The Honda e is the most hotly-anticipated electric car that isn’t a Tesla Model 3 in years. And the drip-feed of information continues ahead of the production car’s launch later this year.
This time, Honda was detailed the e’s powertrain. The heart of the matter is a 150hp, 295lb/ft electric motor, backed up by a 35.5kWh battery pack mounted low down, under the floor. Honda claims fast-charging to 80% battery capacity in 30 minutes and a range of 124 miles – plenty for the sort of urban driving the e is intended for.
Honda hasn’t released performance figures, but the relatively high power output combined with claimed low weight should make the e pretty zippy.
More intriguing, though, is that the power goes to the rear wheels. Combine that with claimed 50:50 weight distribution and the e should be a bit of a giggle to drive. At the very least, it should handle with an accuracy that makes diving for gaps in traffic and swinging around roundabouts a cinch.
Somehow we doubt that tail-out antics will be in the offing, though.
Going RWD also means the e has a lot of steering lock. Indeed, Honda claims a turning circle of just 4.3m – not much more than half that of a London black cab’s famously tight turning circle.
It helps that the e is very small, measuring just 3,895mm end-to-end and 1,750mm across the beam.
Ride quality has apparently been benchmarked against larger cars. According to Honda, the low centre of gravity and four-square stance allow softer springs to be used while still delivering “outstanding handling.”
Honda drew on its back catalogue for inspiration on the styling, particularly the original Civic. We think it nails the trick of being simultaneously retro, high-tech and cute. It’s a similar story inside, too.
You’ve probably noticed the lack of side mirrors by now. It doesn’t actually have any, instead using cameras that transmit the view behind onto screens in the doors. Only the Audi Q8 has them as an option at the moment.
Back in 2008, every fashionable urbanite bought the newly-launched, cute, retro Fiat 500. We suspect those same people will be falling over each other to snap up a Honda e.
London will be overflowing with them…
By Graham King