Honda bigwigs, Toshihiro Mibe & Shinji Aoyama recently spoke on the future of Honda’s EV enthusiast cars. I hate to actually get optimistic about anything new in the automotive industry these days, because all arrows point to –> it’s gonna be a fuggin bloated heartbreak. BUT – these Honda boys SEEM to MAYBE be getting back into their old/familiar Honda groove. At least they’re saying a lot of the right things with regards to their EV direction for both sports cars & motorcycles.
Honda says they won’t fake it.
Mibe & Aoyama said they really have no desire to stick simulated manual transmission software into an EV. Why fake the funk? I mean – the thought of not having a manual in something like a future EV Type-R stings. But let’s be real – driver’s cars will probably never be truly mechanical ever again. So the thought of having an electronic, simulated manual transmission to remind us of what pure driver’s cars USED to feel like… well that stings worse to be honest. Keep it real – whatever that may look like. Find new ways to capture the hearts of drivers – that’s the mission here. Fake shifts & fake exhaust notes ain’t it.
So instead – Honda seems focused on…
Pursuing NEW WAYS to make potent little drivers cars out of electric vehicles. Hell – we can get excited about that… so long as the spirit of driving stays intact. Make EVs fun! And make us feel them! You don’t have to replicate the past. But for Christ’s sake… make drivers excited about the future.
People assume S3 Magazine hates EVs… probably because we talk so much sh¡t about them. That’s fair. But really – what we’re actually talking sh¡t about… is dumb/stupid vehicles in general. Not EVs specifically. There just seems to be no difference at this point. But find a way to connect us to an EV, and we’ll be open to it. I actually think it can be done. I’m just not very optimistic any car company these days will actually have the balls to make it happen. But – if Honda can really get back in touch with their golden-era roots way of thinking… I genuinely believe they could be the ones to pull it off & capture hearts once again.
Mibe & Aoyama are talking about…
Making EVs that look different from everything else… and feel different & “edgy”. Maybe it’s just PR fluff, but I haven’t heard that kind of speech from a car manufacturer in a minute. It kind of sounds like these guys genuinely have a fire in their belly. We’ll see how long it lasts. But Mibe has been with Honda since ’87… so in a sense, he remembers what he’s fighting for. Either way, it’s refreshing & inspiring to see Honda speak on personality in their car designs.
Despite all the political pressure to get on board RIGHT NOW…
Japanese car manufacturers in general, seem to be taking a wise & patient approach to electric vehicles. Honda is admitting that the battery technology quite frankly isn’t there yet. At least.. not to do what they want to with electric cars & make them feel how they want to make them feel. Honda says that solid state batteries (combined with clever engineering) are pretty crucial to making an EV feel spirited. Solid state gets the weight down (and the temps), and allows Honda to build something like an EV Type-R/GSR that actually feels like a Type-R should. Only problem is – that stuff is still cost-prohibitive. By the time you’ve built something like an EV Type-R with a solid state battery pack, you’ve priced it out of a Type-R’s natural sweet spot. Honda doesn’t seem willing to compromise their driving dynamics or their price-point… just to rush an EV to market.
Enthusiasts know that Honda is not the same company it was in the 90s.
But I’ll be damn if Honda doesn’t seem to be thinking like the golden-era version of themselves. The type of thinking I’m seeing from them here… is the type of thinking that created vtec back then. Now let’s see if the passion can get through the red tape. Mibe & Aoyama even admitted, that the Honda Prologue is basically gonna drive just like the GM product it is. Fair enough lol. But it seems like Honda’s looking a little further down the road here.