The Honda P-NUT Concept (Personal-Neo Urban Transport) is the answer to a challenge posed to Honda’s engineers: get the most cabin room out of the smallest footprint. The P-NUT will likely never hit the streets as a production model, but it does provide a good starting point for technologies designed to deliver maximum comfort for passengers while consuming the least possible amount of resources.The configuration of the P-NUT is a bit different than the average car. Designed to seat three, the driver sits up front, on the center axis of the car, while the two passengers would sit in the rear and to either side of the driver. These rear seats are foldable to create cargo space if you don’t have any passengers with you. And, the front of the car essentially marks the extent of the driver’s leg room, as the powerplant will be placed at the rear. The drivetrain was designed to accommodate one of three power options; a traditional gasoline engine, a hybrid, or a purely electric motor.
Driving the car looks to be about as high-tech and futuristic as you would expect from the way the P-NUT looks. The windshield doubles as a heads-up display that interfaces with a navigation system, and also interacts with the rear back up camera. And the sheer size of that windshield, and the ample windows surrounding the cabin, results in some great views from the inside out.
At just over 11 feet long, and about 5.5 feet wide, the P-NUT does offer a surprising amount of space to passengers. For comparison’s sake, that’s about 1 foot shorter than a Mini Cooper, and about the same width. For an ultra-compact, it’s very impressive. Of course, if you look at the P-NUT closely, you’ll see a few problems. For example, there’s no bumpers, and the front crumple zone is quite literally the area where the driver puts his/her legs. So, while the ideas presented in the P-NUT provide a somewhat radical look at the potential future of compacts, we’ll have to wait a while longer to see where these ideas eventually go.