2017 Frankfurt Motor Show LIVE: Honda Urban EV concept image

The Japanese automaker has managed to come up in front of the worldwide audience of the Frankfurt Motor Show with a charming and quite personal interpretation of the urban car niche.

Best of all, the Urban EV concept is actually previewing the company’s “technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model.” It’s undoubtedly a coup d’etat if Honda will introduce a series of production EVs – this concept is built around an entirely new architecture, so it won’t come alone due to costs – with vintage design and an advanced propulsion system. The production series model is scheduled to arrive in 2019 – its timeless design won’t make it obsolete – according to Honda president Takahiro Hachigo: “This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019,” he said during the press conference on the IAA show floor.

2017 Frankfurt Motor Show Honda Urban EV concept 7

With ultra-compact dimensions, the prototype comes in below the Jazz subcompact, and Honda even hints at some sort of sportiness thanks to the “planted, muscular stance,” combined with novel technology. For example, in between the headlights and taillights there are displays to deliver info such as charging status updates, or even advice for other drivers. The minimalist cabin gets a steering wheel and traditional controls (we have to point that out, now!) and is filled with high-tech/traditional elements – there’s wood finish, but also a huge dashboard screen that even extends onto the doors.