Well, our prediction is almost true with the unveiling of the SUV e:prototype at Auto Shanghai 2021 because it looks a little bit like the all-new Honda HR-V that was unveiled in Japan as the Vezel.
As a matter of fact, some in the Chinese media are quick to point out that this concept could very well be the electric HR-V that will be Honda’s first EV model when it goes on sale in 2022. This is part of the Japanese carmaker’s plan to introduce 10 Honda-brand EV models in China within the next five years.
The overall resemblance to the all-new HR-V is certainly uncanny, down to the sleek coupe profile. At the front, Honda removed the Mazda-esque grille completely as this is supposed to be an electric SUV.
In its place is a cleaner fascia that might hold the charging port underneath with the ‘lambang H’ illuminated in the middle.
Elsewhere on the front, the headlamps receive a bolder and angrier style with distinct U-shaped lights and stretched upper light bars that resemble eyebrows.
If you think this whole HR-V resemblance is mere coincidence, well, maybe the rear would make you think otherwise. Apart from the illuminated H in the centre of the rear tailgate, everything is similar to the regular HR-V.
Honda is still keeping the performance figures and other mechanical details to itself for now but according to the press blurb, the prototype features the third-generation of Honda Connect that offers advanced functions including smartphone link, a highly sophisticated voice-recognition interface, and over-the-air (OTA) updates.
Meanwhile, the all-new HR-V is currently only sold in Japan with two powertrains; a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC engine and a petrol-electric e:HEV hybrid unit shared with the Honda City RS.
Honda has offered electric versions of the outgoing HR-V in China where it is badged as a Ciimo (under a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor) or an Everus (under a joint venture with GAC Group). Hence, would this concept preview Honda's first proper electric SUV not just for China, but for the rest of the world too?