This is the Honda S660, a 21st Century adaptation of the brand’s S600 sports car, first seen in the 1960s. The tiny two-seater roadster will be shown off at the Tokyo motor show in November 2013, but before you get too excited about a Honda roadster revival, we’ve got bad news. Even if the S660 did get green-lighted for series production, Honda UK has confirmed to CAR the S660 ‘is not destined for Britain.’
Looking very similar to 2011’s electric EV-STER concept, the S660 swaps batteries for internal combustion power, and ushers in an interior not pinched from the set of Star Trek, indicating a step closer to showroom-ready condition.
What’s the specification of the little Honda S660?
The S660 name refers to the front-mounted engine’s capacity: it’s a 660cc three-cylinder petrol powerplant, boosted by a teeny turbocharger and free of the hybrid nonsense forced upon the slow-selling (and moving) CR-Z coupe. The engine is thought to be mated to a CVT automatic gearbox, though paddleshifters behind the steering wheel allow selection of stepped ‘ratios’, like a proper automatic.
Engine spec sounding familiar? The recently-revealed Caterham Seven 160 uses an identically-sized Suzuki-derived three-pot, which develops 80bhp. The 660cc capacity comes about from Japan’s miniature ‘Kei-car’ regulations, which demand such cars boast no more than 660ccs under their dinky bonnets.
Honda itself hasn’t branded the S660 as a Kei-car, unlike the Beat model launched in the 1990s. Instead, the new concept has been coined an ‘open-top sports-type mini-vehicle’. Way to make a fun car sound boring, Honda.
What else is Honda bringing to the Tokyo motor show?
We’ll get our first look at Honda’s sub-CR-V crossover in production-ready trim. The new car is Honda’s first compact SUV since the HR-V, and will challenge the big-selling Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. The ‘Urban SUV Concept’ was shown in design study form at the 2013 Detroit motor show, but Tokyo will be the production variant’s debut – mercifully sporting a less clunky, but as yet undisclosed name.
As far as high-performance Hondas are concerned, it’s all quiet on the Far Eastern front. While the NSX supercar concept will be doing the show-stand pirouette once more, no updates on the Civic Type-R project are expected at the Tokyo show. However, you can click here to access CAR’s spy shots roundup, tech scoop and watch a video of the new Civic Type-R on its mission to set a new Nurburgring lap record.