Honda AC-X and Micro Commuter Concept EV

30 Nov, 2011 12:13pm Graham Hope

Pair of Honda concepts show how family and city cars could look in years to come

Honda gave a glimpse of a driverless future with its striking AC-X concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The plug-in hybrid is a car with a split personality, with drivers able to switch from Engine-Drive Mode to Automatic-Drive Mode at the flick of a switch.

The former promises an aggressive sporty drive, while the latter allows the driver to put their feet up! It sees the steering column retract into the instrument panel and the driver’s seat recline, with a footstool available for the ultimate in relaxation.

The exterior is equally wacky with the flanks split in two by LEDs to illustrate its dual capability.

Perhaps more likely to feature on production Hondas of the near future are the aerodynamic upgrades. The front bumper, side skirt and rear diffuser can all be adjusted to vary air resistance while on the move.

The AC-X pairs a 120kW electric motor with a 1.6-litre engine to deliver 101mpg when run as a hybrid. In electric only mode, it has a 31-mile range and 62mph top speed. 
 
Honda also unveiled the tiny Micro Commuter Concept EV. The one-seater is Honda's solution for a future in which it believes city centres will be emissions-free, with vehicles with traditional engines banned. It comes with a briefcase-sized box which houses the Motor Compo, an electric two-wheeler similar to a scooter.

It’s fitted with a 3.3kWh lithium-ion battery, and has a top speed of 37mph with a maximum range of 37 miles.

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Honda show it is possible to have some distinct lines and design that leave the driver feeling comfortable with their purchase. The usual dodgy norms appear to have been discarded. We await production for the final analysis. Bravo Honda!

More boring eco stuff from Honda.

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