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02 December 2011

Honda's hip small electric sports concept, the EV-STER

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Honda Motor Co.
 
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Honda's taking a bold step as they're ditching hybrid technology and going all-electric for their next-generation small electric sports concept. Launched at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, the EV-STER is an open-top roadster that has seats for two and gets its propulsion from the rear wheels. Sounds good? Well, it breaks my heart to tell you that this sportscar is not a successor to the S2000 or the NSX, but is in fact closer to the proportions of the Honda Beat kei car. 
 
A low-slung body with short front and rear overhangs are the tell tale signs of a sports coupe, while the split trunk cover, though functional, mostly serves as eye candy. The hexagonal LED front and rear lamps may look swell, but you'll have to agree that the blue back-lit grill and accents are a bit out of place.
 
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They've stabbed two control levers into the cockpit to replace the duties of a steering wheel, which should somehow improve the overall driving experience. The motor output and suspension settings can then be adjusted via the EV-STER's control system to suit road and driving conditions. Plus, there's an iPhone dock built into the center console to supply you some beats. 
 
Carbon materials used on the EV-STER reduced the overall vehicle weight, allowing it to run for up to 160 km - not a lot, but quick charging times is always a plus. It takes just under 3 hours to fully charge the batteries. The performance numbers, on the other hand, failed to impress, especially for something that's advertised as a compact electric sports coupe. From a standstill, 60 km/h comes up at 5.0 seconds, which means that 100 km/h could take another 5.0 seconds or so to achieve. 
 
The EV-STER might seem to be your over-the-top show car concept, but some of its features hint the possibility of this model hitting production. Besides the fact that it looks very much like a modernized Honda Beat, the current trend shows that the Japanese kei car culture is making a comeback.
 
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