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[NEWS] Honda e:Ny1 is Jeep Avenger rival with 256-mile range

Honda e:Ny1 is Jeep Avenger rival with 256-mile range

Honda eNY1 2023 front quarter
The Honda e:Ny1 looks like the hybrid HR-V but is all-new inside and underneath

HR-V lookalike kickstarts Honda's push into the electric mainstream; spearheads renewed SUV line-up

The new Honda e:Ny1 begins a bold push by the Japanese manufacturer to become a volume player in one of Europe's most important segments.

Previewed in prototype form in 2022, it's one of three crucial new electrified SUVs that Honda will launch in Europe this year, joining the new CR-V and ZR-V hybrid crossovers.  

When it's launched in the coming months, at a starting price of roughly £30,000, it will serve as a direct rival to the likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric, Jeep Avenger and Peugeot e-2008.

Completely unrelated to the Honda E in terms of its positioning, technical make-up and design, the e:Ny1 is the first of a family of new-era EVs with which Honda is aiming to capture a significant proportion of the family EV market in Europe.

It's essentially an electric equivalent to the HR-V crossover launched in 2021 and looks very similar, but it's all-new inside and underneath and will be marketed as a completely bespoke model.

Underpinning the crossover is Honda's new e:N Architecture F, a front-wheel-drive, pure-electric platform designed to offer "the dynamic performance, exceptional comfort and refinement drivers will expect from Honda's latest EV".

Honda has also used high-tensile steel for 47% of the e:Ny1's body in a bid to markedly improve torsional rigidity and points to the EV's low centre of gravity and optimised underbody aerodynamic elements as facilitators of improved handling.

Here, the platform hosts a single motor on the front axle with 201bhp and 229lb ft (significantly more than the short-range E supermini), which is expected to give it a 0-62mph time of around 8.0sec.

Outright pace wasn't the priority for Honda's engineers, however, with "smooth and comfortable acceleration and deceleration" touted as the powertrain's defining characteristic.

Its 68.8kWh battery pack is good for a competitive 256-mile range on the WLTP cycle - roughly in line with rivals' and almost double that of the E.

Honda has yet to detail charging specifications but said a 10-80% top-up can be achieved in 45 minutes on a fast charger.

Inside, the e:Ny1 is obviously marked out from the HR-V by the adoption of a large (15.1in) central infotainment touchscreen, mounted vertically, à la Ford Explorer and Tesla Model Y.

Physical buttons and switchgear – a Honda hallmark – still feature, though, with a cluster on the centre console giving easy access to the most important vehicle functions.

The e:Ny1 will be an especially important car for Honda as the UK government imposes strict new fleet emissions targets from next year, under which EVs must account for at least 22% of a manufacturer's sales, rising to 80% in 2030 - a percentage that would have been impossible for Honda to hit with just the E on sale.

Last year, Honda UK boss Rebecca Adamson said the e:Ny1 would "take our BEV ambitions to a new level" and that its launch was "critical for us to hit our targets".

The crossover is one of 30 new Honda EVs due to be launched globally by 2030. Details on the next EV for Europe have yet to be given, but the firm recently showed three concepts in Shanghai, previewing new models for the Chinese market in 2024, and has announced that it will launch the Afeela saloon – developed with tech giant Sony – in 2026.

Honda has also partnered with General Motors to develop the Prologue, effectively an electric alternative to the CR-V, which rides on the same platform as the Chevrolet Blazer and is armed with GM's innovative Ultium battery technology.

The Civic Type R hot hatch is the only non-electrified car left in Honda's European portfolio, and it's expected that the brand will launch no more pure-ICE cars in the region.

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