Honda is about to treat EV fans with a high-tech, design-led electric car based on the Urban EV concept unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show.
The production version has just been spotted in prototype form, and judging by our spy shots the car will be a virtual carbon copy of the uber-cute concept.
Key design traits like the retro body and circular elements of the head and taillights have been faithfully transferred over, as have the cameras in lieu of side mirrors. A peek inside also reveals a digital rearview mirror.
2019 Honda Urban EV spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
One key difference is that the production version features a five-door body as opposed to the concept's three-door design. The wheel patterns featured on this prototype are also much simpler than the cool multi-spoke design of the concept.
Honda said at the Urban EV concept's reveal that the a production version would be launched in Europe in 2019. Sadly, there was no mention of plans for the United States, likely due to the car's diminutive size.
We don't know anything about the powertrain beyond the fact that it's battery-electric. Honda hasn't provided a battery capacity, motor power or torque figures, range estimates, or even which set of wheels are driven.
Honda Urban EV Concept
Look for a debut of Honda's tiny electric car in the first half of 2019. A reveal at next March's Geneva auto show is a strong possibility. A fitting name would be Honda's City nameplate, since the retro design echoes the original Honda City hatch of the 1980s.
Honda also rolled out a related Sports EV concept at the 2017 Tokyo auto show. The electric sports car concept hasn't been confirmed for production but is expected to eventually spawn a model for the Japanese market.
Honda is committed to adding many more electrified cars to its lineup. Based on its 2030 Vision strategy announced in 2017, the automaker aims to have two thirds of its cars fitted with some form of electrification by 2030. The focus will be on plug-in hybrid technology but electric and fuel cell cars are also planned. In the U.S., Honda already offers plug-in hybrid and electric versions of its Clarity sedan.