Honda Motor Co. will debut a trio of concept cars at the Tokyo Motor Show that foreshadow the Japanese automaker's vision for a battery-powered future.
The concepts presage cars that could come to market about two generations from now, say in 2020.
A key feature of each of the cars is a pair of steering handles that are pulled backward and forward to direct the car instead of a wheel. Honda says the technology is intuitive and much like steering a bicycle. When you want to turn left, you move the right handle forward. When you want to move right, you do the opposite.
AC-X: The AC-X, for Advanced Cruiser Experience, is a wedge-shaped plug-in hybrid sedan that takes heavy styling cues from the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle.
For improved aerodynamics, it has an adjustable rear diffuser and body undercover that extend during highway driving to improve mileage. Formula One-inspired wheel covers also help.
The AC-X, with a drag coefficient of 0.21, targets fuel efficiency of 110 kilometers per liter, or 258 mpg, with its 120-kilowatt electric motor and 1.6-liter engine. It is expected to go 31 miles in electric-only mode.
Micro Commuter Concept: This three-seat city runabout follows in the tradition of the Nissan Pivo concept series and the Toyota iQ minicar.
Its lithium ion battery gives it a range of 37 miles. But the so-called Loop Batter battery pack also can be taken out and plugged into other vehicles, including an electric minimotorbike. That two-wheeler, dubbed the Motor Compo, can be loaded aboard the Micro Commuter Concept.
Colorful body panels can be swapped in and out like the exchangeable skins of a smartphone to customize your ride.
Small Sports EV Concept: Honda is waiting until the show to give detailed specifications of this compact convertible electric vehicle. But sketches depict a stubby, low-slung car reminiscent of the CR-Z sporty hybrid.