Honda’s newest mid-engine, two-seater roadster, the S660, has just been officially unveiled in Japan. And like many smaller sportscars, it’s not coming to North America. Boo-urns. To commemorate the launch of the little roadster, Honda will also be releasing the S660 Concept Edition, of which there will only be, yep, you guessed it, 660 units.
If this is the first time you’re reading about the S660, it’s a tiny lightweight roadster with a mid-engine/rear-wheel drive combination that boasts a 45-55 front-rear weight distribution with a low centre of gravity.
If you’re thinking baby NSX, you’d be wrong, but also, a little right due to its MR configuration and sporty aspirations; but in reality, the S660 shares more in common with the cult classic Honda Beat than Honda’s flagship supercar. The Beat was was a little gem of a kei car, produced in Japan from 1991-1996 and while sales weren’t exactly stellar, the car was wildly popular with a small group of enthusiasts due to its high-revving 0.66L (656cc), inline-three (with individual throttle bodies), 63 hp, 8,100 RPM redline engine, and lightweight.
The S660 pays tribute to the little Beat with its high-rigidity, lightweight chassis, ensuring “excellent cornering performance”. Power delivery comes courtesy of a 63-hp, 0.66L, turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed CVT. Why does a car come with less displacement than many of Honda’s motorcycles on North America, you ask. Kei cars qualify for huge savings in taxes and road fees in Japan. They must remain under 63 hp, under 660 cc, and can be no longer than 3.4 metres.
Due to the S660 being turbocharged, expect tuners to quickly extract more horsepower (on closed roads, of course – nudge, nudge) with relative ease.
Despite its diminutive size, Honda assures us the S660 is a full-fledged sportscar. A lot of attention was paid to the details, including the addition of a sporty torque vectoring system and tuning the sound of the engine and the turbocharging system. Driving position is similar to driving a go-kart with a tiny 350 mm steering wheel. This MR, turbocharged, pint-sized sportscar with a racecar-like driving position sounds like an absolute riot and would fit right at home in my
garage garden shed.
If you live in Japan, you can buy the S660 for 1,980,000 yen. This translates to $20,900 at today’s exchange rates.