2016 Honda S660 Concept Previews Future Mini Roadster

At the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda previewed the 2016 Honda S660 concept car to the public. This mini roadster surely reminds us to the iconic and legendary Honda Beat that was released back in 90’s. By looking at its design styling, we can tell that this concept car is highly influenced by 2011 EV-STER’s styling.

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The Beat was designed by Pininfarina and it was also the last car approved for production by automaker’s founder, Soichiro Honda. It complied with Japan’s strict Kei car regulations and packed a tiny, naturally aspirated 656 cc that produced just 63 horsepower. The cult classic ended production in 1996, but six months ago Honda hinted at a revival with the presentation of the S660 concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Now it seems Honda – or Yachiyo, we should say – is gearing up to put it into production at the same factory that produced the Beat two decades ago.

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Reports said that the S660 mini roadster will be built in the Yokkaichi factory plant, owned by Yachiyo Industry Co., Ltd. that has been contracted by Honda to produce small cars. It was slated for a major expansion a few years ago until Honda shifted some of its small car production to its own plant in Suzuka, but continues to build the N series of boxy, upright hatchbacks, as well as small commercial vehicles like the Life and Vamos lines. The reintroduction of a small roadster line to the factory’s output sometime in 2015 will undoubtedly be a cause for celebration in Yokkaichi. For our part we can only hope that American Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura gets his way and manages to bring the S660 to the US in the near future.

As Honda insiders have told us recently, having executive support behind a project can go a long way towards making it happen. Even with Iwamura onboard, though, it’s an uphill battle. Iwamura admitted there would be significant cost in re-engineering the S660 to meet American front- and side-impact regulations. He’d also want to fit bigger wheels and tires, which means changing the fenders and more.

Interior

The interior also features a new type of design for Honda. Lightweight carbon fiber is used extensively and is joined by a number of digital displays.

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Powertrain

Making the S660 viable in America would also require a new powertrain. Currently, it’s powered by a mid-mounted, 0.66-liter (660 cc, hence the name), three-cylinder engine making 64 hp and 72 lb-ft of torque, turning the rear wheels with a CVT that can be paddle-shifted like a seven-speed automatic. The most likely replacement would be the turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine Honda’s developing, which makes 127 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. Not a lot, but plenty for a car that weighs in under 2000 pounds.

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Release Date and Pricing

The 2016 Honda S660 Concept car is expected to be introduced to the public sometime in 2015 as 2016 model year. According to TopSpeed, pricing will start from $25,000.

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