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Honda Urban EV Concept promises pint-sized retro electric motoring

Honda has used the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show to unveil a pure electric car known as the Urban EV, which provides a glimpse at a future production model heading to Europe.

Electric cars are rarely the prettiest four-wheelers (except the Jaguar E-Type Zero obvsies), but Honda is attempting to change that with a funky-looking miniature car it calls the 'Urban EV Concept'.

So what do we know about the Urban EV Concept, what makes it special and when can you get your mitts on it? Thanks to details from Honda, we can now provide some – but most definitely not all – of the answers.

Honda Urban EV Concept: What the devil is it?

The Honda Urban EV Concept is meant for inner-city shopping trips and multi-storey parking shenanigans, which is why it is 100mm shorter than a Jazz supermini and has four seats – the rearmost bench accessible via rear-opening coach doors because that makes life easier.

Honda has gone for a mix of modern styling such as the backlit blue Honda badge and simplistic front-end devoid of any air intakes (no engine, why bother?) and retro styling such as the multi-spoke alloys and boy racer wide arches and boy does it work.

Honda Urban EV Concept: How does it move?

Well, it is an electric vehicle so we would be more than a tad surprised if it came with a petrol drinker. Technical figures are unknown except for the fact Honda will be developing a 'high-density, lightweight battery pack', which will power at least one electric motor.

Even the weakest electric cars provide excellent off-the-line pace, which means we would expect the Urban EV Concept to be nippy at the very least. The range is also unknown, but hopefully it ends up being around 100 miles on a single charge for the sake of versatility.

Honda Urban EV Concept: Does it have a fancy interior?

Retro meets new once more as we step into the Honda Urban EV Concept. Bench seats in the front and rear scream of old cars, while the main dashboard has a screen for displaying remaining battery level and other useful stuff.

A touch of wood, natural grey fabric, relatively few buttons and a retractable rear seatbelts all contribute to a well-thought out and promising cabin for the driver and passengers. Plus, you know, screens in the doors because concept cars need to be ridiculous in some way.

Honda Urban EV Concept: What should I care?

Electric cars actually make a lot of sense for motorists, particularly those who want a cheap-to-run car for driving around town and want to lower their carbon footprint, so why would Honda not make one?

The main problem is that they are expensive, even when you factor in the UK government's plug-in grant of £4,500. But if anything is going to be more affordable it is a supermini-sized car and that means making them more accessible for consumers.

Honda Urban EV Concept: Love the look ─ when can I buy it?

Production cars rarely end up that close to the original concept, but then we will only have to wait for the Urban EV Concept to arrive in Europe in 2019 to see whether that will be the case. Keep those fingers and toes crossed whatever rolls out of a factory looks as at least half as good.

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