Full disclosure: the next journalist to use some variation of the word “cracked” to describe the Honda P-NUT’s debut is getting kicked in the shins at the next auto show. I’ll be watching.
Unlike the majority of the unpalatable concepts that have littered Honda’s booth for the better part of 2009, the Personal-Neo Urban Transport (P-NUT) does not immediately offend the senses. As a matter of fact, the angular front fascia and the well-defined, sloping shoulders are actually quite attractive and almost lend Honda’s design department an air of hope. “Almost” being the operative word.
Unfortunately, the P-NUT unveiled live in Los Angeles last week is not a production-ready urban crawler but a purely a conceptual interpretation of the soul-sucking enviro-friendly vehicles Honda promises to roll out in the future. Apparently, the RWD, rear-engined P-NUT’s primary objective is to demonstrate that there is hope for the ultra-compact city car beyond the ugly, underpowered options currently available today, which is basically akin to performing a digital makeover. The immediate reaction is positive…and instantly killed by the harsh smack of reality.
Bottom line: if you want small, fun, cool and only slightly fruity, buy a MINI Cooper. If you want small, marginally faster than a pair of Rollerblades, and guaranteed to score you plenty of dude poon, buy a smart ForTwo. See Honda? Theoretical problem solved. Now get back to work on the CR-Z.