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.