NEWS: The Honda EV prototype loses its first-gen Civic looks

Over the weekend Honda published a new illustration of its upcoming electric vehicle, scheduled to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. Unfortunately, it’s pretty disappointing. It looks as if it has lost much of the retro, first-gen Civic charm that drummed up much excitement among JNCers when the original concept debuted.

You’ll recall that the original concept, which Honda called the Urban EV, had a cool, throwback design inspired by the first-generation Civic. It was probably the first time JNC readers had been truly excited about an electric car. Soon after, Honda announced that they were actually going to build it.

Since then, some spy shots of a camouflaged test mule have been spotted. From the looks of the prototype and the official image, the old school look was toned down substantially. The tester has grown two rear doors, which is to be expected, but the front fascia is a lot more rounded and “friendly.” Interestingly, the production prototype seems to keep the side cameras in lieu of mirrors.

Whatever form it takes, Honda has told us that the car will not be coming to the US market because of its size. Europe and Japan will be its main markets. Still, we hope that the final form still evokes some of the original concept’s allure.


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3 Responses to NEWS: The Honda EV prototype loses its first-gen Civic looks

  1. Chet Manley says:

    This is absolutely stupid. I’m dejected about the looks being less retro but more importantly it’s frustrating that we don’t get it. Fiat has proven that there is a market for subcompact cars. Especially in city centers where parking is a bitch and people rarely go outside of 100 miles in total driving for the day.

    Even if Honda did a limited release of the Urban EV in places like California and Oregon, it would still sell. I guess the penny pinchers there don’t see the point in federalizing a cool small EV. For the record, I passed by 3 Chevy Bolts, an E-Golf and a 500E in my commute here in the midwest today.

  2. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Truly disappointing. Tick off enough of the demographics, and we’ll take our money seriously to electrifying our JNC’s. Stop killing our dreams of Urban EV’s & IDx’s.

  3. Bob says:

    Can anyone point out to me the section in the rulebook that requires every EV to resemble a kitchen appliance on wheels?
    Were any of these designers alive before 1998?

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