Honda Tokyo Motor Show 2017 Preview – New Sports EV and Riding Assist-e Concepts

By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan

Update: attended the Tokyo Motor Show press days. Click or tap on this link for our story that includes photos and videos from the Honda display.

Honda has announced its lineup planned for the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in late October. Among the world premiere concepts set to make their debuts at the show are the new Sports EV electric car and Riding Assist-e electric motorcycle with balance control.

Sports EV

Update: Here’s a photo of the Sports EV concept that we made at the Tokyo Motor Show. See our story at this link.

Honda says the Sports EV concept combines “EV performance and AI” with a compact form. While sharing its platform with the Honda Urban EV Concept (below), its “unforgettable silhouette and friendly front fascia” blends into any lifestyle, and makes it a next-generation sporty car that “brings joy and emotional attachment in ownership.”

Urban EV

Following its debut at the Frankfurt show this month, Honda’s Urban EV concept will be on display in Tokyo. It’s built on a newly developed, EV-only platform, and expected to preview a mass-produced EV model for Europe and other markets. The Urban EV concept employs AI to display messages and greetings to onlookers on the front fascia.

Riding Assist-e

Honda is leveraging its expertise in motorcycles, electric powertrains and robot research to unveil a next-generation concept called Riding Assist-e. (We notice the concept photo above appears to be in the “balance mode.”)

Riding Assist-e concept is designed to automatically balance itself at very low speeds, helping to reduce rider load. (The concept reminds us of a “Light Cycle” from Disney’s “Tron” film.)

Powered by an electric motor, Honda says the concept marks a step towards realizing its vision of “enjoying the freedom of mobility” and “a carbon-free society.”


Honda is prepping the Odyssey for a minor model change and November launch in Japan. Expected changes include slightly refreshed front styling and enhanced Honda Sensing safety systems.

The Japanese-market Odyssey is quite different from its American counterpart in size and concept. It offers a Sport Hybrid i-MMD powertrain along with upscale interiors like the new design trim shown above.


Honda is also introducing refreshed StepWGN models (above) that feature minor styling changes and enhanced equipment. Sport Hybrid i-MMD two-motor hybrid system is added to the Spada model, while Honda Sensing features now include Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.

StepWGN retains its unique “Waku Waku” (exciting) rear gate that opens like a door for easy curbside loading of objects like a stroller, and also swings up like a conventional tailgate for loading larger cargo.


The new Legend (above) is set to make its Japan premiere. While it looks like the new Acura RLX wearing Honda badges, there are likely some unique aspects that we hope to discover when more details are released. (The Acura brand isn’t used in Japan; equivalent models are sold as Hondas.)

S660 Special β #komorebi edition

We’re still wishing that Honda will one day bring its mid-engine S660 roadster to the states. Meanwhile, the new Special β #komorebi edition (above) is set to debut in Tokyo.

The interior photo reveals new trim on the seats and dash for this special edition. (If “komorebi” segues with the Japanese “sunlight filtered through the leaves of trees,” it explains the choice of light-tinted hues for the exterior and cabin.)

Super Cub 60th Anniversary

Cumulative production of the Super Cub is expected to reach 100 million units in October, so Honda will be exhibiting 60 years of Cub history including current models. (Super Cub 110 shown above.)

Honda also plans to participate in the Tokyo Motor Show’s new “TOKYO CONNECTED LAB 2017” display, promoting its “Spend more time with the family” concept, exhibiting unique mobility such as “Honda Ie-mobi Concept” (“Ie” is a Japanese word for “home”) focused on being connected with family.


News source and photos (as noted) courtesy Honda Motor Co. Ltd. Display vehicles and launch timing for Japanese market models is subject to change without notice.

Story and Sports EV photo (as noted) © 2017