SPIED: Honda Urban EV Is Almost Production-Ready

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Honda’s upcoming electric urban car has been spied testing on public roads for the first time. The spy shots have surfaced online ahead of its scheduled production next year.

The prototype in the spy shots is heavily camouflaged, yet it strongly resembles the original concept Honda had previewed at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, Germany, in 2017. Dimensions seem to be largely similar, and the production mule carries the same round headlamps as the concept, although it is hard to make out many of the car’s lines under the camouflage.

The concept Urban EV was well received when it debuted last September, and was later displayed this year at the Geneva Motor Show. The final production version will be unveiled at the next motor show in Switzerland in March, following which Honda will open its order books for the cutesy EV.

The Urban EV concept proved so popular, in fact, that Honda has kept a majority of the prototype’s design cues on the production version. Inside, the major change will be five seats instead of the concept’s four, and the adoption of more conventional switchgear and displays. The electric car will set the direction for the technology and design of future EVs from Honda.

When it goes on sale, the Urban EV will not steal sales from other models, which helped its case for production according to a senior Honda source. The company had given the concept slim A-pillars and a wide windscreen to maximize visibility for the drivers. It looks like the test mule loses out on that feature, but one can’t be sure what the camouflage is concealing.

Honda gave out no official details regarding the car’s powertrain, mileage, or battery capacity, but a source at Honda suggested a range around 250km from a high-density lightweight battery pack with integrated heat management and energy transfer function that works both ways.

The company unveiled its Honda Power Manager Concept last year which is an integrated energy transfer system that can distribute electricity to and from the main grid as well as directing power flow from renewable sources. Philip Ross, senior vice president for Honda Europe said, “When appropriate, Power Manager can draw on energy from the EV battery to power the home and minimise the demand from the main grid. It even allows the energy stored in the EV to be sold back to the grid to generate an income for the owner.”

That’s all the low-down we have on the cute little Honda for now, but do take a look at the spy shots and let us know your thoughts on the Urban EV.

All Images Credit: Autocar

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