Adding to the pile of ‘interesting’ name choices of all things EV-related, Honda has debuted two futuristic all-electric concepts from its “Series 0”, with the company looking to “embrace electric powertrains and autonomous driving”.
The two models include a Space-Hub, a fancy (and unlike the Series 0, an admirable naming decision) name for a spacious, boxy, minivan-like concept. But the star of the show at Consumer Electronics Show (or CES), arguably the premier stage for all things on the bleeding edge of technology at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, was the saloon concept.
The low height and the stylish, sleek and aerodynamic silhouette instantly sets it apart from most EVs on the road. But don’t most concepts designed this way never end up seeing the light of day, you ask? Well, Honda has promised that by 2026, a production model based on this saloon should hit the North American markets, before being subsequently made available in other parts of the world.
The Japanese auto giant, also confirmed to supply engines to Aston Martin in Formula 1 from the same year, is calling the saloon the flagship model of its Series 0. However, we feel calling a car with such a low ride height and such a fiercely aero design with apparently no boot-lid hinged below the rear window is again an interesting decision, but we are giving Honda the benefit of the doubt with its innovativeness.
But concept-to-production pipeline’s cynicism aside, the saloon does look great. The thin strip of headlamps running at the front is like a cyberpunk take on the Lamborghini Countach, while the rear sports another box of lights, shaped similar to the front but swapping out the blue for red lights.
There’s also a new logo to go with. Honda says that it has updated its iconic and uber-recognisable H, featured on all its cars since 1981, for its next generation of EVs. “Like two outstretched hands,” says the company, to describe the thinner, more minimal and more slanted H shape. Our thoughts? We can bet not many people are going to notice it.
The first entries in Honda’s Series 0 lineup will feature advanced driver-assistive systems that pair with the carmaker’s Sensing Elite software. In the latter part of the decade, Honda expects the 0 Series to gain automated driving features through the integration of AI.
Around the same time the company expects to implement dramatic improvements to its battery technology, like fast charging from 15 to 80 percent in around 15 minutes and reducing battery degradation to less than 10 percent over 10 years.
Now these are certainly bold goals, especially for a company that is probably a little late to the EV space. But if you’re keeping up with the latest and greatest in the EV world, you’d know that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work going on at the Japanese manufacturer to consolidate its position along with the big-name EV makers.
Honda currently only has two fully electric vehicles to offer: the nippy city car Honda e, and the SUV Honda e:Ny1. The company, however, has a host of other cars with hybrid powertrains (it’s bringing back the beloved Prelude as a hybrid), and has recently collaborated with GM for a mid-sized SUV with 300 miles of range and loads of other promising features, the Honda Prologue.
— Honda (@Honda) January 9, 2024