2009 LA Auto Show: Honda P-NUT Design Concept
A forward-looking exercise in how to make less be more, the innovative Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport (P-NUT) design study shown at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show "explores the packaging and design potential for a vehicle conceived exclusively around the city lifestyle." Created by the Advanced Design Studio of Honda R&D Americas, Inc in Los Angeles, the funky P-NUT is a three-passenger coupe that has its centrally-positioned driver flanked by two foldaway rear seats. Measuring a trim 113.9 inches, the P-NUT boasts the footprint of a contemporary microcar; but Honda says it's got nearly as much actual "people space" as a mid-size vehicle. In addition to ensuring excellent outward visibility, the P-NUT's panoramic windshield also serves as the view screen for its head-up displays for the basic instrumentation as well as the on-board navigation system. To ensure maximum flexibility, the car's rear engine bay has been configured to accept wide range of possible powertrain technologies, from a small-displacement gasoline engine or gas/electric hybrid to a full battery-electric system. According to Dave Marek, Honda's director of advanced design, "the objective of the exterior and interior designers was to explore the potential for a new type of small segment category vehicle that overcomes many of the objections for existing ultra-compact designs." While the Honda P-NUT concept introduces function-oriented concepts, it also shows that small cars don't have to compromise on style or amenities."