By on October 24, 2013

Honda S660 01

Honda’s rear-driven products built for two tend to be motorcycles, scooters and ATVs for the most part, but every now and again the company will unveil a roadster whose name begins with an S, and ends with the number of cubic centimeters the engine provides.

Such a car is set to return soon to the showroom floor, and will make its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in November: The Honda S660.

The word on the street is the S660 will be powered by a 660 cc turbocharged engine placed just behind the driver and passenger, with all of its 67 ponies going to the rear wheels. Unlike some of Honda’s current and future offerings that are or will be powered by a combination of internal combustion and electric motivation, the new roadster is strictly gasoline-only.

The featherweight roadster, has its roots in the company’s EV-STER electric-only concept from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show with regard to styling, penned by designer Ryo Sugiura. That said, don’t try to tell him his roadster is the second coming of the late Soichiro Honda’s last gift to the world, the Beat:

Some people might think this will be the remodeled version of the Beat. But it is not. This is totally brand new.

The S660 is one part of a potential three-pronged attack by Honda in the sports car segment. With it and the NSX forming the outer forks, the automaker plans to forge the center fork through the introduction a mid-engined Toyabaru hunter with a price point to match the GT86/BRZ/FRS when it makes its debut. In the meantime, the U.S. domestic market may not need to wait 25 years for the S660 to come over; Honda plans to sell the roadster in export markets with a 1000cc engine and minor changes with regards to safety regulations. S1000, anyone?

The S660 will make its production debut in Japan for the 2015 model year, in time for the automaker’s return to Formula One.

 

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64 Comments on “The Beat Resurrected: Meet the Honda S660...”


  • avatar
    -Nate

    Pretty cool I think .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    toplessFC3Sman

    The focus on all mid-engined sports cars seems very sound from a manufacturing point of view; no need for transverse-mounted versions of the engines available, transmissions, rear differential housings etc. In addition, they can keep some similar hard-points & design methodologies with FWD cars as far as the front bulkhead(MR)/firewall(FF), front suspension mounts & strut towers, and passenger compartment, which can allow re-use of a lot of suspension, interior, HVAC etc components.

    I just wonder how the lineup will be accepted by the market – it seems people buying at the lower end of the price spectrum tend to be more comfortable with FR layouts (Miata vs MR2, 70s-80s British sports cars vs Fiat X1/9 & Fiero, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      There’s a *little* more practicality with a FR layout – it has a usable trunk, usually (Solstice/Sky the exception). That’s probably important for the driver at that end of the market.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    68 HP from a 660 cc engine! How many turbos are needed for that.

  • avatar

    Nice. Engine sounds neat. Call me interested. Shame on the design though. Yes it’s nice, but Peugeot called Mr. Sugiura and said they wanted their corporate mug back.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      Funny, I saw the Audi grill shape there.

      • 0 avatar

        Sure Audi is the original, but Peugeot developed their own style from that. Honda’s take look like a simple cut and paste job in comparison.

        With the exception of the headlights and a little more chrome on the French cars, take a look at Peugeot’s new cars, like the 208, but specially the 301. You’ll see I believe.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          Since the nose isn’t pasted on a Citroen nobody is going to confuse this with a Peugeot. The only thing this copies is the first Beat.

          • 0 avatar

            racer, though i tried really hard, i can’t understand your comment.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            Honda is not knocking off Peugeot, this is a generic grille a lot of companies use. Ford Edge, for example, is also similar.

          • 0 avatar

            thanks for the clarification. I agree with the Ford angle.however, as Peugeot aremore common here, i was able to follow this quite closely. As commenter Jeff pointed out Audi started this. Then Peugeot copied them. Then pre Aston Martin Ford copied Peugeot. Then Peugeot evolved the idea and made it their own. Reminiscent of Audi but their own. Now Honda didn’t try very hard to use the idea and develop something unique. Anybody used to seeing Peugeot everyday, on seeing this car, will very likely go, ‘cool, is that the new Peugeot?’.

            Just saying.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            The S660 grille looks nothing like the Peugot 301 grille:

            http://www.peugeot.com/en/products-services/cars/peugeot-301

            The grill on a Studebaker Champ looks more like the S660 grille (especially notice the line that runs above the headlights, and becomes the top of the grille, both on the Champ and S660):

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker_Champ

  • avatar
    threeer

    Any idea on if the 1000cc would come over here to the US normally aspirated, or force-fed? Not that straightline speed seems to be the main point behind this car. If the balance and handling are set up correctly, then something approaching 125HP should make for a very entertaining ride. Just please avoid the mistake of the snooze-fest that the CRZ turned out to be.

    • 0 avatar

      Motoring says there may be a turbo attached to the 1000cc export model, which should put out just over 100 horsepower.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        A turbo-charged 1.0 engine should put out more than a 100hp.

        For comparison, the Ecoboost 1.0 3-cylinder turbo produces 123hp & 148 lb-ft torque in the Fiesta. Gunnar Herrmann, the vehicle line director for the Ford, said up to 177 horsepower is possible with the 1.0 turbo, and is expected on the Fiesta ST.

        This car is expected to weigh well below 2,000lbs. With a 1.0 liter turbo this could be a poor man’s Elise (which launched with just 118hp in the original Series 1).

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    I’m surprised at the absence of the “needs MOAR powah!” crowd…

    • 0 avatar
      Turkina

      When this news hit Jalopnik, that’s all I read. “No power! Gonna suck!” “They should stick the Civic Si engine in it at least.”

      Morons, this was built to be a Kei car. 660cc and 67 hp is all you get from the showroom. The 1 liter engine would only be used outside of Japan, and probably the only larger option that would fit properly in the engine bay. Oh, and the 1 liter doesn’t have to be detuned for regs.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      The entirety of the world screamed that in unison for the CR-Z. It didn’t happen. I have no doubts Honda will discontinue the car instead of putting a K20 or K24 (Si version? YESSS) in it.

      I’m actually amazed that the company listened to the criticism of the 2012 Civic and acted so swiftly. They typically do not listen to anyone. Ever.

      Japanese pride and all that.

  • avatar
    strafer

    Ford?

  • avatar
    Boff

    A mid-engined Toyobaru fighter from Honda? SHUT. UP.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This looks SWEET, and they’ll sell every single one they make. People who had MR2′s before will buy em, and some might even choose this over the FRS/BRZ, since it looks much cooler. Oh, and the wheels rock. And I want it to say HONDA DESIGN on the production version.

    Expand that idea to a special sports edition/appearance package on all your models! Gosh I’m brilliant sometimes.

    2015 Accord EX-L HONDA DESIGN

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Me want.

  • avatar
    Shipwright

    Finally! A Honda I like. If they’re not overpriced they could sell quite of few of these.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    40.2 cu in

    If its light enough and cheap enough I’m sure it would sell well.

  • avatar
    sparhawk

    I’m a big Honda fan and as an enthusiast I’m happy to see that they’re getting back into the sports car market (though I’m not sure how good it will be for their bottom line).

    While my daily driver is a Honda (CRV), my fun car right now is a Miata. Besides having a great support community (lots of clubs, forums, and aftermarket vendors), it’s so easy to wrench on myself. That’s half the reason I bought it – so I could learn how to do my own work. For pretty much any maintenance work I can imagine, someone has posted a photo-illustrated guide online. I hardly even need my shop manual. I’d be worried that with the mid-engine layout, the S600 and its siblings will be harder for shade-tree mechanics to service.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      No way. Less parts, a combined tranaxle, no driveshat. Ferrari and Porsche give mid engine a bad name, I’ve never heard of any issues working on an MR-2 or Fiero.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        The Fiero has the advantage of using stone-tough X/A-car parts, GM just took the X/A-car engine/transmission setup and put it in the back of a car instead of the front. Is an Iron Duke fast? No. Is it tough as hell? Most definitely.

  • avatar
    kuman

    I really hope this car will be a mid engined one.

    However looking at how short the new honda kei car front overhang, it might be possible that they uses FF layout on this car…

    Plz dear God dont let it happen

  • avatar
    bludragon

    I really like the concept, but I must admit I am struggling to see how this makes sense, even as a kei car. I don’t generally ask for more power, but with 67hp it better be VERY light. Perhaps it does as a fashion accessory; stylish, economic transport without any need for practicality?

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    For sale: 1 wife

    The dealer won’t take her as a trade-in…

  • avatar
    kosmo

    That would be a really enjoyable, under $20k, pure toy car.

    Day to day driving, I love turbo torque, but for this, I might lean towards a high-revving NA engine.

    A sportbike my wife would also enjoy!

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    What is the tree prongs about? Honda is going to make another mid-engine car for under 30K, that is different than the S660 (not just the S660 with a larger engine)? That seems hard to believe.

  • avatar

    +1 on that steering wheel.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    …and no hybrid shenanigans to speak of? Sounds fantastic. I’m also loving the idea of a new MR Prelude to take on the FR-S as long as they don’t bring it here as an Acura and load it up with a bunch of standard luxury options. This is starting to remind me of the Honda I liked so much in the 90s.

  • avatar
    Preludacris

    Other sources are saying the transmission will be a CVT.
    So yeah, that was a bit of a boner killer right there.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      All cars would be CVTs by now if the FIA hadn’t stepped in to keep us in the stone age. Paddle shifts have been obsolete for twenty years, except in the eyes of ignorant puppets.

      • 0 avatar
        daiheadjai

        But not a clutch pedal and gear lever, right?
        That’s fine?

        I would actually prefer the manual (even if it’s slower and less fuel efficient than modern A/Ts) – it’s all about the feel.

      • 0 avatar
        Preludacris

        What are you talking about with this paddle shift nonsense? Those were obsolete before they were invented. Give me a proper manual on a car like this, or nothing.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Well, this’ll make me reconsider the money I’m putting aside for a clean Nissan Figaro.

  • avatar
    Reino

    Once again Honda puts out a bizarre concept that no one will want to buy. When will they learn that all they need to do is put the Accord coupe body, engine, and 6-speed on a RWD platform and enthusiasts will eat it up?! Hyundai did it, but Honda can’t?

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Mid-size coupes are a shrinking market in the US, and basically a non-market worldwide. Besides, I don’t think there’s much interest in that segment from enthusiasts. We already have the Genesis coupe and Challenger, and neither one is a darling of the enthusiast crowd.


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