Honda goes drag racing with the tiny and cute E

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The 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon, the year’s first major car event, is just around the corner and Honda just previewed a couple of really cool concept cars for the show. But they’re not what you’d usually expect from the Japanese carmaker. Instead of beefed-up Civics and funky kei cars, Honda created a couple of race cars based on the tiny E and N-One. To make things that much more ridiculous, the Honda E in question is a drag racer.

Honda Previews Insanely Cool E Drag Racer and N-One Hill Climber for Tokyo Auto Salon
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Previewed on the company’s Japanese website, the E-Drag and K-Climb were apparently designed as "silly ideas taken seriously." The E-Drag is basically a Honda E with skinny front tires and massive rear wheels and the renderings suggest it’s more than just a design exercise. One illustration shows the tiny hatchback with its front wheels in the air and smoking rear tires, an image we usually witness at the drag strip. There’s a second illustration that says E-Drag features carbon-fiber body panels. No word on power yet, but I have a feeling the E-Drag features a more powerful electric motor and a stiffer suspension setup. That’s because Honda plans to actually race this car sometime in March 2021.

Honda Previews Insanely Cool E Drag Racer and N-One Hill Climber for Tokyo Auto Salon
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The second concept, the K-Climb, is almost as crazy as it turns the N-One RS into a hill climb racer. The modified kei car features a carbon-fiber hood, flared fenders for wider wheels, and a larger roof spoiler. The K-Climb isn’t as ridiculous as the E-Drag, though. Honda has been sponsoring a one-make racing series for modified N-Ones for years now, so it was bound to see a more extreme RS version at some point. Honda plans to race the K-Climb in March too.

Honda sure had a lot of fun prior to the 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon. In addition to the E-Drag and K-Climb, the Japanese firm also created an off-road-oriented version of the Fit and a food truck variant of the N-Van. We will find out more about them when the event kicks off on January 15.

Honda E

2020 Honda 2 Exterior
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Introduced in 2020, the Honda E is an all-electric hatchback based on the Urban EV concept of 2017 and inspired by the first-generation Civic. The subcompact five-door features an electric motor at the rear and a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor generates 134 or 152 horsepower and sends the E flying from 0 to 62 mph in 8.3 seconds. Honda claims it can be driven for up to 137 miles on a single charge.

Read our full review on the Honda E

Honda N-One

Not as famous as the E outside Japan, the N-One is a kei car that’s only 133 inches long. Redesigned in 2020, the N-One is now in its second generation and just like the E, it’s inspired by a classic Honda, the N360. Powered by a tiny 0.66-liter gas engine, the N-One comes with only 58 horsepower on tap. Honda also launched a sporty (yet still cute) RS version with a turbocharged engine and 63 horsepower. Unlike the regular N-One, which is fitted with a CVT, the RS comes with a manual transmission.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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