Honda used CES 2024 to reveal a couple of purely conceptual automobiles and then announced that one of them would serve as the basis for its new EV line coming in 2026. They’ll even have their own logo, which the company also teased this week.
Honda’s ‘Zero Series’ vehicles are supposed to be the next generation of all-electric transportation and appear to be hellbent on embracing every industry trend that’s currently in fashion. That supposition is based on the Saloon concept, which the manufacturer had on hand at CES and claimed would be the first model in the lineup. Though the vehicle will undoubtedly have to change in order for that to become a reality. The Saloon looks like a minivan concept from the early 1980s — boasting a wedge shape and tons of glass.
A production version of the Saloon (or whatever the name they give the vehicle it’s based on) is said to arrive in 2026, serving as the Zero Series’ first model. The design allows for the concept to be incredibly spacious inside with staggeringly good viability. However, it doesn’t look like it would perform terribly well during a crash test in its conceptual form. It has a yoke steering wheel because that’s what designers assume people think is hip right now appears completely devoid of buttons.
We expect a lot about the vehicle to change. But Honda said the production model should receive a novel drive-by-wire system called “motion-control management.” Considering how lackluster electronic steering has been, we’re hoping it offers better feedback than what the broader industry has had on offer these last few years. The manufacturer is also making pretty bold claims about battery life, claiming less than a ten-percent degradation of its maximum charge over ten years.
Other than the vehicle slotting into the usual cliche of claiming it’ll be like a mobile lounge and Honda promising it’d be extremely lightweight for an EV, there’s not much to say here. It’s just too hard to imagine the production-ready version being anything like the concept once you take into modern safety regulations. But it remains a very cool concept, appealing to just above everyone who grew up thinking wedge designs and neon would be the future.
“We will create a completely new value from zero based on thin, light and wise as the foundation for our new Honda [zero] EV series to further advance the joy and freedom of mobility to the next level,” stated Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe.
The company has also shown off the Space-Hub concept, which is more like a proper van. It’s similar in nature to the Saloon, just larger and with a greater emphasis on pleasing passengers. Honda has fitted it with a massive panoramic roof and seating that’s more limo than shuttle bus. However, the company hasn’t expressed any intention to put it into production.
Assuming it keeps the name, the Saloon is supposed to launch in North America sometime in 2026, followed by subsequent Honda Zero model introductions in Japan, Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. The vehicles will use a new Honda logo (below), denoting their place among the brand’s newest all-electric products.
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