The future of motoring is electric. Or so it seems, what with the automotive industry investing heavily in electric cars. Everyone seems to be doing it in some form, whether that’s developing a fully electric car, a hybrid or plug-in.
Honda is going in hard. They’ve perhaps the richest history of innovation of any manufacturer, particularly by way of doing things differently. The Honda-e – due for release later this year – is a perfect example. It’s a small, fully electric hatchback with styling based on the original Honda Civic, made from 1972-1979.
Which is to say, it’s rather retro. Futuristic too, with round LED headlights, a stubby back end and fetching two-tone paint scheme. It has all the hallmarks of a modern classic, with much the marketability of a Fiat 500.
Of course, this is a Honda though. Which means engineering, as much as design, takes precedence. It will have a range of 125-miles when it launches with regenerative braking and multiple drive modes, including an eco and performance mode. These cut or boost the power to suit the road, and drive, ahead.
Interested? Good news! You don’t have long to wait to see it in the flesh, for Honda are showcasing it at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
It’ll actually be making its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 – the full production version that is (or at least, as near enough a production model as you can get just before sales start). Honda says it’ll be 95% accurate to the mass production model, so it’ll be a good indication for style.
Honda is said to have worked tirelessly to make the Honda-e the most versatile small electric car, which means we can expect a decent boot and space across the back row with space for four passengers. The interior is very futuristic, with concept drawings showing three screens set across the dashboard. It is highly unlikely this feature will make the final production model, but a big infotainment screen should.
Elsewhere, we expect a lot of kit. Automatic Headlights, High Beam Assist, keyless entry, regenerative braking, parking sensors, a reversing camera … the kind of useful features and creature comforts you want in your everyday car.
And that powerplant? We don’t know the full specifications yet, but we know the Honda-e will be front wheel drive and have a range of around 125-miles as tested under the new, strict WLTP rules. It’ll be the latest-generation battery technology, which enables the battery to charge from zero to 80% in 30 minutes at a 100kWh charging station. Charging it at home with a 10KwH station takes around 4 hours.
Of course, this isn’t the first innovative Honda as far as efficiency goes. Back in 2015, the Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC set a new Guinness World Record for ‘Lowest fuel consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries (all cars)’, returning 100.31 miles per gallon combined on an 8,387-mile journey starting in Aalst, Belgium. You can catch the Honda-e at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from the 4th to the 7th of July. It won’t be the only Honda making its debut either – the NSX Hybrid will be too, although we’re more excited for the plucky little Honda-e. There’s just something about it. Perhaps we’re just suckers for retro. Or perhaps it’s because we can actually afford it. We’re sure the NSX will make a nicer poster though.