Honda’s recent production cars are among the more adventurously styled in their respective classes—we’re looking at you, Civic—so it is curious that the automaker is going retro for its advanced concept cars. Case in point: the oh-so-adorable Urban EV concept from this year’s Frankfurt auto show, which resembles an original 1973 Civic hatchback reimagined for a preschool version of Blade Runner. Now upstaging even that car in the quest for retro-cuteness is Honda’s latest idea for an electric runabout, the Sports EV revealed at the 2017 Tokyo auto show.
Whereas the Urban EV melded classic 1970s Honda styling cues into a boxy, modern hatchback body with an electric powertrain, the Sports EV reaches back further to the early ’60s, when motorcycle-centric Honda was starting to try its hand at cars. The most memorable of those early autos came in 1964 with the S600. It featured a motorcycle engine, chain-driven rear wheels, and microscopic dimensions. Those plucky little models clearly inspired this Sports EV’s upright profile and facelike, happy-go-lucky graphics front and rear.
Honda Sports EV Concept: Retro-Electric Futurism