2020 Honda N-One previewed for Japan – new styling, Honda Sensing, turbo engine with six-speed manual


The Honda N-One is set to receive a huge update update for 2020, with an official launch set to take place in Japan in the fall. The five-door hatchback kei car, which was designed with inspiration from the classic N360, made its initial debut in 2012 and was later given a facelift in 2017.

The new model retains the cutesy shape that we are familiar with, but with a few styling changes like circular daytime running lights for the LED headlamps. Meanwhile, the rear taillights also get an entirely new cluster design, with a light ring and individual diodes to create a more distinctive lighting signature.

Honda will offer the N-One in three guises, starting with the Original that gets a large black bar just above the front grille and a reshaped lower intake. The Premium version introduces a hexagonal-shaped grille and additional metallic trim to the lower apron, along with either 14- or 15-inch wheels – the latter is for the upper Premium Tourer variant.

The sportiest of the bunch is the RS, which also sports the same grille shape as the Premium, but without the slatted insert. It also gets a set of multi-spoke 15-inch wheels, black-painted components and a rear wing. As before, there are no shortage of monotone and two-tone exterior colours to choose from, and that’s before wide range of optional accessories.

Moving inside, the N-One gets an entirely new dashboard design that appears to pick up cues from the latest Jazz. It’s a bit of an oddball look, with circular air vents for the driver, while rectangular-shaped ones are for the passengers. Sitting prominently in the centre is a touchscreen head unit that meets with the hazard button, while below it is where you’ll find the climate controls.

Within this vicinity is the electronic brake (with auto brake hold function) that replaces the footbrake of the previous model, along with the gear selector. In front of the driver, the steering wheel and instrument cluster feature an all-new design, while an array of USB ports occupy the lower portion of the centre stack.

Safety-wise, the Honda Sensing suite of systems will be standard on the N-One for the first time, and includes a number of functions. These include autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, false start suppression, road sign recognition and automatic high beam.

Honda didn’t provide powertrain details, but the N-One in its RS form will receive a turbocharged engine and a six-speed manual. Given the kei car regulations in the country, this is likely the existing S07A 660 cc three-cylinder mill making a return to produce 64 PS and 104 Nm. A non-turbocharged version of the engine should be offered as well with 58 PS and 65 Nm, along with CVT and all-wheel drive.

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