Honda’s CES concept cars are more Cyberpunk 2077 than the cars in Cyberpunk 2077, and I challenge anyone to convince me otherwise

Tech events aren’t always about PC components or wearable gadgets, as demonstrated by Honda’s Space Hub stand at the CES 2024. On show were two concept cars that gave me such Cyberpunk 2077 vibes that I spent an hour in the game checking out the different vehicles, before coming to the simple conclusion: Honda’s vision of cars in the near future is more cyberpunk than Cyberpunk 2077.

Futuristic-looking concept cars are the norm for motoring events, and the vast majority of them follow the same template: Angular, sleek lines with as few nods to practicality as humanly possible.

Honda’s offerings at this year’s CES event didn’t buck that long-followed trend but as soon as I saw them, my brain went instantly into video game mode. More specifically, Cyberpunk 2077 mode.

Cue a full hour running about Night City checking out all of the cars I could see and comparing them to Honda 0 Series concept cars. And after all that time, something struck me: If I had to place a crisp dollar on a wager as to what cars in 50 years’ time will really look like, my money would be on Honda.

Having owned a couple of its cars in the past, Honda’s vehicles used to be somewhat utilitarian but models of late have been increasingly more futuristic, especially the interiors.

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(Image credit: CD Projekt)

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(Image credit: CD Projekt)

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(Image credit: CD Projekt)

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(Image credit: CD Projekt)

However, they still look like cars of the present, not something that’s in the realms of science fiction. Even concept cars aren’t designed to be that forward-thinking, more a case of what could be the norm in, say, a decade’s time.

The two demonstrations, part of Honda’s 0 Series of electric vehicles, suggest that we’re going to say goodbye to door handles, mirrors, and ease of access. Instead, we can look forward to mirror-like surfaces, panels with seamless gaps, and RGB lighting everywhere.

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(Image credit: Honda)

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(Image credit: Honda)

In contrast, CD Projekt’s vision of the future, especially for a city that spans the full gamut of wealth, suggests that cars will still sport a great many aspects that we see today.

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(Image credit: Future)

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In fact, many of them wouldn’t look out of place right now, which is what made me think that Honda’s concept cars just might be what vehicles in 2077 really do end up looking like.

I know cyberpunk is supposed to be a blend of past, present, and future, but I reckon a true cyberpunk world, five decades years from now, will be far more the like the examples shown off at CES than CD Projekt’s designs.

The likes of Tesla and JLR have given door handles the boot in a number of their models already, and the same is true of mirrors in some Audi cars. Where Cyberpunk 2077 points to a future that still harks to a bygone era, Honda’s designs seem far more suited to a world half a century away.

The chances of me still being around by then are somewhat slim, unfortunately, but part of me hopes that cars of 2077 are more CD Projekt-like rather than Honda’s offerings, even though I think it’ll be the other way around. But let’s hope the more dystopian aspects of Cyberpunk 2077 don’t come to pass, yes?

PC Gamer’s CES 2024 coverage is being published in association with Asus Republic of Gamers.

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