In our new lives, things have melded into one. From work to home it feels like it has become more of a ‘oneness’; an unexpected yet interesting new intersection in our times. Defined spaces and places no longer exist in the way they did once. Work-life and leisure-life are not the clear cut spaces we once knew. But there is something quite liberating in our newly found freedoms, the ability to change the way we do and think, how we live, and what we now believe important to us and our loved ones. We are much more in touch with our responsibilities to our plant, our direct environment seen through the growing adoption towards electric cars: Something we want to do but we’re not sure if they would fit within our ways of living? There is now a seamless journey towards the electric car; one that lives its life as if it were your living room yet happens to be a motorised mode of transportation. One that is far kinder to the universe and far more comfortable and user-friendly than before. Here meet the new Honda E, a car for our new way to Live, Love, Drive.
Honda actually predicts that ‘by 2030 the development of automobiles will be centered around three-pillars of electrification, automation and connected services..’
However, they also say
‘Customers are seeking increased connectivity between their car, their everyday electronic devices, and ultimately their lifestyles. Applying this human-centric approach to the automotive industry sees customers treating mobility as a service that they access, rather than a product that they own’.
But most of all the brand talks of ‘human-centric engineering’. The idea that your car is an extension of your everyday life, your taste, and your lifestyle, no longer a status symbol but something that molds perfectly with you.
One of the very most striking elements before you even start to drive anywhere is the look externally and internally. The Honda e features a sleek yet soft and rounded off appearance. From the signature, front LED lights that almost give the effect of eyes smiling and the smooth rounded-off edges allow for the initial viewer a warmer gentle kinder vision of what a car can look like; it’s calm and initially puts the driver in a ‘less aggressive’ mood. These clean lines and flush features optimise the aerodynamic efficiency and refinement of this vehicle.
Note as a good example, the flush door handles, which extend from the side of the car as the driver approaches with the key fob or Digital Key. Flush rear-door handles are integrated into the C-pillars that continue to maintain this sleek exterior. This is extended by the large inward and outward visibility of the panoramic windscreen which offers an unparalleled view for the driver and front-seat passenger. Also, note there are no outside wing mirrors these are integrated within.
The rear-wheel-drive platform and high-power, high-torque electric motor delivers an effortless performance whilst the MacPherson Strut independent suspension for each wheel and 50:50 weight distribution facilitates exceptional urban maneuverability, this car is built very much with town driving in mind. In combination with a steering lock to lock of 3.1 turns, a narrow front subframe, and the small EV platform footprint, a turning radius of just 4.3m can be achieved ensuring exceptionally maneuverable in small city streets. Literally turning in a narrow space is effortless. But worry not you can drive a lot further than just around the corner. The high-capacity 35.5 kWh battery allows for a range of 137 miles (WLTP), with 80% of charge added in just 30 minutes of rapid charging. The 50:50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity all combine to give the car a sporty vibe.
Adding to the function-led design, the charging port is subtly located centrally on the bonnet for ease of use from either side of the car. On top of that, the radio, GPS, and mobile data antennae are integrated into the top edge of the rear window to add to its clean, refined styling.
And then step inside; inside to a feeling of an open plan mid-century modern designed living room where the air of calm continues. As slick inside as out, the seats are covered in a grey melange-style sofa fabric and the trim around the car is in a wood style that adds to a warm, welcoming, premium appearance and touchy-feely vibe. There is, via this emotively designed space, a feeling that the occupants are somehow protected from the rush of traffic, the noise of the road, and the pollution of the city. Calm, calm, and calm the moment you take your place whether this be in the front or rear of the vehicle.
But this car is not just about green box-ticking or even tech specs and performance it’s about the actual drive and what has been built in to make this car for those in the driving seat an exceptional emotively warming experience from the visual to the drive.
Starting with the Full-width digital dashboard, gone are the days of twists and knobs this is a fully smooth LCD touchscreen. Positioned within the driver’s eye line for effortlessness and safety, five slick integrated high-resolution colour screens span the entire width of the car’s interior, with the replacement wing mirrors being the Side Camera Mirror System screens which are ergonomically placed at either end of the dashboard to ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver.
This wide touch-screen dash allows for both driver and front passenger to engage in their favourite apps and map control via built-in Sat Nat which, with a swiping action, can move across the screen between driver and passenger. There is an extensive suite of in-built apps that can be supplemented by seamless smartphone mirroring, via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. These systems enable users to view social media, music, and other internet services on the dual touchscreens. Oh, and when the car is stationary and not in use as a car, films can be watched.
The Side Camera Mirror System replaces conventional side-view mirrors, have compact cameras that provide live images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. At first, the idea of no wing mirrors may seem confusing but within a minute of driving the inside camera versions are seamlessly adapted by the driver, meaning along with other features, the driving experience becomes effortless, seamless and relaxing.
As well as no side mirrors there is no inside mirror. The Centre Camera Mirror System can be switched on to relay the image from a central rear-facing camera to the rear-view mirror display, enhancing safety and comfort, particularly if the driver’s rear field of vision is obscured by passengers or cargo. Again it may seem strange to have no glass mirror but just like every part of driving of this machine comes with such a sense of ease, almost natural and takes seconds to adjust to for a first timer in the car.
In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, multiple connection inputs are provided beneath the centre console for easy charging and connection of electrical devices. This includes HDMI, 12V power and 230V (1500W max) AC power outlet (UK Type G). There are also two USB ports for front occupants and a further two in the rear.
The Honda Personal Assistant (HPA) integrated AI develops a greater understanding of an individual’s voice over time, helping it to deliver more accurate responses, connecting car and driver to modern life.
Added to this is the digital key, which enables secure access to the car via a smartphone, and the seamless entry system that ensures the Honda e is unlocked, connected and ready to go whenever the driver approaches the car.
Another new feature is Honda Parking Pilot, which provides further driver support by monitoring for parking spaces and highlighting on the HMI screens a suitable position
to begin assisted parking.
The result is a quiet, smooth, and rewarding drive with instant acceleration to help navigate busy streets with ease. As well as Single Pedal Control, the Honda e also has two drive modes; Normal, and Sport, which increases responsiveness and heightens the dynamic appeal of the car.
So, all in all, there is up to the minute technology, top-spec engineering, ease of use, and elegance of design in this new style of car. Live, love, and drive this car from Honda: This newest electric car built for the city that is good for the world and is a pleasure to drive.