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Honda shows the near-final version of its compact electric car

The Honda E Prototype will have a range over 124 miles.
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Honda's Urban EV concept is nearly ready to hit the road in earnest. As teased in January, the automaker has unveiled a Honda E Prototype that "previews" the production version of its city-oriented electric car. This refined version unsurprisingly includes less concept car flash (don't count on a display hiding in the front grill), but it's largely true to the spirit of the 2017 design with a glass-covered charging port on the front and cameras replacing the less aerodynamic rear view mirrors.

You also have a clearer idea of how well the finished car will perform. The E Prototype lives up to its urban focus with a relatively short range of "over 200km" (about 124 miles). It'll charge quickly, at least -- it should reach an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.

The interior will be familiar thanks to an earlier peek. To recap, though, it's a mix of nostalgia with modern technology. You'll find a digital instrument cluster, an extra-wide touchscreen infotainment system and a camera-linked rear view mirror, but you'll also see physical controls for air conditioning and radio. And of course, there's plenty of faux-wood paneling.

Honda will display the E Prototype at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5th, and expects to start production later in 2019. The car is still intended primarily for Europe -- the external cameras wouldn't fly under US rules, as Audi can attest. Even with that limited launch, though, this is still a big step for a brand that until recently was focused primarily on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles.

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