The Honda Urban EV Concept has been chosen as ‘The Best Concept Car’ in the 2018 Car Design Award honours, presented as part of the Turin Motor Show. Organised by Auto & Design magazine, the Car Design Award finalists and winners are selected and judged by a jury comprised of 12 automotive journalists from the world’s most prestigious publications.

The Urban EV Concept was named as a finalist in April this year and was subsequently chosen as the overall concept car winner against 9 other vehicle designs. Global recognition in the Car Design Award follows the Urban EV Concept’s success in being named as Automobile magazine’s ‘2018 Concept of the Year’ in January.

Honda first displayed the Urban EV Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and then at the Tokyo Motor Show that followed some months after that. The milestone design sets the direction for Honda’s first battery electric model for Europe with a simple and sophisticated appearance that contrasts with the advanced technology that powers the car. The production version will be introduced towards the end of 2019.

Its low and wide proportions present a sporty stance, while the contemporary styling incorporates slim A-pillars and a wide windscreen that appears to sweep around the entire front end of the cabin. Entry and exit from the vehicle is via rear-hinged coach doors. At the front of the Urban EV Concept, interactive multilingual messages can be displayed between the headlights, including greetings, advice for other drivers on the road, or charging status updates.

The interior is appointed with natural materials and an open-plan cabin that features front and rear bench seating. Natural grey fabric and wood finish accents create the relaxed ambience of a lounge area, while a high-tech ‘floating’ dashboard incorporates a wraparound screen that runs behind the console and extends into the doors.

“The Honda Urban EV Concept is a wonderfully judged piece of design which brings a much-needed sense of personality to the EV space,” explained the joint statement from the Car Design Award jury. “Its clever blending of both retro and futuristic aesthetics gives it an undeniable desirability that few can compete with.”

The Urban EV Concept will be the first pure electric car to go into series production under the brand’s ‘Electric Vision’ strategy in Europe. This strategy includes the development of a dedicated electric vehicle platform, featuring fully-electric Honda powertrain technology.

“Our Urban EV Concept is the true representation of ‘We make it simple’ design idea, which aims to make cars closer to people’s hearts,” said Makoto Iwaki, Honda R&D Executive Creative Director. “I express the utmost gratitude on behalf of our entire Honda design team to the jury who valued our unique proposal, which we feel contrasts with the recent car designs. The production car based on this concept model is currently underway, which will be easy to access, fun to drive, and make everyday life more fulfilled and joyful.”

2018 CAR DESIGN AWARD WINNERS
Concept Car: Honda Urban EV Concept
Production Car: Jaguar E-PACE
Brand Design Language: Volvo Cars

The Jaguar E-PACE was the winner of the Production Car Design Award in the same event.

[Chips Yap]

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