Ever since it was shown as the Urban EV concept at the Frankfurt motor show in 2017, Honda’s electric runabout has been among the most anticipated cars. After many sneak peeks over the last two years, the Japanese carmaker showed a prototype of what is now called the Honda E at this year’s Geneva motor show in March, while a near-production prototype was demoed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Today, Honda released the first official images of the production-spec E. Said to be a major step towards Honda’s commitment to making 100 per cent of its European automobile sales electrified by 2025, the E will make its official public debut at 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show next week.
The design seems to have been watered down slightly compared to the Urban EV concept, with the muscular wheelarches giving way for smoother, flatter ones and two additional doors taking away from the athleticism projected by the two-door concept’s styling. However, since these changes were already seen in the Geneva prototype the only visual changes between that and the final production car are the grille badge that is not illuminated and the ‘Honda Design’ badge missing from the side skirt. Although slightly less exciting than the original concept, the Honda E’s lines are clean and uncluttered. The Side Camera Mirror System replaces conventional side view mirrors with compact cameras, and provides live images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. The five-screen full-width digital dashboard and connected infotainment system adds to the overall hi-tech atmosphere of the Honda E’s cabin. The largest portion of the dashboard is occupied by dual 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens that act as primary infotainment displays for a range of applications and connected infotainment services.
The Honda E’s high-power electric motor is available with two power outputs of 100 kW (136 horsepower) or 113kW (154 horsepower), and torque of 315Nm. A compact 35.5kWh battery helps deliver a range of up to 220km from a single charge. It is also equipped with fast charging capability, which allows recharge to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes. Honda claims the E, which can do the 0-100kph sprint in 8.0 seconds, delivers a responsive and fun experience on the road.
The car’s connected services and applications can be accessed either via the touchscreen interface or using voice commands using the Honda Personal Assistant service, a smart artificial intelligence facility that is activated by saying, “OK Honda”, followed by a question or instruction.
Customers in the UK, Germany, France and Norway can make a reservation for priority ordering online or register their interest in other European markets on respective Honda national websites.