Honda unveiled the Personal-Neo Urban Transport (P-NUT) design study model at LA Auto Show 2009 today, demonstrating a futuristic concept for an ultra-compact and stylish city coupe. Designed around a small, micro-car ‘footprint’, ideal for use in cities and tight urban areas, the P-NUT’s packaging concept includes a central driving position, rear powertrain layout and clever interior space-saving solutions.
“A new generation is discovering the benefits of living in urban centres that provide convenient access to business, entertainment and social amenities,” said Dave Marek, director of advanced design for Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “The Personal-Neo Urban Transport concept explores the packaging and design potential for a vehicle conceived exclusively around the city lifestyle.”
The P-NUT’s exterior styling uses crisp angles with dynamic flowing lines that span outward toward the rear of the car, creating a sleek yet planted and aggressive look that also allows for a spacious and open interior with excellent visibility. The exterior styling intends to be premium and sophisticated while balancing the need for maximum interior space and an aerodynamic appearance. The interior layout, in conjunction with the rear powertrain design, contributes to the car’s overall exterior shape.
Inside, with its centre driving position flanked by two rear seats, the P-NUT provides generous legroom for all occupants, roughly the equivalent of a mid-sized saloon but in a vehicle with the exterior footprint similar to a micro car. In addition there are clever interior solutions such as rear seating areas that fold up and out of the way to increase storage capacity. The windshield serves as a head-up display for the navigation system and the reversing camera.
“The objective of the exterior and interior designers was to explore the potential for a new type of small-segment-category vehicle that overcomes many of the obstacles for existing micro-car designs,” said Marek. “While the Honda P-NUT concept introduces function-oriented concepts, it also shows that small cars don’t have to compromise on style or amenities.”
The modular rear engine bay is designed to accommodate a wide variety of potential powertrain technologies including a conventional small internal combustion engine, a hybrid system, or a battery-electric drivetrain.
The P-NUT design study model has been developed by The Advanced Design Studio of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Los Angeles. There are currently no plans for production.
Honda “Personal-Neo Urban Transport” Concept Specification:
- Size class: Ultra-compact
- Layout: Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive
- Passengers: 3
- Length: 3,400 mm
- Width: 1,750 mm
- Height: 1,439 mm
- Powertrain: Internal-combustion engine, hybrid-electric or battery-electric