Honda's big announcement at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show was the not very big Sports EV Concept. During his sweeping overview of the company's automotive and motorcycle product lines, CEO Takahiro Hachigo devoted only a couple of sentences to the swoopy concept, clearly indicating that this is a story that will continue to evolve.
Based on the same Urban EV Concept that stole the Frankfurt IAA Motor Show, the Honda Sports EV concept looks much lower and more rounded, with backswept, rear-wheel-drive proportions, and a visor-like greenhouse. While it retains EV Concept features such as the light-up H badge up front and distinctive bars and circle headlights, the Sports EV Concept is clearly the more athletic of the two, and apparently has a lower center of gravity for a "sporty driving experience that performs at the will of the driver." Hachigo provided no additional details on the powertrain, battery, or specifications of any kind, only promises of a sporty and exhilarating driving experience from a package designed to be low and wide to represent the "beautility" of a sports car.
Four other updates from CEO Hachigo
Honda has 28 million customers around the world and many of them apparently bought the Honda Super Cub, as sales of this more-than-60-year-old line of budget motorcycles recently surpassed 100 million units globally. That makes the Super Cub the longest-selling product in Honda's history.
On the other end of the motorcycle spectrum, Honda showed off the full model change of its flagship Gold Wing. If you're looking for one of the most advanced long-haul motorcycles on the market, you'd have to consider the Gold Wing, as it not only has an airbag and continuously variable transmission with a power-assisted "walking mode," it is the first motorcycle to have Apple CarPlay connectivity.
On the car side of the business, Hachigo reiterated news Honda has previously announced, including that the CR-V will receive a hybrid powertrain in 2018 and come in a three-row model. These vehicles will be Japan-only for now, but we'll be the first to let you know when that changes.
In addition to the EV and Sports EV Concepts, Hachigo introduced the NeuV commuter concept, "which is being developed in the pursuit of the joy of helping people." NeuV is about as Blade Runner as Honda gets, as this concept is "equipped with artificial intelligence and automated driving technologies and makes judgments about the driver's state of stress based on facial expressions and/or tone of voice and provides assistance to the driver to support safe driving." If that bit of run-on doesn't get you excited about your AI-driven commuting future, consider that Honda hopes the NeuV concept "will learn the lifestyle and preferences of the driver and suggest different options for making driving more fun."
Confused as we are? Stay tuned as we sort this out at an auto show near you.