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Honda’s Cute Urban Prototype Due for Debut This Year

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Honda e Prototype exterior
Photo: Honda

About a year and a half ago, Honda unveiled a delightfully futuristic retro urban EV concept that, after its warm reception at the Frankfurt Auto Show, seemed to have disappeared. We assumed, as with most concepts, that it would never see the light of day.

As it turns out, that was wrong. Now dubbed the Honda e Prototype, the car is slated to launch at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, and while it may have the “prototype” moniker in the name, that’s something Honda typically does with vehicles that are nearly production-ready.

Fortunately, the car has retained all of the charm of the original. It did gain another set of doors, though the handles are cleverly hidden in the black window surround area just in front of the C-pillar, so it’s easy to mistake the e Prototype for a two-door car.

Related: Honda trucks set new sales record in 2018
Honda e Prototype interior
Photo: Honda

With a 125-mile range per charge and an 80-percent-charge time of about 30 minutes, the e Prototype is firmly targeting the city commuter market. But here’s the kicker: the e Prototype rides on a rear-wheel-drive platform, which means it’ll be more fun to drive than your average cute urban toy.

The retro style carries over to the interior, where multiple high-resolution LCD screens sit atop a lovely wood-trimmed dash. It’s a nice combination of modern tech with the simple elegance of older designs.

The bad news? The Honda e Prototype will not launch in the United States, because Americans simply don’t want cool, electric rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. We can only hope that the e Prototype’s styling inspires some of Honda’s future, US-sold cars.

Related: Discover Honda’s 2019 model lineup