Honda working on small electric coupe - report

The retro-futuristic Honda E could be joined by a production version of the striking Sports EV Concept, a small, all-electric coupe.

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William Stopford
Journalist

So many new electric vehicles have been sensible hatchbacks and SUVs. But how about a small, two-seater sports coupe?

Car Sensor reports Honda is developing a production version of its Sports EV Concept from the 2017 Tokyo motor show, which debuted alongside the Honda E-presaging Urban EV concept.

It’s expected to share its architecture with the Honda E and, like the E, stay true to the concept car that previewed it.

According to Car Sensor, prototypes are already being tested in Japan and development “seems to be proceeding smoothly”.

It’ll reportedly measure approximately 3950mm long, 1780mm wide and 1450mm tall.

For context, a Mazda MX-5 measures 3915mm long, 1735mm wide and 1235mm tall.

While a small coupe is a niche product, a production Sports EV would give Honda another vehicle on this new all-electric architecture and therefore improve economies of scale.

Power in the Honda E comes from a rear-mounted motor with either 100kW or 113kW of power, along with 315Nm of torque.

The battery pack is a 35.5kWh lithium-ion unit good for a claimed 220km of range.

This latest report isn’t the first indication a production version of the Sports EV would be coming.

AutoWeek published images from a patent filing in 2019, showing what appeared to be a production Sports EV.

While the front- and rear-end detailing remained similar, the patent filing images previewed a car with an even more tapered roofline and a body design reminiscent of a mid-engine vehicle.

Don’t immediately assume a production Sports EV would be off the table for Australia.

As part of its shift from a traditional dealer sales model to an agency model, Honda Australia has suggested it could start importing more cars from Japan, rather than almost exclusively sourcing them from its factory in Thailand.

“I think [agency sales] opens up opportunities where – whether it be the electric, or whether it be other brand-building cars – I think it allows us to have scope to consider those,” said Honda Australia managing director, Stephen Collins.

“Ultimately they all need business cases, but I think that it certainly opens up some more opportunities in that area.”

A production Sports EV would serve as an indirect replacement for the S660, which Honda has confirmed it’ll stop building in March 2022.

The lightweight (830-850kg), rear-wheel drive kei roadster is powered by a turbocharged 658cc three-cylinder engine that’s mounted midship.

The S660 boasts 50:50 weight distribution and comes with a choice of six-speed manual or continuously-variable transmissions.

More than 30,000 S660s have been produced since its launch in 2015, though it has been sold exclusively in Japan.


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