Honda E Prototype Is a Cute Retro Rear-wheel-drive EV For European Roads

89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva
The new Honda E Prototype is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

Honda's E Prototype is a cute rear-wheel-drive urban EV that's set to capture the hearts and attention of drivers and car enthusiasts in Europe. It was first revealed as a concept car two years ago, but now it's close to being mass produced. Read on for more details.

Appearing at the Geneva Motor Show, the Honda E Prototype retains most of the features that were initially revealed in 2017, prompting CNET to call the E Prototype a "faithful push to production." It's still a prototype, however, but Honda says they are ever close to mass production with this current model.

Despite some notable, even disappointing changes, the Honda E Prototype has managed to retain the adorable retro feel it had at first reveal. The Verge noted. The bench front seat was replaced by conventional seats, the huge single display that spanned the whole dashboard is replaced by several touchscreens and monitors.

The Honda E Prototype now features five doors instead of three, with four of them ditching the previous suicide door design and opting for a more conventional design, hinged at the front instead of the rear. Honda also ditched the cute white wheels and opted for a more common black-and-silver look.

Despite these changes, the car remains a stunner: It features perfectly round head- and tail lights, side mounted cameras in lieu of traditional rearview mirrors, and frameless windows to further enhance the car's retro minimalist look.

Some caveats, though: the glass panels located at the front and back of the car tend to become lint and fingerprint magnets, and the bottom part of the car now features a thicker black strip for some undisclosed reasons.

Honda said the E Prototype features fast charging and can reach 80 percent in just 30 minutes. Charging is done via a black panel at the center of the hood, which makes it accessible from all sides. Fully charged, the E Prototype can reach a maximum distance of 124 miles (200 kilometers), which is just right for European urban centers.

Honda didn't reveal much about the car's electric motor, save for it being a rear-wheel-driven EV. It's pegged at an unconfirmed £25,000 - £40,000 ($33,000 to $52,000) price range, which makes it a worthy competitor to Tesla's Model 3.

Honda plans to release the new EV in Europe, with preorders in late 2019 followed by deliveries in 2020. The Japanese company also plans to produce a few units for Japan. It doesn't have plans for a U.S. release, though.

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