Honda has previewed two racing concepts of its latest city car the Honda-E, aimed at drag racing and hill climb disciplines.
For the drag racing variant, and to take maximum advantage of the 232lb-ft of torque, Honda has replaced the bumpers, hood and wings, among other parts, with CFRP productions, with only the roof remaining original – for now, as Honda say this is set to be made from composite in the future. Honda notes that the replacement panels are all single-piece moldings to ease mounting to the vehicle’s body.
The stock factory wheels are replaced with lightweight 17x7J versions ‘borrowed’ from the Honda NSX, enabling slick tires to be fitted. Honda’s engineers say they have also heavily revised the E’s suspension kinematic to better aid weight transfer on launch, a key element of maximizing traction in drag racing.
The hill climb version, named the N-One RS, is claimed to be the first city car with a 6-speed manual transmission, an unusual addition for an EV. Honda says its engineering team concentrated on reducing cornering time, a necessity when competing on sinuous hill climb stages. To this end, uprated suspension is housed under a revised body and, as with the drag racing variant, the suspension geometry has been improved to enhance cornering stability and vehicle feedback to the driver. Honda states that the car’s aerodynamic package, which includes a sizeable hood-mounted spoiler, will be subject to an ongoing aerodynamic development program.