Honda has unveiled the new SUV e:prototype, which showcases the firm’s first Chinese market EV and could preview a future electric HR-V, at the Shanghai motor show.

The new machine, which appears to be based heavily on the recently revealed second-generation HR-V, is due to go on sale in China next year, and will be the first of 10 Els the Japanese firm will launch in the country within the next five years.

While few technical details of the model have been made available, it appears to be closely based on the new third-generation HR-V crossover, which is due to go on sale in the UK later this year as a hybrid-only model. The SUV e:prototype has a revamped front grille to reflect the lack of engine radiator needed for the electric motors.

Honda currently offers the e city car as its only electric model in the UK. It has yet to reveal future plans, although an HR:V-sized electric SUV would meet the growing demand for such models. Honda says the SUV e:prototype will offer “dynamic, yet smooth acceleration” that will enable to driver to “feel the joy of driving”.

The model also features the latest version of Honda’s Connect infotainment system, which will enable over-the-air updates and offers voice recognition technology.

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