is sprinkled with futuristic details

Interestingly, the Urban EV prototype has kept the concept’s rearview cameras and the photographers also noticed that the inside rearview mirror was digital. The round LED headlights also look identical with those of the study, but Honda designers seem to have had a change of heart when it comes to the taillights. They replaced the concept’s square units with round LED lights that echo the design of their front counterparts.

As for the interior, the good news is the big screen will remain on the production model. Sadly, we can’t see anything else inside because of the tinted windows. Honda remains secretive about the Urban EV’s powertrain too. We do know, however, that the car is based on a new dedicated electric platform. Rumor has it the driving range will be of around 250 kilometers (155 miles).

Honda will position it as a premium vehicle so you better start saving right now

Besides being Honda’s first all-electric model to go on sale in Europe, the Urban EV will be significant for all the EVs Honda will bring to market in the future. That’s because the electric supermini will set the tone for the technology and design of Honda’s upcoming electric lineup.

As it usually happens with trailblazer models, it won’t come cheap. It may have the footprint of a supermini but that doesn’t mean the Honda Urban EV will be an affordable electric car. Autocar quotes Honda UK managing director Dave Hodgetts as saying the Urban EV will be positioned as a premium model.

What that means in terms of pricing is anyone’s guess but it will likely be significantly more expensive than similar-sized volume models such as the Renault Zoe.

Honda will start production of its first all-electric model for Europe in the second half of 2019. That means the Urban EV should be revealed earlier than that – the Geneva Motor Show in March looks like the ideal venue for the car’s public debut.

The carmaker will begin taking orders in early 2019 for Europe, with first deliveries coming late 2019. The Urban EV will also be available in Japan from 2020 but Honda made no announcement on U.S. availability so far.

*Update: New photos and information have been added to this article

more photos...

Photo Credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien | CarPix for CarScoops

  • Can’t wait for this. One of the best concept in years. I hope car sharing companies will take a note…

    • Honda NSX-R

      I hope Nissan takes notes and brings the IDX Concept to production in a similar manner to Honda bringing the Urban EV. The IDX can really work well as an electric car.

      • IFDU

        I was just thinking this as well. That is a great looking concept to fit into the EV crowd.
        I would love for Nissan to have the iDX as a legit sports car and offer an EV version, but that is only fantasy at the moment.

        • Honda NSX-R

          Yes it’s only a fantasy at the moment. That and a new Z.

      • EM1

        That would be nice to see an electric IDX!

  • Finkployd

    Yess now that’s exciting !

  • Carparral

    Love it! especially rear lights!

    • Honda NSX-R

      They look like flipped pause buttons, but they still suit the car well.

  • Mike anonymous

    New Supercars are revealed every other week/month, The next big hypercard or luxury car, or self-driving technological wonder is on the horizon,.. yet THIS is a vehicle I am truly excited for . I absolutely loved the concept, because it was nice, practical, beautifully designed (for once not so ‘over-styled’),. And SIMPLE. Similar to that of a breath of fresh air walking out from a bakery.

    (I note that the mirrors have been replaced by cameras) so I am not sure how it will fair (in regards to U.S. availability due to regulations), but I am sure it will be a hit, No matter where it sells. I am glad to say that I a world of performance vehicles, sporty design, and ‘the usual’ from the automotive marketplace,.. that there is a vehicle such as this, something I am very much so looking forward to. I (absolutely) CAN’T WAIT.

    • IFDU

      I am going to assume when it comes to the rear view mirror cameras, the U.S. will take baby steps. I believe that regular mirrors will still be standard but being able to switch a portion of the mirror or even the whole mirror to a digital screen. Just like on the interior rear view mirror.

      -Or- Have a small screen near the bottom of the A-pillar interior and a camera somewhere mounted on the outside for better visibility and safety (all the while still keeping the the traditional mirror for a failsafe.) That way, outside mirrors can become smaller, thus improving aerodynamics.

      But those are just rambling ideas whether clever or not. I would love for them to start putting cameras instead of mirrors next. We’ll see how the Lexus ES with them in Japan holds up in the long run.

  • EM1

    I really like the concept version over this as it sat lower, has two doors, with flatter proportions.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      Welcome to a big dose of reality!

      • EM1

        🙁

  • EM1
  • Oh Sh!t they’re making it!! Honda you beautiful fools!

    • LoL

      Don’t praise them yet, they still owe us an S2000

  • Ilbirs

    Some details that caught my attention:

    1) Frameless windows on a small car;

    2) The designers kept very well that vibe seen on square looking small cars from the 1970s. It’ll look a bit like the second-gen Civic hatchback;

    3) General proportions show that it’ll fit the so-called “Class 5” Japanese standards that the majority of the models sold there fall into;

    4) As we’re seeing rearview cameras instead of mirrors, maybe Honda found a way to increase internal width under the “Class 5” dimensional set by using this device, despite that mark up to 1.70 m/66.9 in of external width doesn’t take mirrors on account;

    5) Maybe it’s the camouflage, but these rear doors seem to be disproportionately shorter than the front ones;

    6) The lines steer very away from the “Solid Wing Face” identity seem on recently released Hondas and I loved to not see a “beluga forehead” grille ruining what would have been a nice front end without this kind of styling cue.

    Let’s also wait for platform specs to see if this is an approach like the one seen on a Leaf or a Bolt (electric powertrain on a platform that follows ICE building parameters) or what we see on a Tesla or Jaguar I-Pace (bespoke platform free of some constraints from the ICE buildin parameters). I bet on the first option and this base being shared with the next-gen Fit, but maybe Honda can surprise us.

  • jfalckt

    Christmas has come early! Ridiculous but true, I am so happy to see Honda put this into production.
    This promises to take Europe by storm and hopefully make small cars great again.

  • Ruel Lewis

    Am I the only one who isn’t hyped about this. I don’t see what’s so special about this.

    • IFDU

      We like its retro Honda design. Glad it’s not going to be an over styled mess (from what we can see and tell from) like most electric/hybrid/hydro cars are.

      More nostalgia of Honda’s old design, rather than hype imo.

  • IT’S AN URBAN CARS NOT LIKELY TO CARRY MORE THAN TWO.
    THEY CRAPPED IT UP BY ADDING THOSE DOORS.

    • Bash

      I agree on the second part. True

    • EM1

      Hopefully the 2 door will still be available but I’m more interested in the Sport EV version!

      • WELL, GIVEN THAT HONDA ONLY MAKES CIVIC COUPES TODAY I’M NOT OPTIMISTIC.

    • Krisnadi Imam

      wait till they make it japan domestic model only…

  • EM1
    • Knotmyrealname

      Yeah, hard to tell them apart, eh?

  • Tinky-Winky

    I just hope that these are not final production lights.

  • D3X

    Finally, a refreshing production design from Honda, rather than the fake grills, fake exhaust, gundam-esk look that already looks dated. Finally!

    • Enter Ranting

      No kidding. Their current styling is so tiresome! I hate fake aggression in a car’s design.

  • liams92

    More interesting the the new A1. If the price is right, I’m in.

  • Matt

    Oh it’s a Honda Twingo.

  • I CAN ONLY SPEAK TO MY “URBAN” REALITY. HERE I USUALLY SEE ONLY ONE PERSON INSIDE MOST.

  • I love it, especially the headlights/lamps, and the taillights/lamps, and design though.

  • Enter Ranting

    Honda is going to sell a billion of these.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    This…

    ..will be both special… and interesting…

    • Knotmyrealname

      …and look very different from either EM1’s rendering or the concept car.

  • EM1
  • jfalckt

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbe7f8997f359835b5722c0811b2cca82a1eac1450d1c88997db9e46b7dd082d.jpg

    Here’s a realistic production rendering. As usually is the case, no matter which way you look at it, the concept is infinitely more appealing.

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