While the Honda Urban EV Concept definitely has plenty of futuristic elements, fans of the marque don’t have to look far to see a nod to the company’s past vehicles. Because when checking over the lines, it’s clear the first generation Civic hatch served as more than just casual inspiration. Those models helped put Honda on the map in the United States, and demonstrated many of the traits — fuel efficiency, practicality, reliability — which would come to define the company’s vehicles.
Of course, the Urban EV Concept also features plenty of touches which would have seemed like science fiction when the plucky little Civic first landed on our shores. Since it’s fully electric, there’s no need for a traditional grille. In its place, there’s a screen which drivers can use to display messages — though we have to wonder about the restraint necessary to use such a system during frustrating urban gridlock. If something like this ever sees production? It might make sense for the designers to offer a list of pre-programmed greetings, so owners don’t wind up using it to indulge their inner potty mouth. To reinforce that it’s fully electric, the Urban EV concept also displays its charge status along each side and between the taillights.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the concept is the interior. A giant screen takes up most of the dashboard, and beside the display and the bench seats, there’s not much else going on — which is fine by us. Because in an era where cabins seem to get more and more cluttered, this minimalist approach feels particularly forward thinking, and we’d love to see more manufacturers embrace it.
While the Urban EV is just a concept right now, Honda told attendees at the Frankfurt Motor Show that it will see production, though no details were available on the powertrain. Availability in the States is also still an unknown, but given the great reaction we’ve seen from industry folks, we can definitely see something similar appearing at your local AutoNation Honda dealer in the future. So keep your fingers crossed.