Cute electric hatch caught for the first time in pre-production form
The production version of the Honda Urban EV has been spied for the first time, as the car begins its transition from show-car darling to real-world ready hatchback.
When the Urban EV concept was unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, Honda confirmed it would head into production from 2019 as its first mass-produced electric car for all markets outside of China.
As it's covered from head to toe in camouflage, we can't see all of the production car's design details, but we can see the differences between it and the 2017 concept.
Firstly, the car bound for showrooms will be a five-door not a three-door, and misses out on the concept's prominent wheel arch flares.
It looks as though the Urban EV's front doors will have pop-out handles and open conventionally, unlike the reverse hinge setup used in the concept. Honda's first mainstream EV will have also disguised rear door handles, like those used on the Honda HR-V.
Interestingly, the Urban EV also features frameless door windows, and a clamshell bonnet with a prominent cover for the charging port. This prototype also has camera pods instead of traditional wing mirrors, although we suspect this technology won't be available for all markets.
While the production car has round headlights like the concept's, the square tail-light units from the show car have been ditched for a round set.
Thankfully the production car seems to be have a minimalist design approach to the front and rear bumper styling. The single air intake at the bottom of the front fascia is not only immeasurably cute, but also makes a nice change from all the aggressive scoops and vents that have infected most of today's cars.
Honda has yet to drop any hints about the Urban EV's drivetrain or price positioning. Nor do we know whether the company will keep with the Urban EV name or go with something else.
If the company sticks to the announced launch schedule, we won't have to wait long to find out.
Although not officially ruled out, Honda has previously indicated the Urban EV is not likely to make its way to Australia. (Which is a bloody tragedy, we'll add. - Stevens)