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Japanese brand debuts stripped-out EV designed for straight-line competition.

Honda has treated its compact E electric vehicle to a drag racing makeover, with the unveiling of the e-Drag concept at the 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon.

Headlining the upgrades designed to cut the Honda e-Drag’s quarter-mile (402m) time is a strict weight reduction program, led by the installation of a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic roof.

The front bumper, bonnet and front quarter-panels have been “integrally moulded” to save weight, and the cabin (including the rear seats, floor and most insulation) has been stripped, while a pair of drag racing seats and a full roll cage have been installed in the name of safety.

17-inch wheels from an original Honda NSX wrapped in drag slicks fill the arches, which hide revised suspension delivering a lower ride height.

Given Honda’s Japanese website doesn’t detail whether any changes to the powertrain have been made under the skin, it’s likely the standard E’s 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack and rear-mounted 113kW/315Nm electric motor carry over to the straight-line racer.

The showroom-spec model can cover the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.3 seconds – we’d wager the sticky drag slicks should shave quite a few tenths off that time.

The Honda e-Drag is more than just a concept, with the Japanese brand claiming a further-developed version of the show car will enter its first racing event in March, featuring one of three liveries chosen via an Internet poll.