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Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport (P-NUT) concept

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 00:00:00 -0800

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

02 December 2009 21:58

You can always rely on the Japanese car makers to invent the craziest names. Honda didn’t disappoint at the 2009 Los Angeles auto show, with the new P-Nut concept car. That stands for Personal-Neo Urban Transport, in case  you were wondering. 

It’s quite a different kettle of fish (bag of nuts?) from last year’s striking supercar hybrid concept car shown a year ago almost to the day. The P-Nut is an urban weapon, with a 2+1 seating layout for a compact shape and a McLaren-esque central driving position.

It’s also rear-engined, to help with the miniaturised packaging, says Honda. The concept was designed in the company’s advanced design studio in the US, whose director Dave Marek said: ‘The P-Nut concept explores the packaging and design potential for a vehicle conceived exclusively around the city lifestyle.’

So no need for any motorway cruising ability then?

Exactly. Honda says the footprint of the P-Nut is similar to a city car: it’s a scant 3400mm long, 1750mm wide and 1439mm tall.

Although there is seating for three, you can fold away the two rear outboard seats to increase boot space when travelling one-up.

Honda P-Nut: the engineering bit

Although Honda hasn’t specified an exact powertrain (ie this concept car is in make-believe land), it suggests that the P-Nut could use an internal combustion engine, hybrid-electric power or a pure battery EV solution.

We reckon they should stick an engine in fast. This thing is rear-engined and rear drive. And we all know that the best Hondas of recent years, the NSX and S2000, all drove the back axle not the front. Game on, Honda.

By Tim Pollard