Nary a day goes by when one of us doesn't bemoan the lack of sporty Hondas these days. Sure, there's the Civic Si and the NSX is coming back, but many enthusiasts feel like the brand has left them high and dry. Now a concept is headed to the Tokyo Motor Show that may be the baby S2000 we've heard about.
Meet the Honda S660 Concept. Honda calls it an "an open-top sports-type mini-vehicle," and its name clearly not only recalls the S2000 we love so much but also the tiny but awesome S600 and S800 roadsters from the 1960s. It also looks like a bit like a Honda Beat to me, which is pretty cool. The best part? It's mid-engined and rear-wheel drive.
The car appears to be an evolution of the Honda EV-STER concept from a couple years back. Here, it loses that Tesla Roadster-esque electric powertrain in favor of a traditional gasoline motor. This new concept also gets a fully retractable roof.
Now comes the part that may disappoint the hardcore enthusiasts: the specs. Australia's Motoring reports the car uses a turbocharged 660cc petrol engine putting out just 67 horsepower, which is delivered to the rear wheels through a continuously variable transmission. However, with a weight under 1,900 pounds, it should be pretty sprightly.
Okay, so it's not a screaming roadster with a six-speed manual. But it sounds like fun, and it is apparently headed for production. Motoring says Honda is eyeing a version with a larger engine for export models, which would be nice for us Americans and Europeans who want a bit more oomph. As it is, it sounds like it could be an interesting Mini, Fiat 500 Abarth or even Miata fighter.
Motoring also reports that more fun Hondas could be on their way, which is really good news:
Interestingly, the S660 is actually part of a bigger picture for Honda — a picture we are hearing involves three mid-engined sports cars and a reference to the “third brother” of a mid-engined trio that Honda bosses are currently evaluating.
That new coupe, says one Honda engineer, could be similar in size and price to the Toyota 86. That’s good news because without the S2000, Honda certainly needs a compact sports car to slot in between the new NSX and the S660.
Sure! More Honda sports cars. We won't say no to them.
More info and photos in the press release.