It is a fact that Honda does not create convertibles very often, but when it does, they tend to be very small. No Cascadas or Continentals here; just agile small two-seat roadsters such as the S2000, del Sol and the legendary Beat. That is the line into which it tapped with the reveal of the S660 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show late in 2013, and now it’s rolling it out in car dealerships around Japan.
Picking up where the Pininfarina-designed Beat left off in 1996, the S660 is heir to a continue the tradition of Japanese roadsters like Daihatsu Copen and the Suzuki Cappuccino – two-seat convertibles designed to Japan’s Kei car specifications and even smaller than the Toyota MR2 Spyder or the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The new S660 is ready to join the Honda’s minicar lineup together with the N Series and adopts the same 660cc inline-three, but spins it around to mount it amidships and adds a turbocharger. It has a roll-up material roof and a two-tone interior that offers the driver and the passenger seats of different shades. 45/55 front-rear weight distribution guarantees to keep it fun, but friendly, with brake-based torque vectoring to keep it all under control – all wrapped in a package that has barely changed any on the road to production.
The Japanese car maker still needs to show full specifications, including overall dimensions, performance, and output. But while it will likely not be outperforming the new NSX or the Civic Type R anytime soon, the mix of turbo power and compact dimensions guarantee to provide that which we can simply imagine will be an enjoyable ride.
And imagine is what we are all going to have to do, simply because for the moment, Honda will only offer the S660 in its home market. Customers will have the opportunity to choose from a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission, two trim levels, six paint colors and even a Concept Edition that adopts a similar color scheme as the show car. Honda expects to move 800 of these little roadsters every month, but no more than 660 versions of the special edition.