Honda EV-N: Retro-Electric at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show

Moments ago, Honda revealed the cars it plans to display at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show this October. And looky here – a new concept paying homage to the N-series! Details on the EV-N Concept remain sparse, though more will surely emerge as the show approaches. All we know is that it’s all electric and charmingly inspired by the 1967 N360.

In fact, much of Honda’s Tokyo Motor Show lineup awesomely consists of environmentally friendly tributes to older models.

But first, let’s look at some of the snazzy deets of the EV-N. It’s been a long time since an Japanese automaker has put so much retro goodness into a concept, probably not since the 2005 Suzuki LC Concept.

Here’s the front view of an US-market Honda N600 for comparison.

The EV-N has a solar panel on the roof to charge its batteries.


Interior seat inserts can be easily swapped from red Herman Miller to Tartan.

The face lights up with something Honda has called the EV Communication System. Since it’s all electric, it needs no grille.


The retro look continues to the rear.

The taillights are the most obvious cue, but the license plate light shroud of the N360 resembles the EV-N’s hatch handle as well.

And as astute reader Lincoln Stax pointed out, the Honda U3-X uni-wheeled barstool folds into the door just like the suitcase-sized Motocompo motorcycle did in the trunk of the Honda City.

The U3-X in action.

We’re suckers for retro styling, but most car nuts will probably be more interested in the CR-Z Concept 2009. We’ve seen an older CR-Z concepts before, but this is the closest yet to a production-ready version of the spiritual successor to the much-loved CR-X. The only nod, however, seems to be the vertical glass on the rear hatch.

The Honda EV-Cub is another throwback, although we don’t know if you can call it that when the Super Cub has been in continuous production for 50 years.

It too has the Tron-like lighting of the EV Communication system.

More details will emerge in the coming days. For now, here’s the most solid proof in a long time that automakers can design cool cars without throwing heritage out the window. Many more photos below.

[Images: Honda, Japanese Classic Car Maniacs]

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13 Responses to Honda EV-N: Retro-Electric at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show

  1. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    It seems this years Tokyo Show is going to be a real treat! Subaru’s Hybrid Tourer is a real looker too.

  2. Lincoln Stax said:

    You left out one of the most amazing features of the EV-N: the self-leveling UX-3 electric unicycle in the passenger door.
    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/09/24/tokyo-preview-honda-unveils-u3-x-personal-mobility-device/

  3. Ben said:

    Can’t get anything past you, Lincoln!

  4. Zechs said:

    I hope that those retro cars are gone make the market and also that the guys at toyota, nissan, mitsubishi, etc. are joining this back to the roots frenzy that the americans started a couple of years ago.

    Have to say honda did a good job with the EV-N, now I would like to see the celica, rx3 and laurel in retro style.

    so get started you little japanese carbuilders!

  5. E-AT_me said:

    Wow. The EV-N is an awesome looking concept! Give me one with a 1.2l turbo diesel and i’d be happy!

    Who am I kidding, i’d take the EV too if i didn’t live so far from work.

  6. Mr.L.J. Nordvik said:

    Zechs,I agree with you so much I’m dizzy! :-D

  7. bert said:

    Since when did cars become accesories! My head would spin with all that technology!

  8. G-zilla said:

    First electrics that I like, the EV-N and the EV-Cub. The CR-Z not much and I own a CRX but I just dont feel they got the same vibe from the car.

  9. Ben said:

    You know what’s funny? Other media outlets have been calling the EV-N everything from a “Trabant” to a “Mini Cooper.” No one seems to recognize it’s a Honda.

  10. I’ll take an EV-Cub please .

  11. Lincoln Stax said:

    Ben, I was noticing that, too. No one but us seems to remember the N360/N600.

  12. vballin said:

    on Jalopnik, one commenter compared it to the Nissan Be-1, lol. Then someone brough up the Z600 to prove him wrong. Then finally someone mentioned the N600…

  13. regal said:

    can’t say that i agree with zechs on the retro craze. just look at the new camaro, bulky and ugly. thats why i like japanese automakers, they continue foward. but i guess i wouldnt mind a couple of throwbacks here and there.

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