March 6, 2007, Geneva – Honda has unveiled a concept model which represents its interpretation of how a future hybrid model might appear. Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept, a design study model, demonstrates a unique fusion of advanced environmental technology, exciting styling and fun-to-drive characteristics. This is its world premiere for the model, which has been penned by the design studio at Honda R&D Europe based in Offenbach, Germany.
The Small Hybrid Sports Concept is conceived around a front-wheel drive, small car platform and is powered by a Honda IMA 4-cylinder petrol/electric hybrid system driving through a CVT transmission. It explores the idea that a car can have a low environmental impact yet still deliver all the driving enjoyment expected of a compact sports car.
The aerodynamic design is characterised by curvaceous and contoured surfaces contrasting with sharp “folded” edges. The short front and rear overhangs, together with wheelarches that wrap tightly around large wheels, further enhance the dramatic looks of this sports coupe. An accentuated, arrow-like nose features a full width air intake with Civic family overtones. This sweeps forward into a distinct protruding centre section complete with ‘H’ logo.
The Concept model’s fluid lines are created by a steeply raked windscreen which extends back above the occupants’ heads where it meets a one piece glass roof. This in turn flows rearwards to give the car its fastback styling, terminating in a distinctive and futuristic 3D floating glass design – a concave element which forms an additional vertical window. At its base, further distinction is provided by a ‘floating’ LED tail light unit that stretches across the full width of the car. At its centre, the glass panel extends downwards and contains an illuminated ‘Small Hybrid Sports’ name plate.
The Hybrid Sports Concept is equipped with 165/60 section tyres mounted on 20-inch distinctive rims. Their dimension supports low rolling resistance without compromising sporty driving.
Compact external dimensions lend themselves to nimble, agile performance on the road and help to ensure a good power to weight ratio. 4000 mm in length, 1270 mm tall and 1760 mm wide, and the 2350 mm wheelbase, in conjunction with a sports suspension, delivers stable and predictable handling characteristics.
The body is particularly aerodynamically efficient and compact. Rear-facing digital cameras take the place of conventional door mirrors.