Honda is widely known as the sensible company that makes affordable, long-lasting cars for families and commuters. If these patent images foretell the company’s future, that might all change.
- New Japanese patent office images appear to show an all-electric Honda supercar.
- With the nose of the pure-electric Honda E and the body of a mid-engine exotic, the renderings might foreshadow a future sporty EV.
- If only a prototype, renderings demonstrate the Honda design team’s eagerness to push the retro-inspired design across multiple vehicle types.
The Japanese patent office recently published renderings that appear to reveal an all-electric Honda sports car. The images, which were discovered by Auto Week Netherlands, show a car with the nose of the pure-electric Honda E but with the body of sleek and low-slung mid-engine supercar. Of course, if the nose is indicative of the car’s powertrain, it won’t have an engine at all but rather a battery pack and at least one electric motor.
The car is likely a future concept or simply a design exercise. And patenting it covers the brand’s legal bases, if it ever does send the vehicle to production.
Both Honda and Toyota have been keen to revisit their sportier roots with their respective new models, but they’ve all but abandoned all sporting pretensions with their family-focused commuter cars in the early 2000s. Regardless, it’s not likely that Honda’s penny pinchers will allow such a car to go to market.
Honda would have to sell a lot of these to pay for the vehicles’ research and development. There simply isn’t much consumer interest in sports cars these days. That’s evidenced by the lackluster sales of Honda’s Acura NSX hybrid supercar. If Honda wants to actually sell a new performance model, it’d be wise to make a high-performance crossover. And this certainly is not that.
If nothing else, the renderings demonstrate that Honda is working hard to find ways to incorporate the retro-inspired front fascia design of the Honda E into other futuristic vehicles. This gives credence to the rumor that most future Honda models — including the Civic and Accord — will adopt the Honda E’s design language.
Honda leadership is doing a delicate dance right now trying to get its groove back while also staying financially prudent and developing vehicles that are both efficient, but also attractive to buyers. The company would love to re-embrace the weird little sporty cars that made it famous. However, that’s not where customers are. Buyers want giant crossovers. Meanwhile, the company has global emissions regulations to consider, which fly in the face of those energy-thirsty behemoths. It’s an unenviable position to be in.
That said, customers aren’t really interested in EVs either. So it might behoove Honda to build an electric halo supercar that inspires desire in pure-electric powertrains in the hopes of spurring future EV sales.