Honda will show a new hybrid sportscar concept and its fully driveable FCX Concept fuel cell car at the Geneva motor show next month.


The automaker said its small hybrid sports concept is a proposal for a future production model and “demonstrates a unique fusion of advanced hybrid technology and fun-to-drive sports car characteristics”.


The concept, designed by Honda R&D Europe based in Offenbach, Germany, explores the idea that a car can have a low environmental impact yet still deliver all the driving enjoyment expected of a compact sports car.


The FCX Concept will be making its European show debut and has newly developed compact, high-efficient fuel cell stack and a long-floor, low-riding, short-nose body. Honda said it has a comfortably large cabin and futuristic styling along with significant improvements in power output and environmental performance.


The concept is claimed to offer practical driving performance with a range of 570 km (Honda calculations when driven in LA4 mode) and a top speed limited to 160 km/h (100mph). Limited marketing of a totally new fuel cell vehicle based on this concept will begin in Japan and the US in 2008.


Honda will also show its next-generation diesel engine that uses pioneering technology to reduce emissions to the same level of a petrol engine. A new catalytic converter reduces NOx emissions to a level that enables the engine to meet the stringent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier II/Bin 5 requirements.


The catalytic converter system uses the reductive reaction of ammonia to ‘detoxify’ oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by converting them into nitrogen (N2). However, unlike the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems favoured mainly by some European automakers, which use urea injection, Honda uses ammonia generated within the catalytic converter.


Honda plans to introduce its next-generation diesel engine within three years.


Honda will also display its Racing F1 team’s new race car, the RA107 and the Civic Type R race car based on the just-launched road car.