Honda unveils EV prototype lineup at Auto Shanghai 2023
Honda has revealed its next wave of battery-electric vehicles at Auto Shanghai 2023. Two of them are close-to-production prototypes, while a third concept stands in for a future vehicle a bit further down the road.
The e:NP2 Prototype and e:NS2 Prototype represent crossovers that will be available in Chinese showrooms in early 2024. They’re part of the second wave of Honda’s China-exclusive e:N series of battery-electric models, built on a new dedicated EV architecture. The first wave included the e:NP1 and e:NS1, which used the sheetmetal of a model that we in the U.S. would recognize as the HR-V (In China, it goes by XR-V and Vezel).
If you think the e:NP2 and e:NS2 look similar, that’s not your eyes deceiving you. They’re likely the same car with slightly different designs. Honda has two joint-ventures in China, GAC Honda and Dongfeng Honda, and each one built a version of the car. The e:NS2’s nose more closely resembles the Honda Clarity, while the e:NP2 looks more like the last-generation Honda Accord. Both have a fastback-style rear.
Meanwhile, the Honda e:N SUV 序 Concept previews the third wave of the e:N series, scheduled to arrive in late 2024. It features a more traditional squared-off rear. “序” means “prologue” in Chinese, but the car looks to have little in common with the U.S. Honda Prologue that shares a General Motors platform.
Honda says the driving dynamics of all these vehicles draw on the history of its sharp-handling passenger cars and let the driver “enjoy a sense of oneness with the vehicle.” Considering how much of a departure modern Hondas are from their CRX and Prelude heyday, we’ll believe that when we see it. All three also feature the latest software including Honda Connect 4.0.
The press images show a fourth Honda EV, a low and sleek sedan that looks like something the big bad’s chauffeur would drive in a dystopian cyberpunk movie. Sadly, there’s no mention of the car in Honda’s press release. Hopefully it will appear down the road, as Honda has pledged to release 10 new EV models in China by the year 2027 and have a completely electric lineup there by 2035.