Honda’s Sports EV Concept Proves that Retro is the New Cool

This Honda’s EV Sports concept tease shows a revival of an old look and in a sleeker, more modern package.

byRob Stumpf|
Electric Vehicles photo

Honda is up to something. Its recent lineup concepts released over the past few months suggests that the manufacturer is looking back at its roots and taking a firm, deep grasp at the retro styling that made its brand so popular during the '70s in America. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda brought another player to the table that we knew was coming: The Sports EV.

Though it hasn't disclosed any planned specifications, Honda has released some teasers of the Sports EV, and it looks damn good. With a few core design similarities of the beautiful Urban EV concept, the Sports EV shares a similar look that makes jaws drop.

Reminiscence of the S800 roadster can be seen in the Sports EV's soul. The car's roof, although low-slung, feels very roadster-like thanks to the recessed hood. Rounded headlamps illuminate the front of the car, mated with a grille shaped like a giant gaping mouth. In the rear, round-cornered tail lights pay homage to its ancestors' design, almost like looking through an old photo album and finding out that grandpa was actually a smooth-talking lady killer back in the day. No matter how modernized it may seem, the design has a touch of classic, timeless elements.

Yet, something about the Sports EV screams progressive. It could be the long, flowing glass roof, or the black A-pillars which make the glass appear to wrap around the entire front of the car that gives the car such a new feeling. Headlights shine not with the yellowed glow of a sealed incandescent bulb, but with a bright clean light that accents the EV's curves.

Even though Honda has a few EVs in the mix right now, not much separates them from the rest of the lineup. The vehicles are officially beige-mobiles, and maybe that was part of the plan all along: Just making something that blends in. Recently though, Honda has been making its way to distinguish its presence among EVs through unique offerings. This recent shift to a lovely retro-styled fleet is just the icing on the cake. Here's hoping that Honda greenlights these concepts for production, because if we have to have EVs, they might as well be pretty.