By Tim Pollard
First Official Pictures
10 November 2011 02:00
Honda hopes to set the agenda at the 2011 Tokyo motor show with no fewer than seven concept cars – including its answer to the BMW i8, the new Small Sports EV Concept.
Little is being said about the new compact sports car, but we know it will definitely be a full EV. These first design sketches reveal a stubby targa top with new Honda styling cues.
The sides are heavily scalloped, in the style of Peugeot's new pared-back aesthetic and there's a bold graphic running around the front of the car, following the shape of the grille and enforcing a distinctive character line down the flank of the car.
It's frustrating that Honda is saying so little about the Small Sports EV Concept at this stage, but the press blurb released today confirms the cars are 'hinting at the design direction of future models.'
What else is Honda showing at the 2011 Tokyo motor show?
There are the requisite urban commuter type models that used to be the preserve of Tokyo, but are now finally seeping out to auto shows around the globe.
So there's the new AC-X, a plug-in hybrid model for urban hops or longer trips. It looks like the sort of vehicle which could replace today's Insight – and are there shades of FCX fuel-cell vehicle in the design? We think so.
And the Micro Commuter Concept does what it says on the tin: it's a tiny, full electric vehicle – and you can even park the car and continue on the small Compo two-wheel EV stored inside. Its battery can be detached and used as a power source in everyday life – potentially giving you days' worth of charge for your laptop or portable gizmos.
You said seven concepts…
Yes, it'll take you quite a while to get around the Honda stand at the Tokyo salon. There's also the E-Canopy and RC-E electric bikes, which show how Honda's vision for future mobility can include four wheels or two, sports bikes or silent EV town scooters.
The Townwalker is one of those crazy city transportation devices for when you simply can't be bothered to walk, while the N Concept is a new compact car exploring the use of space in small cars.
Don't mock: the last time Honda showed us a similar concept, it went on to launch the innovative Jazz supermini, one of the cleverest small cars around.