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Honda 0 Series next steps: sports car, affordable EV and SUVs planned

Honda has big plans for its range of 0 Series EVs, with a sports car and multiple SUVs in the pipeline

Honda Saloon concept - front

Honda hasn’t even launched its first next-generation 0 Series EV, yet it’s already being open about how the range will expand over the coming years.

The new range of electric cars has been previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by the freshly unveiled 0 Series Saloon and Space-Hub concepts. But Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe has already confirmed that the company is planning an all-electric sports car under the 0 Series sub brand. “We have been researching a sports car in an EV era,” Mibe told us. “It’s part of our research and development, yes.

“We showed a hybrid Prelude at the Japan Mobility Show. But for an EV sports car we have not decided on mass production or timing, but personally I would like it to happen. We’re steadily proceeding. We’re doing good analysis on what is out now - we are now looking into it. At the R&D centre we have a sports car.”

With a host of brilliant sports cars in Honda’s back catalogue and the award-winning Civic Type R in the brand’s current line-up, Mibe admitted that producing an all-electric model is a challenge. “It will have a completely different taste to ICE vehicles,” said Mibe, “But we’re working on it.”

Mibe also revealed that Honda’s return to F1 with Aston Martin under the new engine regulations would provide an opportunity to develop the company’s electric powertrains. “We want to win in F1 and feed that technology into the 0 Series as much as possible,” he said.

“Even in electrification we want to show the world we are leaders in powertrain technology.”

Budget electric car for the 0 Series range

Also speaking at CES, Honda’s executive vice president Shinji Aoyama revealed that a small, affordable member of the 0 Series family is also planned. “It’ll be in the late 2020s,” he said. “To increase volume we need to come up with a valuable, affordable EV.”

The first 0 Series model to go on sale in 2026 - first in the US, then Japan, Asia and then Europe - will be a production version of the Saloon concept, which, according to Toshinobu Minama, managing director and chief operating officer at the design centre of Honda R&D, will be 95 per cent the same as the concept. Don’t expect the gull-wing doors to make production and Minama admitted that the interior of the concept would be re-thought, but the sleek, five-metre-long bodystyle is expected to remain pretty much unchanged.

Following the saloon, according to Katsushi Inoue, senior managing executive officer and senior vice president of Honda, will be a large SUV, which we expect would follow a similar design theme to the Saloon and be a similar length, possibly even with seven seats to rival the likes of the Kia EV9.

The second concept shown at CES, the Space-Hub with its flexible rear seating space designed to create a hub to connect people, is less likely to make production, though. Instead, Mitsuru Kariya, business unit officer at the automobile strategy unit for electrification, hinted that an SUV that’s smaller could be on the cards.

Honda’s 0 Series models will use different variations of the brand’s new modular EV platform, which is designed to be ‘thin, light and wise’, transcending the current approach for EVs that Toshihiro Mibe said are ‘thick, heavy and smart’.

Thin refers to the low-height dedicated EV platform with a shallow battery pack, that enables the Saloon concept to keep its low-slung looks. By employing smaller, more efficient batteries and motors it makes the car lighter to give a sporty driving experience, while a software-defined vehicle approach, including AI, is said to be ‘wise’ - bringing added peace-of-mind and safety.

We know very little about the batteries and motors that will power the cars, but Honda did reveal at CES that the platform should provide “over 300 miles of driving range with increased efficiency from a small battery size”. The focus is on rapid charging and Honda is happy with a modest range compared to rival EVs, because a 15 to 80 per cent top up should be possible in 10-15 minutes at the right charger. The firm is also targeting less than 10 per cent battery degradation after 10 years of use.

The tech for the 0 Series concepts also includes advanced driver assistance features, with autonomous hands-off operation said to be possible on ‘non-highway roads’. Honda also debuted a new H logo for use on 0 Series cars. The current brand mark continues across the existing range.

Honda currently develops its cars for specific markets on a regional basis. Models like the e:Ny1 are built specifically for Europe, for example. While that will continue for now, from 2026 the new 0 Series range will be global. The production version of the 0 Series Saloon will arrive first in North America, before launching in Japan, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East and South America.

Click here for our list of the best electric cars on sale...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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