Honda unveils its new baby sports car concept, the S660, ahead of its launch at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
Good news! Honda, a company once renowned for creating legendary performance cars but now known for building cars driven almost exclusively by pensioners, could soon unleash an affordable baby performance car.
The concept car seen here is an evolution of the EV-STER Concept and it’s called the S660. Like the awesome S2000 the ‘660’ part of the name refers to its engine capacity, which means the S660 Concept makes do measly 660cc engine.
There is however one very important reason why the engine is so tiny. Y’see in Japan anything powered by less than 661cc worth of internal combustion engine is regarded as a ‘kei car’ or light automobile. Kei cars are cheaper to insure and tax compared to normal sized cars – thrifty.
When the S660 is launched in Japan during 2015 its mid mounted 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine will develop just 64hp to comply with the kei car rules. Don’t bang your head against the desk just yet though. Because, when the S660 is launched globally it’ll likely be fitted with a 1.0liter turbo engine sending more than 100hp to the rear wheels though a seven-speed CVT gearbox with paddles. Now that’s still not a huge amount of power and there won’t be any V-TEC kicking in, yo, either. But 100hp should still be enough to shove the S660’s sub-900kg curb weight with gusto. Most importantly, you should be able to drift it, which makes us happy.
The S660 Concept is a pretty fantastic looking car as well. It’s nicely proportioned with just enough aggression in the design. They haven’t gone mad with the steel ruler and given it a million creases and vents to create a false feeling of sportiness, it just looks right. It’s almost like a scaled down version of the new NSX Concept.
The cockpit is very driver focused too. See those gear shift lights? They’re a nod to Honda’s F1 cars. The white drivers seat? Yeah, it’s all about who ever is in the white seat. And all of the controls are angled towards the driver. Honda aren’t mucking about with this car, it’s quite clear that they’re building a proper lightweight drivers’ car here.
While it’s a ‘concept’ for now, a retractable roof and more upright windscreen are all that’s needed to get the car signed off for production.
We’re genuinely very excited by the S660. Finally, Honda is building another proper rear-drive sports car. As they should be.