Honda's mini electric ute concept would make a great daily companion
14 February 2019 - Autoblog
Named Tomo, it will debut next to the updated Urban EV prototype
Honda is set to make a major splash at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show by debuting the newest iteration of its due-for-production fully electric prototype, but it turns out that won't be the only EV on the stand. In partnership with the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, Italy, Honda will debut a brand-new design concept, the miniature Honda Tomo EV ute.
Honda and IED have a long history, as this will be the 15th 1:1 design model the two have produced. The stylish concepts are the thesis projects for the two-year master's program at the university's transportation design school. For this exercise, Honda sent 13 students a simple, if roughly translated, brief: "Honda next 2025 fun driving." The result is a bite-sized, curvaceous electric coupe with a tiny rear truck bed.
Tomo, which means "friend" in Japanese, is meant to portray how young people see "driving pleasure," and "is able to combine the needs of leisure time outside the city with business demands of the city." At 13.1 feet long, 6.2 feet wide, and 5.1 feet tall, it's slightly bigger than a Mazda Miata.
The two-door coupe resembles both of Honda's most recent EV concepts, the Urban EV and the Sports EV. The body's bar-soap smoothness, the white and black contrasting exterior, the circular lighting patterns, and even the black hood scoop detail all make this a perfect fit for Honda's blossoming family of electrics.
The talented student designers who worked on the project are Ricardo Alejandro Campos Ortega, Rudraksh Banerjie, Tanmay Madhukar Chavan, Michele Corneliani, Shobhanjit Das, Alexander Marcel Fröse, Xiaole Ge, Ramón Emmanuel Hernández Cortés, Tianchen Huang, Sameer Aminullah Khan, Saketh Nalla, Jay Shrikant Nibandhe and Yu-Jie Wang. Campos Ortega's design won out for the exterior, while Banerjie's design was implemented for the interior.
As of now, this is just a design exercise, but its similarity to Honda's real concepts give us hope that it might one day influence a real production car. We think it'd be pretty amazing to have a modern-day take on the Subaru Mighty Boy.