Last week the management of JT Hughes were provided with a sneak preview of a car set to arrive in the Honda section of our showroom in 2019 – step forward the Honda Urban EV Concept, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The German automobile show piece can usually be relied upon to provide exciting launches and act as a barometer for other developments in the car world; 2017’s event was no different. But few exhibitions at the event provided a glimpse into the future of driving as vivid as Honda’s pure electric concept car, which has already set pulses racing with a host of next generation features.
Honda’s Electric Vision
The Honda Urban EV Concept is central to the Electric Vision - represented in the ‘EV’ acronym - which has been given centre stage by Honda. It is a strategy which was put forward at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The Urban EV Concept is the first car to utilise Honda’s new dedicated vehicle platform, which harnesses fully-electric powertrain technology. What this will provide to drivers of the Urban EV will be a vehicle engineered only for electric; integrated heat management, evolutionary energy transfer functions, and a battery pack which is high density yet lightweight.
Forward thinking design
While it may become the norm in the future, at this stage the Honda Urban EV Concept is anything but run of the mill. And judging by the unveiling, it won’t look like anything run of the mill, either. Mixing sophistication with simplicity, the Urban EV Concept gives the impression of a supremely balanced machine, with planted stance which has been described as “muscular”. Compact and cool, the Urban EV Concept also displays many futuristic touches which mark it out from the rest.
An eye catching backlit Honda emblem will glow blue, and at the front, there will be an interactive multilingual messaging capability in between the headlights which feels like it belongs in a Back to the Future film. Urban EV drivers will be able to display their charging status, show greetings, or provide advice to other road users.
The inside track
Stepping inside the Urban EV Concept, drivers are introduced to a new companion. The advanced Honda Automated Network Assistant is a personal concierge capable of offering intelligent recommendations and choices by applying learnings from the driver’s past decisions. Think Google Assistant on the go.
If a visually dynamic driving experience is what you expect from the ‘cockpit’, the Urban EV Concept suggests this car is likely to meet your expectations. The unveiling revealed a vehicle with superb visibility, owing to a wide, sweeping windscreen and slim A pillars. And hopping in and out while negotiating busy urban streets doesn’t seem to present a problem, thanks to rear hinged coach doors.
Upholstery combining different materials give the interior a “lounge feel”, and four occupants can travel in comfort. Honda highlighted the Urban EV Concept’s “floating dashboard console”, where the driver can find the steering wheel column, panoramic display screen and simple control buttons. The main dashboard screen will be the place to look for a host of vehicle information, including the all-important battery level. The electric charging cable connection itself is located on the bonnet.
Honda Power Manager
While we’re on the subject of power, we should relay the news of the Power Manager Concept, which was also unveiled in Frankfurt alongside the Urban EV Concept. It is a very clever new way for drivers to manage energy transfer between their car, their home and the grid. What this could mean in future years is that drivers will be able to release energy into their home from renewable sources, or alternatively sell it back to the grid, thanks to this smart and efficient energy storage system.
All systems go for 2018
The Honda Urban EV Concept will pave the way for a new production model which is due to be with us in 2019, so keep your eyes peeled! We can’t wait for the next chapter in Honda’s electric journey to begin.
While the Honda Urban EV might be not be ready quite yet, at JT Hughes we have a range of other vehicles for you to choose from. Click here to see our latest Honda offers.