The future of motoring will be on display at the Melbourne International Motor Show in the form of a new Honda that consumes only hydrogen and emits only water vapour.

Honda's FCX Concept fuel cell car is the prototype of a new model that will go on sale in Japan and the USA next year.

Featuring a compact fuel cell system that converts hydrogen into electricity, it will be displayed complete with the Honda Home Energy Station during the exhibition in March.

It offers a roomy four-seater cabin and futuristic styling along with significant improvements in power output and environmental performance, for a top speed of 160 km/h and a range of up to 570 km.

Honda has made significant progress in the last 18 months, and the FCX Concept's fuel cell stack is 20 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than the 2005 model, yet its power output is 14kW greater.

Its energy efficiency of around 60 percent is approximately three times that of a petrol-engined vehicle, twice that of a hybrid vehicle, and 10 per cent better than the current Honda model.