Like the S660 kei car, the E is rear wheel drive.
With a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, rear-wheel drive, and a low center of gravity, you’d be tempted to say we are talking about a sports car. However, a quick look at the adjacent videos from the Goodwood Festival of Speed reveals an entirely different car as the Honda E is a small electric vehicle created primarily for city use. With a range of around 124 miles (200 km) from its 35.5-kWh battery, this isn’t the EV to buy if you plan on taking extended trips while suffering from range anxiety.
Still, there’s a lot to like about the Honda E since we’d argue it’s as cute as a button with its retro-modern design and high-tech interior. It’s not actually that slow as the electric motor providing 148 horsepower and an instant 221 pound-feet (300 Newton-meters) of torque enables the adorable runabout to reach 62 mph (100 kph) in around eight seconds. With a turning circle radius of only 4.3 meters (169.3 inches), it was born for the city.
At just 150.78 inches (3.83 meters) long, it’s actually shorter than the previous-generation Renault Zoe (160.78 inches / 4.08 meters). The one you’re seeing here is still technically a prototype, although the production model coming soon is likely going to look pretty much the same. It will have cameras instead of conventional side mirrors as standard, along with those nifty pop-up front door handles.
The Honda E wasn’t going particularly fast while climbing the famous hill, but it’s understandable considering it wasn’t a production-ready car. Bear in mind the final product won’t come cheap, with the rumor mill indicating it will cost somewhere in the region of €40,000 in Europe. That’s a lot of money to pay for such a small car that looks like a futuristic first-gen Civic, but it certainly does have its particular charm to woo customers.
When can we expect to see the road-going E? Honda has said it will unveil it before the year’s end, so it might debut in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Gallery: 2020 Honda E Prototype: First Drive
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