Honda Urban EV Concept Swears It’s More than Just a Futuristic VW Golf Mk1

It’s no secret Honda has ignored the electric vehicle trend for too long, a period of time that saw the Japanese automaker get left behind by its rivals. For this reason, Honda teamed up with Hitachi, and plenty of money will go toward research and development of electrification solutions for future models.

For this year’s edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Honda brought the Urban EV to showcase its vision on electrification. It’s a concept that screams Golf Mk1 through every pore, but Honda’s rendition is original in its own right. If you thought that this is nothing but a one-off, I’m afraid Honda begs to differ.

The Urban EV “is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019,” confirmed Takahiro Hachigo, the president and chief executive officer of the Japanese company. So yeah, it won’t be long now until the production-ready Urban EV arrives at dealers.

100 millimeters shorter than the subcompact Jazz (Fit in the United States), the concept has a front bumper which integrates a screen that can display messages. Charging status, greetings for other drivers, it can do whatever you like, except for displaying the F word to slowcoaches in the fast lane. Stepping inside the cabin reveals something even more interesting, and I’m not referring to the rear-hinged suicide doors. Just look at that screen!

Developed with four occupants in mind and embellished with wood trim, the interior prides itself on few control buttons. The panoramic display is the most original feature, running behind the console and extending into the A-pillars. And that’s right, video cameras replace the conventional side mirrors!

For reasons that Honda hasn’t made public, the automaker refuses to release information on the electric motor, battery, and driving range. All Honda is willing to reveal is that an EV platform is in the pipeline, integrating a high-density but lightweight lithium-ion battery and energy transfer functions.

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