Ask Nathan: Honda’s Future EV In The USA, Hyundai N Line and Holiday Gift Ideas?

  • What’s up with Honda’s future EV in the USA?
  • What’s the big deal about Hyundai N Line?
  • TFL Studio’s (last minute) holiday gift ideas!
Could this be the face of Honda’s future EV in the USA? This is the Honda Concept S from thw 2012 Beijing Auto show.

The first question comes from a serious Honda fan. He wants to know about what’s happening with Honda’s future EV in the USA.

Q:  (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) I head amazing things about the Honda e but that is overseas. What about Honda’s Future EV in the USA?

I want information on Honda’s future EV in the USA! What will we get and when? Every car I owned was Honda built. No regrets. Anything would be helpful.

— Pauly H and H

A: That’s a great question!

Here’s what we know:

The current, and well reviewed Honda-e was (and is) not intended for sales in North America. This isn’t something most automotive journalists have taken lightly in the U.S of A. Nope, most of us like the idea of an adorable, affordable EV that’s fun to drive. That sort of encapsulates the Honda-e. Unfortunately, Americans are not hip to hatchbacks, or small cars… or fun cars for that matter. They demand SUVs, crossovers and trucks.

The rear-drive, 127-mile range (European cycle) 2020 Honda-e. (Image: Honda)

Honda has a point about the lack of demand for the Honda-e on our shores. Still, that hasn’t diminished their resolve to sell an EV here. In fact, they just created a partnership with General Motors to exchange tech:

I am adding a quote from TFLcar below –

The strategic alliance builds on an agreement between the parties signed back in April. The companies would jointly develop GM’s “Ultium” battery platform, while Honda would incorporate OnStar into two new EVs within the next four years. GM president Mark Reuss said of today’s announcement, “This alliance will help both companies accelerate investment in future mobility innovation by freeing up additional resources. Given our strong track record of collaboration, the companies would realize significant synergies in the development of today’s vehicle portfolio.”

I am willing to bet that, with the success of crossover EVs, Honda’s first “official” electric vehicle in our marker will be along the lines of a electrified Honda HR-V in terms of size and packaging. That’s just a guess, but I sincerely doubt we’ll see something like the Honda-e over here.

Thanks for the message!

— N

The next question comes from a Hyundai fan who wants to know more about the newest vehicles sporting the “N-Line” badge.

Q: Hi Nathan. It’s Jack again. Tell me about the N Line cars from Hyundai.

Are they worth it? I never had a ride in one and the only sedan I liked from Hyundai was the Elantra GT from a few years back. It was a great ride. Is that what the new N-Line is?

– Jack C K

A: Howdy Jack – thanks for the email!

Hyundai N represents the automaker’s high-performance division. The “N” refers to The Namyang research and development center in South Korea. Think of “N” the same way BMW uses “M” and Mercedes-Benz “AMG,” and you get the drift. There is a bit of confusion over Hyundai’s N and N Line.

Think of N as the full-boil (nearly) race-prepped vehicles, and N Line as a more daily-driver-friendly upgrade.

Here’s Hyundai’s take on N:

“Honed by rigorous testing, N models are created for enthusiasts who crave high performance. At the heart of every N is our most powerful engine, which you can hear through the crackle-and-pop of the exhaust notes. The suspension, transmission, limited slip differential, steering, and brakes are built for maximum driving dynamics – and each can be adjusted for a more personalized driving experience. Even the design gets your pulse racing with N-exclusive badging and aggressive styling.”

… and N Line.

“N Line models are outfitted with styling and performance upgrades that set them apart from standard trims. The sporty design elements boost both looks and aerodynamics. With more power, better handling agility, and premium tires, each vehicle makes driving an invigorating rush. Along with superior performance, N Line maintains a balanced combination of tech, safety and comfort.

Hyundai began the N and N Line around 2017, the Hyundai Elantra GT and GT Sport were glimpses at this new N and N Line nomenclature. The idea is similar: build a fun car on the bones of a sensible car. From there, there are two levels of extreme. It’s just that simple, and Hyundai is stealing/borrowing Honda’s fire when it comes to producing vehicles like this.

Can’t wait to drive more of their N and N-Line vehicles!

– N

Just an FYI – the Elantra N is a beast!

The last question/comment comes from a family member (hence, it’s edited) regarding gift ideas for gear heads.

Happy Holidays to all of our friends around the world!

Q: (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) Any gift ideas for car people?

(Paraphrased and edited) I don’t know what to get you for the holidays. You’re impossible to shop for.

…And you should take better care of yourself too…

– (Perturbed) In law

Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays From TFLcar!

A: Macho car guys like me (and many of you) get that a lot!

Fortunately, I have procured an awesome gift guide for off-road and overlanding folks. You rarely go wrong with tools and car/truck-based memorabilia.

If your friend or relative has a brand they seem loyal to — such as Ford or Toyota — how about a cool hat or jacket? Shameless self promotion gift idea in 3… 2… 1… Now, how about buying a TFL Studios tee-shirt? And a copy of the Truck Nuts Book, while you’re at it!

I know, I have no shame. In all honesty, given what 2020 has put all of us through, something personal (think: hand written) on top of a simple gift, will be heartwarming for many. Just the idea of a card, letter or note that isn’t delivered electronically can give someone an emotional boost. This isn’t coming from a caveman like me, but from people I know and respect – containing far more depth.

Happy holidays!

— N

Speaking of awesome gift ideas (and even MORE shameless self-promotion)…