Good Oil: Two shows, two cool concepts
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Hardly has the hubbub from this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show died
down, before advanced press fever for the next big auto extravaganza on the calendar — the Tokyo Motor Show — has begun anew.
And significant early buzz has been generated by Honda which, for the second time in as many months, looks set to showcase some interesting electric metal.
The Japanese carmaker unveiled the retro-themed Urban EV Concept at Frankfurt — a kind of show car cross between a 1970s Honda Civic and the Mk1 Volkswagen Golf (both good templates to build on, it has to be said).
Now a teaser sketch released by the carmaker shows the same taillights as featured on the Urban EV Concept, but on a distinctly sleeker-looking model.
It’s only a computer-generated graphic, but it has us rather excited. The next concept from Honda looks to be a sports coupe bearing a classic long bonnet and wide rear arches; in other words, more old-school cool. But with
So, what should we be expecting? A reborn S2000 in coupe form? A plug-in Prelude? Something designed to take on the likes of the Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5 RF?
All we know at this stage is that the car is called the Sports EV Concept (catchy concept names, Honda) and it sits on the same platform as the Urban EV Concept.
We won’t know until the Tokyo Motor Show whether Honda intends to build a production version of the Sports EV Concept.
The manufacturer is making
a commitment to building the electric hatchback previewed in Frankfurt and releasing it in 2019.
The company says the production version of the Urban EV Concept plug-in will be close to what journalists salivated over at the motor show, too.
Nismo LEAF: The world’s first EV hot-hatch
That’s right; it’s a Nismo version, which will also be on display at the coming Tokyo Moto Show.
Has the (EV) world gone mad? Not really. Nissan has made several statements about furthering the Nismo sub-brand in recent times, wanting the performance arm to sell something like 15,000 units globally per annum.
Helping that is an increase in the number of models that will be given a performance boost with
Also, despite the change in both buyer and manufacturer attitudes towards mainstream electric vehicles as a viable way of getting around, good old-fashioned sportiness does remain sexy.
Want to bolster your electric vehicle sales? There’s probably no harm in introducing a shade of performance perception to proceedings.
With that in mind, the Nissan LEAF Nismo could very well be the world’s first all-electric hot hatch. Well okay, maybe “very warm” hatch.
It’s just a motor show concept at this stage, but the Nismo LEAF is rumoured to promise performance close to that of a Ford Focus RS, with a 0-100km/h time of about six seconds.
With the instant torque generated by the car’s electric motors, it will certainly be capable of a quick sprint. Performance to rival an RS-badged Focus though? Hmm,
The Good Oil office remains slightly more sceptical on that score.
Shell’s petrol station without petrol
Commuters in London will still be able to pop in for their morning dose of caffeine, but they won’t be filling up with petrol or diesel at one particular service station from next year.
Shell is set to introduce a fossil fuel-free forecourt, dispensing biofuels and offering electric vehicle charging points and hydrogen cell refuelling terminals instead.
The service station itself will also be powered by renewable energy from solar panels on the roof. The “no-petrol” project is part of the oil company’s attempts to develop alternative fuels and overhaul its retail arm.
It isn’t mucking around either: Shell plans to open three hydrogen cell refuelling stations in the UK before the end of this year. It makes sense really. Motorists have been conditioned to head to the nearest petrol station to refuel for a century.
There’s no reason a battery recharge shouldn’t happen within the same environment really. If they’re coming in to buy a coffee at the same time, all the better.
And with DC fast-charge kiosks still requiring a 20-minute sitting-on-hands delay in order to get the battery back up to 80 per cent capacity, EV drivers might even buy two coffees.