Honda’s Electric SUV Concept For China Looks Kind Of Great

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Honda SUV e:concept

Image: Honda

The Honda e:concept is being presented at the 2020 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (also known as Auto China 2020 or just the Beijing auto show.) It seems to combine a lot of elements that I don’t like, yet ends up creating something that’s actually pretty slick.

The extent of official information that Honda offered in a press release over the weekend is here:

“Honda is striving to develop a mass-production EV model which will offer a value based on mobility experiences that remain fresh and FUN for customers. To this end, the new EV model will be equipped with omnidirectional ADAS, the next-generation Honda SENSING safety and driver-assistive system with improved recognition, predication and decision-making performance, as well as the next-generation Honda CONNECT, which features an AI assistant interface, smartphone link and wireless updates made possible by advanced connectivity.”

Oh boy, AI in infotainment! I was about to say I’ve bitched about this before, but the screed I’m thinking of (about how much I hated the idea of Lamborghini’s adopting Alexa) never ended up getting published. Anyway, to hell with having to ride with robots.

That said, Honda’s statement doesn’t really say anything outside of “here’s where our head’s at with electric cars right now, also we’d like to imagine it with a lot of driver-assistance tech.”

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The design of the car is more fun to talk about, anyway.

I like the look of this concept, but I’m having a hard time articulating why. At first glance, it looks like some of the prototypes we’ve seen from Hyundai over the last few years. Not a bad thing. The true two-door factor is fun, and I like that Honda didn’t feel the need to put a grille on it for a non-existent radiator.

The fender and skirt cladding makes it look a little more realistic, too. I suspect that cladding, and the general shape of the nose and headlights, will be the elements that make it to production; surely Honda will sell something like this only as a four-door. Either way, it will be interesting to see what becomes of it.

More concretely, Honda’s also trotting out its first plug-in hybrid for China, a CR-V PHEV, which is slated to go on sale at the beginning of 2021. There was no timeline given on the emergence of anything like the e:concept SUV.

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