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Isaac Cain
September 12, 2017

Honda has showcased its new Urban EV concept at the ongoing Frankfurt Auto Show.

Honda has looked to the past for its auto of the future, launching the retrospectively-styled Urban EV Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.

But if that sounds as though this is one of those design exercises that never makes it anywhere near a production line, it's not.

Honda president and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, has confirmed that a production version of the vehicle will hit European shores in 2019 - finally giving Honda a challenger in an increasingly competitive market.

Externally, Honda has striven for low, wide proportions and says it has given the EV Concept a "planted, muscular stance that hints at sporty driving performance".

There is no information on the powertrain of the Honda Urban EV concept but expect it to use a lightweight battery pack. At the front the Honda emblem is backlit in blue, which is a feature that we'll soon see on all of Honda's electric cars. At the front of the vehicle, interactive multilingual messages can be displayed between the headlights, including greetings, advice for other drivers on the road, or charging status updates.

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A great deal of time and effort has been put into the design elements of the exterior and especially the interior.

Inside there's room for four passengers that sit on two bench seats in different materials.

The auto features something Honda calls an Automated Network Assistant - a play on the concierge-type services becoming more common as vehicles get more connected - and Honda has also introduced the Honda Power Manager concept, a smart system for home energy.

Honda's Power Manager Concept, revealed alongside the Urban EV Concept in Frankfurt, is a smart system created to incorporate EVs into a smart power grid. It's finished in gray fabric and wood, with a panoramic dashboard in the center. This behaviour is then considered when the auto offers new choices and recommendations. The dashboard itself is completed by a wrap-around screen that runs behind the console and extends into the doors.

Rather than style its future electric vehicle like some far-fetched prop from a Will Smith blockbuster movie, Honda has instead turned to the past. Honda's Power Manager Concept, revealed alongside the Urban EV Concept in Frankfurt, is a smart system that can store energy more efficiently, releasing electricity generated by renewable sources back into the home or selling it back to the grid.

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