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Honda P-NUT Forces Cliched Headlines, Reluctant Smiles At 2009 LA Auto Show

Posted in auto industry, Auto Show, Cars, Compact Cars, Concept Cars, Design, Foreign Cars, General, Honda, LA Auto Show, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures by Suzanne Denbow | December 7th, 2009 | 4 Responses |

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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.

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4 Responses

  1. gohan2525 says:

    I bet you this will only sell in japan

  2. Dustin May says:

    I like the P-NUT. It’s out there enough that I have hope that automakers haven’t completely lost their futuristic desires despite a raft of retro-cool models over the last decade.

    I don’t mind too much that this probably won’t ever see the light of day. Concept cars used to be way out there, ultra-futuristic show-only models used to show a company’s direction as well as gage consumer taste for these types of vehicles. They don’t always translate well into real cars (i.e. Pontiac Aztek). And they liven up the car show circuit filled with bland ready-to-manufacture reality.

  3. For me to say “I don’t get it” would be an understatement… but I will say it anyway. I don’t get it.

  4. Caio says:

    Eh…even though it’s nice to see automakers’ ‘futuristic desires’, I think there’s a limit. This being it. Why waste time and money building some ridiculously over-the-top futuristic stuff?

    Take that money and spend it on making things like the FCX Clarity a reality. I’d give my left P-NUT for one.