Honda has revealed its Saloon and Space-Hub concept cars (along with one of the more cryptic press releases we’ve read in some time) at the CES show in Las Vegas as the firm pursues 100 per cent EV sales by 2040 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
Both cars come from Honda’s new 0 series of EVs, an opportunity, says the company, to take a blank-canvas approach to building cars in preparation for an all-new EV set to go on sale in 2026.
The Saloon is an electric flagship based on all-new EV-dedicated architecture. The result combines a low ride height and sporty styling (and a look not dissimilar to the Cybertruck) with an interior that, according to Honda, is “more spacious than people can imagine based on the exterior appearance”. Expect the cabin to feature eco-friendly materials and an infotainment screen that’ll make a Currys shop window look underwhelming.
More interesting for this parish is the news that the Saloon is designed to deliver the ultimate “joy of driving” with steer-by-wire and posture control that should make it razor-sharp in bends. However, we would be surprised if it delivers the last word in driving feel and communication.
The Space-Hub, meanwhile, belongs in a white goods aisle rather than a car showroom. It’s a people mover that takes Honda several steps forward from the Magic Seats in your old Jazz. The Space-Hub features centre-facing seats and huge windows that’ll make necking a bottle of wine on the Eurostar seem like a serious step down in terms of mobility solutions.
Or as Honda puts it: “The Space-Hub offers a flexible space that immediately accommodates what the users want to do, and becomes a hub that connects people to people and people to society, generating mutual resonance with each other.” Sigh.
While the Saloon and Space-Hub are most definitely concepts, they do follow the same five core values as Honda’s future production EVs, which are, to paraphrase: artistic design, safety, space for connected technologies, joy of driving and efficiency.
Ultimately, the company wants to build cars with a design that resonates with people. Cars that have Level 3 autonomy and AI, meaning they should drive like a human, with interior infotainment that can predict your needs before you need them.
Honda will translate the "joy of driving" into a driving experience that makes you feel at one with the car – expect aero to feature here – while “efficiency” relates to the excellent power conversion of the cars’ e-Axles, high-density battery packs, low-drag aerodynamics and fast charging times.
Finally, there’s the new ‘H’ Honda badge (the first update since 1981, trivia fans), which is supposed to represent the company’s commitment to its new-gen EVs and mirror the shape of a pair of outstretched hands.
Expect to hear more about Honda’s new EV, along with actual facts, as the car’s production nears.