The Honda 0 Series Saloon concept is a look at the company’s future. It’s all-electric. It has a steer-by-wire system. It’s bound for production in some (modified) form. But in one key way, it turns out that concept also a nod to the past.
As Threads user @d2lo pointed out today, the Saloon looks an awful lot like a concept Honda trotted out in Tokyo. We’re not talking about the Prelude, from Tokyo 2023, here, though. Way back in 2003, Honda unveiled the Kiwami, shown below:
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Wedge-shaped cars excel at aerodynamics
Aerodynamics have a lot to do with efficiency, which is more important than ever in the EV era. If someone at Honda decided to resurrect a 21-year-old idea for a new EV, that wedge shape is a good way to go.
The wedge-like shape, the full-width light bar, and the front 3/4 angle certainly reminds us of the Saloon. Rear-end design, however, has changed a lot in the last 21 years.
So too has our vision of what will power the future. The Saloon is fully electric, as you’d expect from a concept car shown in 2024 and set for production in 2026. The Kiwami, however, predates the modern focus on battery-electric cars. Instead, Honda said the concept was a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.
Two decades on, Honda is still one of the largest proponents of hydrogen vehicles. In fact, in the 21 years between the Kiwami and the Saloon, many came to criticize Honda for being late to the long-range EV game, in no small part due to its belief in hybrids and hydrogen vehicles.
The Saloon continues Honda’s pivot toward a future in which battery-electric vehicles play a major role. The Kiwami proves, however, that Honda’s been trying to design the next generation of zero-emission vehicles for two decades. Like the rest of the world, it just didn’t realize how quickly electric vehicles could take off.
The big question is just how much the Saloon Concept will actually translate to a production car (it doesn’t really look like your next Accord, does it?), but at least we know Honda’s had wedges on its mind for a long time now.