Honda, a strong proponent of hybrid car technology, has confirmed that the Honda SUV e: prototype, unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2021, won’t stay as a concept. The vehicle indicates the direction of the mass-production model of Honda’s first EV for China, which is to release in Spring 2022. The production model is likely to be revealed by December this year, and provisional competitors include the MG ZS EV (MG eZS), Kia e-Niro, and the Hyundai Kona EV.
While Honda is months away from unveiling the road-ready model, ElectricVehicleWeb has rendered the final product based on the concept car and the SUV’s design language.
The rendered Honda HR-V electric SUV has minimal changes. We expect the bumpers to be slightly more expressive and realistic on the production version, and the pop-up style door handles to be replaced by pull-type units. Designers should replace the LED headlights and LED fog lights with energy-saving units and add a little visual drama. The regular mirrors may not be as aerodynamic as the slim units of the concept, but they are practical. Regular ORVMs, unlike digital mirrors, don’t consume energy, cost less and meet regulations widely. The special tyres should reduce rolling resistance.
Source: Youtube/Supercar TV
Honda electric SUV to release in Spring 2022
Honda has announced the launch of 10 EVs in China within five years, and the precursor of the next new mass-produced model is the Honda SUV e: prototype, which is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2022. Honda unveiled the pure-electric concept car as one of the steps to realizing carbon neutrality with BEVs and FCEVs in China by 2040. The company plans to change its entire line-up to BEVs and FCEVs in North America by 2040 and in Japan by 2030.
In addition to a futuristic design, the Honda SUV e: prototype features the 3rd generation Honda CONNECT that works with a smartphone, supports OTA update, and has an advanced voice recognition interface. Honda did not detail the interior, charging or the powertrain, but official footage briefly shows two large screens, one behind the steering wheel in place of the cluster and another in portrait orientation for AVN.
The design looks almost identical to the new HR-V launched in Japan this month. It has the customary EV design elements such as a ‘closed’ front-end, unique lighting that includes a continuous LED strip that connects the headlamps, and aero-styled ORVMs. The Honda SUV e: prototype is an evolution of the Honda SUV e:concept (pictured below) that debuted at the Auto China 2020 (2020 Beijing Motor Show) in September. Its purpose was always to morph into a production electric SUV.
The Honda SUV e: prototype which previews a Hyundai Ioniq 5 rival from Japan, has a funky yet aggressive design packaged in a compact body. Sharp headlamps, inward-angled nose, a large faux air inlet, high bonnet, straight lines, and a good ground clearance give the concept a powerful character.
The SUV e: prototype features LED headlamps, a light signature linking the headlamps, and a luminous logo. On the sides, it features large multi-spoke wheel hubs, light guides along the doors, and a gently dropping roofline.
Honda’s battery electric cars in Europe, USA & China
Honda Motor Company currently has four pure electric vehicles in showrooms globally, the Honda e hatchback in Europe and Japan and the Dongfeng-Honda X-NV & M-NV, and the GAC-Honda VE-1 SUVs in China. The SUVs are technically pure electric variants of the outgoing HR-V but don’t wear the Honda badge.
Further west, Honda and General Motors announced last year that they will jointly develop two new EVs for the Japanese auto major for sales in America. The SUV models from Honda and Acura, underpinned by GM’s EV platform and designed by Honda, will be powered by GM’s Ultium batteries and will go on sale in the USA in 2023.
Images of the SUV e:concept from the Honda China website.