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Auto Show:  2011 Tokyo Auto Show

Honda EV-STER Concept - Tokyo Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo November 2011
  • Two-seat roadster concept
  • All-electric propulsion
  • Unique yet rational styling

Concepts presented at auto shows cover a lot of ground with automakers showing everything from wacky and futuristic machines to nearly production-ready vehicles. Honda has the biggest display at this year's Tokyo Auto Show and a lineup of electric concept vehicle. Among them is the EV-STER, a small sports car that falls somewhere in the middle. The EV-STER is unlikely to be in Honda showrooms any time soon, but is grounded enough to suggest the company's near-term design direction.

The EV-STER's world premier reveals a two-seat roadster with electric power driving the rear wheels for a performance-focused driving experience. Lightweight materials contribute to both the EV-STER's agility and its range. The unique interior design integrates entertainment and connectivity functions along with vehicle information, while the exterior combines futuristic details with classic sports car cues.

To be clear, the all-electric EV-STER would not perform quite like a conventional gas-powered sports car. Honda says the car could reach about 37 mph in 5 seconds, not exactly brisk acceleration. But its small size, almost a foot and a half shorter than a Mazda Miata, and lightweight carbon construction would likely benefit handling and contribute to the excellent claimed range of about 100 miles.

The EV-STER also allows the driver to adapt vehicle characteristics to accommodate either more spirited performance or greater range. The motor's output can be customized and the suspension can be tweaked to suit the driver's preferences.

Inside, the EV-STER has two handles in place of the steering wheel and two small displays flanking a larger, central screen. Honda says the networked displays will allow audio and navigation control and internet access, along with displaying typical vehicle information like speed.

Exterior styling may be the EV-STER's strongest attribute. The wheels are stretched to the corners and the bodywork is an aggressive blend of angles and curves. An extremely raked windshield and high waistline contribute to the sporty, planted look. The rear deck lid has two cowls that taper from behind the seats down toward the tail, reminiscent of sports cars of the past.

Should something like the EV-STER concept reach production, a hybrid or conventional drivetrain may provide performance to match the car's striking look. Certainly admirers of the now-dead S2000 would welcome such a vehicle.

What it means to you: Serious sports car performance may require further development, but the styling of Honda's future may already be here.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Honda EV-STER Concept - Tokyo Auto Show - Autotrader