Near-production Honda SUV e: prototype revealed at Auto Shanghai 2021

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 today at the Auto Shanghai 2021 as one of the steps to realizing carbon neutrality by 2050.

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 SUV-e prototype rear
Image: Honda/Motor-Fan Japan

The design looks quite similar to the new HR-V that was 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 reckoned as the advancement of the Honda SUV e:concept (pictured below) that debuted at the Auto China 2020 (2020 Beijing Motor Show) in September. Its ultimate purpose is 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 Honda 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, a strong proponent of hybrid car technology, has confirmed that the Honda SUV e: prototype won’t stay as a concept for long. The concept 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 the end of the year.

Honda Motor Company currently has four pure electric vehicles on sale 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 previous-gen Honda HR-V but don’t use the Honda badge.

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.

Featured image: Global Honda Facebook page