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Honda Urban EV Concept previews all-electric supermini at Frankfurt 2017

Published: 12 September 2017

► Cute retro-styled electric-only concept
► Production version scheduled for 2019
► Minimalist interior with panoramic dash

Meet the Honda Urban EV Concept, a starkly striking preview of an all-electric supermini that’s set to go on sale in 2019, just announced at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.

Honda’s not saying too much about what powers it, instead concentrating on its Honda Power Manager technology, as showcased on CAR earlier this year, and the company’s ‘Electric Vision’ for 2030 and beyond.

Honda Urban EV Concept - cute, retro-styled all-electric supermini side view

We do know that the Urban EV Concept is based on a bespoke electric car platform, which features a high-density, lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management and what’s described as the evolution of energy transfer functions – both to and from the vehicle.

So, not much tech – let’s talk design

It’s a lovely looking thing, clearly referencing the original Honda Civic and the N600, with many shades of the Volkswagen Golf Mk1, too – which is a good thing in our books. It’s simple and sophisticated, and although it’s 100mm shorter than the Jazz supermini, it looks longer, wider and more purposeful.

Honda Urban EV Concept - illuminated communicating grille

The blue backlit Honda badge is an interesting feature, which will find its way to all future EVs from the company. And rather like the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo Concept, the Urban EV has interactive multilingual messages that can be displayed between the headlights. Cute, eh?

What’s the Honda Urban EV like inside?

The Honda Urban EV’s a doddle to get in thanks to rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors. It’s light and airy, with slim A-pillars and a wide windscreen.

Interior of the Honda Urban EV Concept

The dash is a thing of beauty – it’s finished in wood and wraps around, with a panoramic display screen sitting on top and a minimalist ethos. The Urban EV also comes with a quartic steering wheel like an Austin Allegro. What’s not to like?

Despite being so small, it’s an easy four-seater, with four adults accommodated across two bench seats finished in different materials. The front row is upholstered with natural grey fabric, with the seat backs, squabs and arm rests embellished with the same wood as the dash.

As for the production version? 'It's still under development,' said Ikuo Takeishi, Honda R&D Executive. But we're hoping our shouts of 'build it!' across the table at Frankfurt didn't go unnoticed. 

Click here for the full Frankfurt motor show A-Z on CAR magazine

By Keith Adams

Devout classic Citroen enthusiast, walking car encyclopedia, and long-time contributor to CAR