Combining electric propulsion with a performance orientation is a delicate balance. Tesla managed to pull it off to some success. Audi has toyed with the idea with its E-Tron concepts. And some have been experimenting with bringing F1's KERS regenerative braking system to road-going sports cars.

Honda, for its part, tried to nail it down with the CR-Z, which was supposed to be a hybrid sport-hatch, but like the Lexus CT 200h, it ended up lacking in the "sport" part of the equation. Which is why this latest development has caught our attention.

Just a few weeks ago at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda showed off a tempting little package called the EV-STER. The concept spoke of a zippy little ride around town, all on electric power. Now, reports are indicating that, based on positive feedback from the show, Honda has already decided to green-light the project and put it into production. Sources suggest it will be ready sometime in the new year ahead, and could offer a more conventional gasoline engine in addition to the electric powertrain.

Of course none of this is to say that Honda would bring the production EV-STER to the North American market, but we'll be excited if it gets built at all.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      More EV-STER news at... http://www.evsterforum.com
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I suppose it depends on the market they go for, but GM did the performance EV back with the EV1 which could leave a 300ZX in the dust. Its actually a good market to go for (higher end performance EV) since it could support somewhat higher pricing if the performance is there. Love the looks, go for Volt pricing with a true high performance EV and they'll sell some.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        @Sasparilla Fizz A true high performance EV for the price of a Volt. Hmmm...ok, I'll buy one. I can park it next to my Unicorn. Did you ever stop to think why the Tesla Roadster costs $100,000?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          It's interesting that he mentions the EV1, without acknowledging its tremendous pricetag either... $80K for 0-60 in 8 seconds, with a top speed of 80mph! Woo hoo! That's actually the same 0-60 as a base 300ZX, but let's not let facts distort the haze of nostalgia... (adj. for inflation, $80k then would be $106K today)
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ooooooh, I'm very interested.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Yea - even ignoring the electric side, this is the first interesting Honda in some time (what happened, Honda? You still build them well, but you went all Toyota on us).
      PeterScott
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is just a concept. It would need to change massively before introduction, when everyone will moan about how it doesn't look like the concept. Not only that but other sources say it will be gas powered. So all we have now is that Honda may make some kind of sporty open top car, sometime in the future, for some market.
      budfox
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great. Amazing. Hey, I just waited a decade for such a car. PLZ bring it to the heard of Europe to shock diesel and gas tards. Even Prius drivers would get a smugly grin from me. Thaaaaaaanks.
      Larz Larzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Size matters? it can't be smaller than a Miata, and that was popular. This would be a very popular car, especially for young people of college age. It's really good looking. It could also be a popular car for retirees who are looking for something fun and attractive for their last car.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      could be semi important. it's a given they are not going to do it right but it might have flavors of decency. it should have 4 second acceleration or better, they'll probably give it 7.5. can't have it shine too much, otherwise it would be an admission of their decades of mistakes in opposing EVs. it should weigh 500kg or less, they'll make it weigh 1200. that's just a result of their subtoptimal engineering 'thinking'. and it'll be somewhat overpriced. not terribly but more than it should and could. a bit more than an MX5, say 30k$. it wont be great but it'll be such that the sheepish masses will compare it to something like the MX5 and maybe vaguely consider buying the electric. it could be a semi decent hit, maybe mostly in japan where they have over 800 chademo chargers now.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Er, here is the performance it actually offers: 'Honda’s press release states five seconds from 0 to 60kph. At first we thought this was a typo – surely they meant 0 to 60mph? A call to the Honda UK press office confirmed there was no mistake. 37mph in five seconds, then.' http://www.thechargingpoint.com/news/Honda-EV-STER-details-released.html All courtesy of its massive 10kwh battery.
          Chris M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Sounds like someone got confused with another EV, Honda did make a small "city car" for their domestic market, and those specs sound about right for an NEV class city car. Specs like that in a car that looks like that would make them a laughingstock.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          10KWH battery? WHAT? Now that is stupid. It will have such short range that it will be useless. Only something like the Aptera could even consider 10KWH and even they upped to 16 or so.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          "It can do this through minimising weight – it’s very short at 3,570mm, and the adoption of carbon materials to reduce overall weight helps improve performance, handling and electric range. Honda claims the EV-STER manages 100 miles of driving between charges from its tiny 10kWh lithium ion battery, which is very impressive, even taking into account that is calculated on the generous Japanese JC08 cycle – efficiency seems to be the watchword here. " Much more info is needed. But perhaps they significantly reduced the weight with lots of carbon fiber such that they can get away with a pretty small battery (although 10KWH still seems too small). There is probably some interesting calculations involving the added cost of expensive carbon fiber material versus the added cost of more batteries to propel a heavier vehicle made w/o the carbon fiber.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Thanks for the link... "100 miles of driving between charges from its tiny 10kWh lithium ion battery, which is very impressive, even taking into account that is calculated on the generous Japanese JC08 cycle..." That doesn't bode well for US driving range, either. The Leaf gets 124 miles, according to that test.
        letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Not everyone needs "4 second acceleration". I know what I'm about to type flies in the face of every enthusiast's wish, but... Most people can't drive a sub-5-second car safely. The Mazda MX-5 would be an obvious benchmark, so a 6ish-second time would be entirely appropriate for the small, fun, affordable segment. I do hope Honda brings this one to the States. It be great here in the southeast, where even today we're expecting mid-60° F temps!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @letstakeawalk
          But rapid acceleration calls for beefier motors, and stronger sub-frames and suspension and driveline parts, a bigger battery to keep up the flow of electrons.. All of which add weight, and cost. By compromising absolute performance, gains can be made in other areas.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @letstakeawalk
          noone needs 4 second acceleration. not even the police. it's not about need, it's about what changes the world. the overpriced unimpressive imiev doesn't. a low cost ferrari killer EV does.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @letstakeawalk
          wrong
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        I think 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds is a bad idea for a main model . . . have a premium priced sports model that can do that. But the main version doesn't need a motor & controller that can do that.
        uncle_sam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Oh no th 500kg car. I would not want to drive such a flimsy shitbox. One hit by a truck / SUV and you are dead
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @uncle_sam
          Not if it is designed well. The very small SmartForTwo passes all the crash tests.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @uncle_sam
          think more, speak less
          uncle_sam
          • 3 Years Ago
          @uncle_sam
          Thanks for downranking. A smart weighs 770 kilograms, that is far away form 500. There are cars with limited speed that weigh 500kg. but those are deathtraps
      GR
      • 3 Years Ago
      First thought that popped in my head was: Hot damn that's a good looking car! :-)
      Nick From Montreal
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll believe it when I see it. Honda has been opposing EVs for years. Their hybrids are half-baked and they have a fixation on hydrogen. Meanwhile the Acura front grill is the laughing stock of the industry. Hyundai designs more attractive cars. There is no way Honda will make a beautiful stylish EV car that everyone will love to drive. They will screw with it somehow.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        This could be the first. Honda has gone through a long boring spell, but then GM now has great interiors, Ford is rating high in quality, and Nissan has a viable electric. Honda might come out with fun cars again, and maybe VW will do something. Always hope...
        skierpage
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        The tide is turning at Honda. The new SH-AWD uses electric motors to drive the rear wheels, the new Accord should be the first PHEV mainstream sedan, the new CVT might allow a better hybrid design than the old IMA, and they claim their EV powertrain (probably arriving in a Fit EV) will be the most efficient. At this point it's all about production numbers and price. The other really significant change is Honda Power Systems' new Loop cell to power scooters, generators, leaf blowers, etc. That's a gut-wrenching change for an engine-centric company.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @skierpage
          @Skierpage I would like to read more about Loop cell technology. Could direct me to a handy article with more more information ? Thank you.
          skierpage
          • 3 Years Ago
          @skierpage
          @Marco Polo http://world.honda.com/news/2011/c111110Tokyo-Motor-Show/photo/pages/24.html has a good picture. The remark about using the battery in other Honda devices is in this R&T article about the Honda Townwalker scooter, http://blog.roadandtrack.com/honda-townwalker-concept-2011-tokyo-auto-show/ "This allows the vehicle to be powered by a small battery pack that can be used in a variety of products—everything from lawnmowers and power products to vehicles.", but maybe that's just concept vehicle talk.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Out of all the EV concepts Honda has shown.. i think this is the weakest one :( Still, i have to hand it to them for pulling their heads outta their arse and trying. I may hate Honda's modern powertrains but you can't go wrong with electric drive. Honda still knows how to make a good, light, well-handling chassis, so i think the combination of that with electric drive could put this company back on the top... if they try!
      upstategreenie
      • 3 Years Ago
      if my choice was between this or smart car with shi(* gas mileage or fiat with sh8( gas mileage which no way in he!! was j lo's ass able to actually fit in, etc. I would definitely pick this. honda's current 'sport' hybrid is a precursor with shifter. it is also pretty cool for younger crowd or 'professional' single who doesn't need to haul a bunch of sh*!.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      It look good but it is small. Do they have the place to fit a gasoline generator. This is the key to the future unlimited range. I won't wait hours and hours while travelling to recharge. I still prefer a volt from chevy from chevrolet from GM from u.s.a and canadian goverment. That way we got the best from both world.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        This is not the car for you. I think PHEVs are great. But this is designed as a small light-weight electric. Don't mess it up by trying to shoehorn a gas engine in there. When you go on that weekend trip, you probably want a bigger car anyway.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I like your response. Not, 'you suck!' or, 'you can't get your fat arse into a small car.'. Simply, 'this is not the car for you.'. Good job man.
          goodoldgorr
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          At least it's not heavy to push it to the next power outlet when the battery got suddently depleted.
    • Load More Comments