New Honda Sports EV: see our exclusive render

Nick Lette van Oostvoorne
August 20, 2019

Honda has patented the design for an all-electric sports car, likely called the Sports EV, that’ll go on sale alongside its dinky Honda E electric city car. Our exclusive render gives a first glimpse at what this battery-powered Porsche Cayman and Alpine A110 alternative will look like.

Honda has patented the design for an all-electric sports car, likely called the Sports EV, that’ll go on sale alongside its dinky Honda E electric city car.

Honda Sports EV render

We’ve fired up the photoshop flux capacitor and made merry with the pixel manipulation to turn the original patent images into a more realistic interpretation of what this new Sports EV will look like.

This patent image shows how low the new Sports EV will be

Unlike the previous Honda Sports EV concept that made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, these new images suggest that the new car won’t draw inspiration from classic front-engined, rear-wheel-drive Honda sports cars of the past. Instead, the new Sports EV’s low nose, pronounced wheel arches and slinky silhouette mean it looks more like a baby NSX than an updated S2000.

These pictures appear to show a car that’s significantly wider than the original Sports EV concept with a dramatically lower roofline, much more bulbous wheel arches and a more aggressively angled windscreen that blends into a panoramic glass roof.

From some angles, it looks quite similar to the Porsche Cayman and Alpine A110, but plenty of futuristic features mean you won’t mistake the electric Honda Sports EV for a conventional petrol-powered sports car.

At the front, you’ll spot a pair of round headlights – like those on the Honda E city car – set in a glossy black plastic trim that does away with a conventional grille (unnecessary, as you don’t need to deliver cooling air to a conventional petrol engine). There’s yet more contrasting black trim on the doors, ahead of a slim air intake on each side that’ll keep the car’s electric motor and underfloor battery pack cool.

The patent images show that the Sports EV’s rear will feature another wide black insert that blends into the car’s glass roof. The brake lights will be set into this panel, above a set of air vents and a low-mounted rear diffuser. No exhausts here – fake or otherwise.

While our render shows the Sports EV fitted with conventional side mirrors, it’s very likely you’ll be able to get it with the same rear-facing camera system as the smaller Honda E. This will beam a live video feed from two tiny cameras onto a pair of screens inside the car, just like in the Audi e-tron, to help reduce air resistance and boost the car’s range – albeit only very slightly.

We’ve yet to see any images of Honda putting Sports EV prototypes through their paces, so it’s possible the car’s design will undergo further changes before it goes on sale. The fact that the Japanese firm has patented this design, however, suggests that the finished car won’t look radically different from what you see here.

Honda Sports EV interior

The upcoming Sports EV will use the same mechanical underpinnings as the diminutive E city car, but these new patent images, showing the car’s very low roof and single set of doors, suggest that it’ll come with two seats (or at least two, plus two small rear seats), rather than the E’s four full-size items.

The new car’s doors have also been pushed as far forward as possible, hinting that – like the Honda E – its electric motors will be positioned behind the seats and drive the rear wheels.

Also like its little brother (shown above), you can expect the Honda Sports EV to come festooned with infotainment displays inside. Two of these will be dedicated to displaying a live video feed from the car’s rear-facing video cameras, while the rest will form an almost unbroken display stretching across the car’s dashboard.

Elsewhere, minimalism will be the order of the day, with classy trims on the dashboard and doors, and simple, pared-back controls for the heating and air conditioning on the dashboard. In terms of practicality, the Honda Sports EV’s underfloor batteries should leave a decent amount of space in the boot for your luggage.

Honda Sports EV performance and range

To provide a significant performance boost over the Honda E, the Sports EV may come with two electric motors instead of just one. These could be paired together to drive just the rear wheels or mounted separately to drive one axle each, making this diminutive sports car four-wheel drive.

Whichever motor combination Honda chooses to use, the Sports EV will have to blast (almost silently) from 0-60mph in around 4.5 seconds if it’s to draw keen drivers away from the likes of the Alpine A110 and Porsche Cayman. That’s still some way off the lightspeed pace set by the likes of the Tesla Model S, but the featherweight (by comparison) Honda should prove more entertaining to drive on tight twisty roads than its motorway-cruising counterpart.

Honda’s new electric vehicle platform has been designed to mount the car’s batteries beneath the floor, as close to the road surface as possible. This low placement makes sure the batteries – usually the heaviest part of an electric car – don’t contribute to the car leaning in tight corners or during high-speed manoeuvres.

Additionally, Honda’s already shown it can spread the weight of the smaller E city car in perfect 50:50 distribution between the front and rear axles, so you can expect this sportier Sports EV model to be just as balanced – something that’s key to making a car feel sporty and agile to drive.

When even the likes of the fairly hum-drum entry-level Nissan Leaf can travel for 170 miles between charges, you can expect the Honda Sports EV to improve significantly on the E’s rather disappointing 125-mile range, too.

Honda Sports EV price and release date

While the Honda E city car is available to pre-order now, it’ll be a few years before you’ll see the Honda Sports EV appear in showrooms. Its added performance will doubtless boost the Sport EV’s price tag beyond that of the Honda E, too, so you could find yourself handing over around £40,000 for the pleasure of parking one on your driveway.

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