Even amongst hypercars with four-figure power outputs, the Honda E-Prototype still managed to be the star of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. It looks fabulous in the metal, has a wicked interior that’s unlike anything Honda has ever made, and the production version stands to be attainable for a wide audience.
Except, it won’t be quite as attainable as we might have hoped. When asked at a roundtable interview with exterior design project leader Ken Sahara if the electric city car would be pitched closer to a Renault Zoe or a BMW i3 in terms of price, a Honda Europe spokesperson indicated that it would be more than the French car.
Since the Renault has a starting price of £21,220, this alone dashes hopes of the production E-Prototype being the first desirable sub-£20k EV. It stands to be pricier than the Zoe by some margin too, with the word ‘premium’ used to describe the expected price tag. That’s a little disappointing, but it shouldn’t stop the car being a big seller.
Along with the hints about pricing, we also learned that the showroom car should be nearly indistinguishable from the one on the stand at Geneva. The E-Prototype is “almost production ready - 95 per cent,” Sahara confirmed. Yes, that includes the fancy camera mirrors.
Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that the E-Prototype isn’t a ‘toned down’ version of the Urban EV concept revealed back in 2017 - Sahara said that work on the concept and the prototype started “almost at the same time”. And as good as the concept looks, its 20-inch wheels just aren’t feasible for a production car. Neither is that flat nose, partly because of pedestrian safety and also because it’d make the front end far too easy to damage.
Finally, there are the different door counts to consider. The concept’s three-door layout looks cleaner, but Honda was keen for the car to have smaller doors to make opening them easier in confined city environments. So, five doors it is for the E-Prototype and the production car.
As for when you’ll be able to buy one, we’re told order books should open in Europe later this year.