Earlier this year, Honda globally debuted the new-gen HR-V and now, the Japanese carmaker has unveiled a new EV prototype inspired by the new HR-V at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show. Dubbed the Honda SUV E:Prototype, this HR-V inspired electric SUV will be the first mass-produced Honda electric vehicle for the Chinese market. It is expected to launch sometime between March-June, 2022. Besides this, the carmaker also plans to launch nine more EVs exclusively for China in the next five years.
The Honda SUV E:Prototype looks very similar to the HR-V, only electrified with lots of blue LED lighting elements. The overall silhouette and the strong shoulder line are near identical for the two SUVs. The differences lie in the details where the E:Prototype gets new sharp eye-shaped LED headlamps. There are new LED strips that run along the edge of the hood without meeting in the center. Even the Honda 'H' logo on the closed-off grille is illuminated. This is also where the charging port is located.
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There are even more blue LED strips along the sides of the intakes on the bumper. In profile, there's a light strip on the lower edge of the body. The sides of the concept are largely unadorned, but the slim side mirrors, retractable door handles and the crease along the shoulder line do stand out. At the rear, while the E:Prototype continues to look largely similar to the HR-V with full-width LED tail lamps and a highly raked C-Pillar, it gets more blue LED lighting elements and a sleek tail spoiler.
Honda hasn't shared any images of the E:Prototype's interior yet. However, the company has revealed that it will come with the third-generation Honda Connect software for smartphone connectivity and it will even support over-the-air updates. All upcoming Honda models in China are expected to come equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Honda also hasn't revealed any details about the powertrain, battery or range of its electric SUV.
The company has simply said there is the "feel the 'joy of driving' in abundance." Honda has also unveiled a plug-in hybrid version of the Breeze crossover at the Shanghai Auto Show. While its range and powertrain details are yet to be revealed, it is slated to launch in China by the second half of this year. Although Honda hasn't spoken much about bringing electric or hybrid vehicles to India anytime soon, we do hope to see the City Hybrid make it to our shores soon.