NEWS: Honda reveals production-ready RWD electric hatch

Honda will reveal a rear-wheel-drive electric hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Named the E Prototype, the car appears to be a very-close-to-production version of the first-generation Civic-inspired Urban EV Concept that was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. Sadly, it’s less aggressively retro, but it still retains a few throwback design cues.

We’ve known for about a month that the production car would shed some of the Urban EV’s retro charm. While it’s still somewhat evocative of Hondas past, it’s less obviously based on any one particular model. Instead, the E Prototype looks like it has a mix of of Life, N360, and Civic, all blended together and reinterpreted.

The car will have a range of about 124 miles and will be able to charge its battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes. “On the road, the driving dynamics are focused on delivering a fun and emotive experience,” Honda says, “With the powerful electric motor driven through rear wheels for next-generation small-car performance. However, whatever cues it lost on the exterior, it more than made up for it in the cabin.

We asked our friend, designer, and die-hard Honda head Ryu Asada about his thoughts, and he was a fan of the interior, nothing thatit had a shelf-like dash just like the original Civic. The wood trim also evokes the first-generation Civic’s dash as well, as does the two-spoke with round center steering wheel. Even the dual knobs below the dash look related, except that in the Civic they tuned the radio, while in the E Prototype they serve as the climate control.

Not since the Toyota Starlet has a small, RWD Japanese hatchback. So despite its styling changes and the fact that it doesn’t have an internal combustion engine, it’s still an interesting car we could see ourselves dailying. Sadly, Honda has already confirmed that it won’t be coming to the US.

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12 Responses to NEWS: Honda reveals production-ready RWD electric hatch

  1. Ian Newman says:

    How do you “charge its batter” ?

    – add electrodes to the cooking fat?

  2. Scotty G says:

    “.. what a crowd, what a crowd..” (in my best Rodney Dangerfield voice)

  3. dankan says:

    Honestly, the range doesn’t work for me. I need a solid 400km highway on a charge, with much faster charging before I can honestly consider an electric car. But…

    As a second car, a RWD hot hatch looks like some very naughty retro-futuristic fun and if I didn’t need that 400km distance I would put this at the top of my list. As it is, it’s guilt-free second car world champ; I love it to bits.

    This is an interesting trend for Honda though, as they’ve delivered on several of their most radical recent concepts. The S660 was also originally pure concept car, but it’s a pretty solid hit, and the e looks like it could be similar. Now if they do a Sports EV production run, they’ll have a pretty epic halo car for their worldwide line-up.

  4. BlitzPig says:

    Give it the normally aspirated 2 liter four from the Civic, a good 6 speed manual, and a curve carving suspension with big brakes, then we can talk.

  5. P. Ka-Chu Sr. says:

    They perpetually put the WRONG engine/drivetrain in the WRONG platform.

    To the gallows with the focus groups!!!

  6. David says:

    Um, it has 5-lug, probably decent size brakes. Electric motor will have a decent amount of torque put to the rear wheels. I do wish the range were higher.

    But check out those rear view mirrors! They appear to be cameras that display the left/right rear view on the left and right sections of that beautifully retro dash. Rad!

  7. Long Beach Mike says:

    Unfortunately, the production version will require actual mirrors, at least in the US. I have seen one new car (don’t remember which) that supplemented standard rear view mirrors with cameras that displayed a view of blind spots in the instrument binnacle in response to driver activation of the turn signal for lane changes. Very cool.

  8. BlitzPig says:

    Long Beach Mike, my V6 Accord Coupe manual does that. It can also be turned on manually.

  9. Mark Newton-John says:

    Aw man, how am I going to hang a half finished primered body kit, a fart can, and a tow hook if they won’t bring it here?

  10. Taterhead says:

    Just a suggestion, start the article off with “It won’t be coming to the U.S.” next time. So I won’t get my hopes up.

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