Seemingly creating a theme of small white open-top sports cars on EngageSportMode this week, today with have photos of a new mini Honda roadster concept.
Honda is being pretty tight-lipped when it comes to details about the S660, only briefly mentioning that it is an “open-top sports-type mini-vehicle” which will be one of the highlights on its Tokyo motor show stand. Beyond that we’re in the murky world of estimates and assumptions to try to work out the technology underneath the S660’s shrunken new NSX styling.
The logical assumption would be that the S660 is a successor to the Honda Beat kei car sold during the early 1990s. Competing against the Suzuki Cappuccino and the Mazda Autozam AZ-1, over 33,000 Beats were produced between 1991 and 1996. Complying with stringent technical regulations surrounding kei cars, the Beat featured a front-mounted 660cc 3-cylinder engine that made the permitted maximum 63 bhp.
At least one difference between the S660 and the Beat appear obvious; paddle shifters for an automatic gearbox can be seen behind the steering wheel in the concept car. On the basis that the S660 will fit into kei car regulations, a 660cc engine would be mated to that gearbox. Whether this will be front or mid-mounted could be up for debate – the styling of the S660 suggests it could be either. It is worth remembering that Honda does have a history of producing front-engined cars that look mid-motored; take the CRX del sol for example.
Finally, no word has been given as to whether the production S660 will be sold outside the Japanese market. Given the somewhat staid image the current model range has, with no clear sporting flagship, such a model could be a real boost for Honda UK.
More details on the S660 will be revealed at a Honda press conference on the 20th November. EngageSportMode will bring you all the info as it become available.