Honda showed the Urban EV concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, then showed the Sports EV concept at that year's Tokyo Motor Show. Built on the same electric platform as the Urban EV, Honda designers showed how much classic sports car elan they could work into a diminutive package. The Urban EV has since become the production Honda E, due on sale later this year. Autoweek.nl recently dug up Japanese patent office images filed last December that show a potential production version of the Sports EV. The images show a redrawn coupe, the long hood and erect, aft-set glasshouse giving way to a more modish, elegant line. And we'd still rock it until its range ran out. Styling similarities with the Honda E and the original concept remain, such as the round headlights, bulging front fenders that arch above the hood, wide rear haunches, and black decorative panels. Yet within the fastback profile, the corners are much squarer, the cabin's been moved forward, and the taillights are triangular. Along with a shorter hood, the effect is that of a pure mid-engined silhouette, complete with what look like functional vents ahead of the rear wheels. Assuming the dimensions aren't vastly different from those of the show car, we're talking about a product around the size of a Mazda MX-5 Miata. It's not the "backyard custom car feel" that designer Makoto Harada aimed for with the concept, but it puts a lot of pert confidence in a small footprint. At that Tokyo show, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the chances of a production Sport EV concept "depend on feedback from Europe and Japan." Based on our own reading, the feedback's been outstanding, and we know Honda plans to expand use of the Honda E's platform into other vehicle classes, including a commercial vehicle. Of course, patent drawings are nothing more than bookmarks notating a particular piece of intellectual property. However, if Honda put its 35.k-kWh battery and electric motor with 148 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque into the car in these images, we think we'd be looking at another electric hit.
The rumors were true, the Lexus LC convertible is going into production, and we got our first look at the production model at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unfortunately, our first look at the production car is of a camouflaged example. The good news is that it looks pretty much just like the concept that was shown in full at this year's Detroit Auto Show. And that car looks just like the coupe minus a roof, and the coupe is a stunner. Lexus didn't reveal any other details about the production LC convertible. It didn't even give a specific date, only saying it will "go into production in the near future." We're assuming the only major mechanical changes will have to do with the roof and chassis, meaning it will have the same powertrains as the coupe. Those include a sumptuous naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 making 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque and a hybrid V6 making 354 horsepower. The V8 and its 10-speed automatic sounds amazing, as you can see in the video below, and the hybrid is paired with a fascinating transmission that earned it our 2018 Tech of the Year award.
Swapping out side mirrors for cameras is slowly becoming popular in the automotive industry, and Honda is next to hop on board with a production car. Just announced today, Honda says the camera side mirrors in the Honda e prototype will be carried over to the production version of the compact electric hatchback. Similar to every other car that gets this "mirror technology," it will not be sold in the U.S.
Lexus was first to implement the tech on the ES sold in Japan, and Audi is next with its E-Tron electric crossover. Honda didn't provide good photos of the interior screens used to stream what the cameras feed it, but we imagine it'll look similar to the prototype interior we saw previously. The side pods on the doors look a lot like Honda LaneWatch on steroids, which is a technology we actually get here. That tech implements a camera into the passenger-side mirror and supplies a feed to the infotainment screen when you activate the right turn signal.
Honda's coming electric city car has a name. Called the Honda Urban EV Concept when unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, then the Honda E Prototype for it's near-production reveal a couple of months ago, it will be known as the Honda E when it goes on sale. The Japanese carmaker says more than 22,000 people have registered interest online in the hot little five-door hatchback. European buyers in select markets will begin taking deliveries this year, with other markets to follow in early 2020.
Honda said the prototype model shown in February was "95% production ready." That will certainly please the crowd expected to pay a premium price for a luxury good. Autocar wrote "a ballpark figure is £35,000" ($45,500) for the Honda E. That will get more than 98 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque from the rear-mounted electric motor driving the rear wheels, and about 125 miles of range on the WLTP cycle from a battery expected to come in around 30 kWh.
MARYSVILLE, Ohio — Honda is slowing production of Accord sedans as car buyers continue to favor SUVs and trucks. The Japanese automaker says it will temporarily idle a second-shift production line in August at its Marysville, Ohio, assembly plant. The shift is expected to resume production in several years. Honda says the line being shut down produces about 55,000 vehicles a year, most of which are Accords. A company spokeswoman says that there will be no layoffs, but that Honda will offer voluntary buyouts to some employees. Honda says the reduction also will affect production at its engine and transmission plants in Ohio. Sales of the Accord this year are up 4.6% through March but fell nearly 10% last year. The Accord is a perennial favorite of consumers and automotive journalists alike, and the new generation that debuted in the 2018 model year has drawn particular acclaim. Trucks and SUVs have made up 70% of U.S. new vehicle sales this year.