Honda P-NUT emerges from shell

* Personal-Neo Urban Transport * Cool-looking concept car * No plans for production...

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What Car? Staff
02 December 2009

Honda P-NUT emerges from shell

Honda has unveiled this nutty-looking concept car at the Los Angeles motor show.

Its full name is the Personal-Neo Urban Transport, but we much prefer its abbreviation P-NUT.

It's a three-seater city car, with a central driving position for the driver and two seats in the rear. Honda says the car provides the same legroom for passengers as a mid-sized saloon, but in a micro-car package it's only 3.4 metres long, which is nearly 60cm shorter than a Renault Clio.

The car has rear seating areas that fold up to increase storage capacity and the windscreen doubles up as a heads-up display for the sat-nav system and a reversing camera.

The car can accommodate a conventional fossil-fuel engine, a hybrid electric set-up or a battery-powered unit. The engine bay is housed in the rear.

David Marek, director of advanced design for Honda's R&D Americas, says: 'The Personal-Neo Urban Transport concept explores the packaging and design potential for a vehicle conceived exclusively around the city lifestyle.'

This is a convoluted way of saying there are no plans to put the car into production at the moment.

Designed in the UK
The exterior design concept is the work of Brit Andy Foster, who has been working in Honda's California studio for three years.

'We realised that 90% of the time cars in urban areas have one occupant only, and 95% of the time there are no more than two,' he said of his P-Nut study. 'So we came up with an idea for a small urban vehicle that would meet those needs.'