Honda To Show Open Sports Car Concept

Honda To Show Open Sports Car Concept

2011 Tokyo Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • Honda will unveil a cool new Small Sports EV concept at the upcoming Tokyo show.
  • Honda's compact, two-seat electric roadster study could be a modern-day Beat.
  • The AC-X, a four-door plug-in sedan concept, will also debut from Honda.
  • Honda's Micro Commuter Concept explores tomorrow's urban mobility.

TOKYO — Honda will lift the wraps on a cool new electric sports-car concept at the upcoming 2011 Tokyo Auto Show.

This is the Small Sports EV and it's an open-top two-seater designed to be both earth-friendly and fun to drive. Ahead of the show, Honda is giving out zero information on the car, but sketches show a sharp, tapered design with a long wheelbase and deeply sculptured flanks. And a lot of style. Surely this has to be one of the best-looking Hondas in a very long time.

The Tokyo grapevine suggests that, if it makes production, this could turn into a modern-day version of the Beat, Honda's midengine 660cc sports car that sold in Japan in the 1990s. We'll know more when the Small Sports EV concept goes live at the show on November 30.

On the stand, Honda will also have the AC-X, standing for Advanced Cruiser-X. This is a sleek, future-look sedan, with 1.6-liter plug-in hybrid powertrain and 185 inches in overall length that places it somewhere between the Civic and Accord.

Honda sees the AC-X as a refined, next-generation sedan, high on long-distance comfort, but you can also switch to an "engine drive mode" for more aggressive driving. To back that up, the cabin sees twin joystick controls instead of a steering wheel and plush ottoman front seats.

Up front, AC-X runs with a 127-horsepower, 1.6-liter gas engine plus 120kw electric motor. Maximum driving range is 620 miles, Honda says, while overall economy is quoted at a spectacular 260 mpg.

Just as Renault has the Twizy, so Honda now has the Micro Commuter Concept: a truly avant garde EV designed for in-city mobility. Just 98 inches long, this middle-seat showcar can still carry up to three people. There are twin joystick controls and, in a joint collaboration with Honda's motorcycle R&D department, the Motor Compo, a tiny EV commuter bike, can fold up and be carried inside.

Honda will also show the N Box, a small minivan destined for Japan's buzzing 660cc kei jidosha minicar sector. Another in that genre is the N Concept, a next-generation mini somewhat in the style of the classic 1967 Honda N360.

Last but not least, the Integra is back! But hold the excitement — Honda's merely applied the badge to one of the many new-age motorcycles it has at the show. says: With its Small Sports EV Concept, Honda already looks to have one of the stars of the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show.

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