Since making its world debut at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2011, the Honda EV-STER has been making itself into quite the world traveler. Most recently EV-STER has shown up at the Chicago Auto Show and is still the eye-catcher it was two years ago. You can always tell which models of vehicles people are the most interested in, because those are the ones that are separated from the crowd by some kind of barrier. While it is likely that some of the innovative features of the EV-STER will not make it into the possible production version, some already are common place.
When the EV-STER was first shown off in 2011 at the Tokyo Auto Show, it featured a system that allowed you to automatically tune the suspension and engine characteristics to suit what the current driving needs demanded. These systems are actually fairly common place in current production models and are usually called something like “Sport Mode” or “Eco Mode.” Sport Mode is for when more power and responsive handling are required and Eco Mode is meant to save as much fuel as possible. Honda calls it Eco Assist.
You may also notice that what the EV-STER uses as steering controls are on the right-side. That likely won’t make it into production versions for America. Other than the steering controls being on the wrong side of the car, you may also notice that the steering controls are not a steering wheel. Controlling the car is similar to that of the old Cub Cadet lawnmowers. You have two levers in front of you; to go left you pull the left one back and push the right one forward. To turn the opposite way, you do the opposite motion. As interesting as a concept as this may be, replacing the steering wheel may not be ready for primetime production.
As the EV-STER sat in Chicago, it was powered by Lithium Ion batteries and was 100 percent electric. The track numbers we were able to get for the EV-STER may not be overly impressive. It has a zero-to-60 time of five seconds, which sound fast until you remember that “60” in this case refers to kilometers per hour, not miles. Converting to miles per hour, this means it takes five seconds to reach 37 mph. Remember, this is a concept car. Some rumors have said that this car may be released as a gas-powered vehicle. Be sure to check back with the Benson Honda blog for any further developments of the EV-STER.