Posts Tagged ‘beat’

Honda S2000 Rumored to Follow Upcoming S660

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

May has been an awesome month so far for our Honda fans. Last week we learned that they intend to revive the Honda Beat with a new car called the Honda S660. This week we’ve learned that the S660 isn’t the only ‘S’ car slated to make a comeback – the Japanese automaker has confirmed the return of the Honda S2000 roadster. It seems that Honda is determined to return to their motorsports-oriented youth, and these two cars together with the upcoming Acura NSX are their plan to do it.

Honda S2000

For those of you without an intimate knowledge of Honda’s past production line, the Honda S2000 was a slick lightweight roadster manufactured from 1999 to 2009. In fact, its roots reach back to the Honda Beat with a conceptual debut at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The S2000 enjoyed steady sales for the first seven years of its ten-year lifespan. Unfortunately, sports cars were one of the segments most dramatically impacted by the auto industry’s 2008 recession, so the S2000 was nixed from the lineup. Still, the car was well-loved by critics and continued to garner awards during its last three years of production.

Now, the auto industry is on track and Honda is ready to bring the S2000 back along with it. Except, according to Automotive Express, it won’t technically be the S2000, just the name will remain the same. For example, where the old S2000 featured a front-engine layout, the new model will follow in the S660’s and NSX’s footsteps with a mid-engine layout. Also, the old S2000 was a softtop convertible, but early sources indicate the new one will be a hardtop coupe.

All of these changes pale in comparison to the last one. The old Honda S2000 used an F22C1 four-cylinder 2.0L petrol engine with 239hp, which together with a ‘X-bone’ chassis helped it to achieve its lightweight design. The new S2000 eschews “lightweight” in favor of power. It’s rumored to use the same turbocharged 2.0L 350bhp engine as in the Honda Civic Type R. But, that blazing engine will be part of an NSX-like hybrid powertrain to keep the car fuel efficient and eco-friendly while still boasting a 0 to 60 time of around 5 seconds.

To put each of Honda’s upcoming performance models into a timeline, you can expect the Acura NSX to come in less than a year’s time near the beginning of 2015. Then, the new Honda S660 subcompact will likely arrive at the end of 2015 for the 2016MY. Finally, this new Honda S2000 likely won’t arrive until the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, but unlike the S660 it’s almost guaranteed to make its way into European and American markets.

Original Red 1991 Honda Beat At Auction in Japan

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 9th, 2014

Yesterday we learned that the Honda S660 Concept from last year’s Tokyo Motor Show is officially slated for production. As you may remember, the S660 is based on the Honda Beat, a subcompact two-door roadster that enjoyed a five-year production run from 1991 to 1996. It’s held with special regard among Honda enthusiasts because it was the final car approved by Honda’s original founder, Soichiro Honda, before his death in 1991.

As it turns out, there are 13 different Honda Beats up for auction in Japan at the time of this writing. One in particular stood out as a share worthy find – it’s an original 1991 model with a classic red paint job in good condition. You can find the auction sheet at the bottom of this post, but first let’s take a look at the retro roadster’s front and back:

1991 Honda Beat Front
1991 Honda Beat Rear

If you do a bit of research, you’ll find that the original Honda Beat is often referred to as the Pininfarina-Honda Beat. This is because its design was sourced from an Italian design firm called, you guessed it, Pininfarina. To put the name in context, Pininfarina was founded in 1930 and has served prestigious automakers like Ferrari, Fiat, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo for generations. This is probably one of the big reasons why the Honda Beat saw such success in its first year sales.

To give you an idea of what lies beneath that shiny red hood, the Honda beat runs on a three-cylinder 656 cc engine modified with a Multi-Throttle Responsive Engine Control system, distinguished by its use of individual throttle bodies for each cylinder. The MTREC system served as a substitute for the turbochargers and superchargers which were popular at the time, allowing the Beat to achieve 63bhp and a top speed of 84mph. The car was only ever available with a five-speed manual transmission, so this isn’t the car for you if you’re an automatic-only driver.

Now, you’re probably wondering what you can expect from this kei sports car’s interior. Take a look at the interior image included with the auction below:

1991 Honda Beat Interior

As you can see, the interior definitely reveals the era from which this car comes. You can’t expect anything less than zebra print from the 90s, but it’s not over the top in any way. Since it’s a two-seat roadster there’s plenty of legroom for the passenger, along with all the tech goodies of yesteryear, including Air Conditioning, a coin holder and a cigarette dispenser.

As you’ll see if you continue reading through our translation of the auction sheet, this particular Honda Beat has been registered as a Grade 4. This means that it’s in good condition for its make and model year. We’ll go into more detail below the official auction sheet:

1991 Honda Beat Auction Sheet

Translation of the Auction Sheet

Interior C, first registered in 1991, 5-speed manual, power windows, one owner, first time in auction, 9622KM, AC doees not work, drivers seat has minor, rear screen is cloudy, door mirrs and rear spoiler paint is faded, scratches and dents, front windscreen stone scratches, exterior paintwork faded under front bumper at left front corner, exterior paintwork faded under rear bumper, marks as per map

New Honda S660 Concept Headed to 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 25th, 2013

After discussing the Mazda MX-5 GT yesterday, it seems appropriate that today we’d discuss another roadster. However, exactly whose roadster we’re discussing may surprise you, because this Japanese brand isn’t typically known for their fashion or flair. You guessed it – we’re talking about good ol’ reliable Honda and their new S660 Concept.

Even more surprisingly, the Honda S660 Concept actually looks really good, at least in picture-form. Take a look below to see for yourself:

Honda S660 Concept

To me, the Honda S660 Concept is pretty clearly aimed at the same drivers who’ve fallen in love with the jointly developed Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ twins. It’s no secret that the dually branded coupes have made waves throughout the automotive community, and Honda, like many others, wants a piece of the pie.

This might seem hopeless, except that with development of Toyota’s convertible GT86 put on hold, Honda is actually in a very good position. And if they can turn the S660 Concept into a fun and affordable production model before Toyota launches their convertible GT86, then their position goes from good to great. Since the S660 is based on a previously-existing production model (more on that below), this is actually quite feasible.

But first, to see just how reminiscent the Honda S660 is to Toyota’s idea for a GT86 convertible, here’s the FT-86 Open Concept from this year’s Geneva Motor Show. This was meant to preview an open-top Toyota GT86:

Toyota FT86 Open Concept

Obviously, Toyota’s FT-86 is a four-seater based on a coupe, and the Honda S660 is a two-seater kei car, but there’s no denying that the two concepts look similar. They may be different in how they function (the S660 reportedly will have a very small, mid-body engine), but chances are that if you like the Toyota FT-86, you’ll also like the Honda S660.

You may also notice that it bears a family resemblance to the Honda Beat, another kei sports car of yore with a 660 CC engine. Here’s a Beat for comparison:

Honda Beat kei sports car

Unfortunately, other than to whom Honda is trying to appeal to with the S660 Concept, as well as some rumored specs, we don’t know much about the new roadster.

We do know that the S660 is also related (at least in name) to the Honda S2000, which was originally seen at a Japanese motor show all the way back in 1995 and was eventually nixed from Honda’s lineup in 2009.

We also know that as of late last year, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito projected they’d have a sports convertible in Japan by the end of 2014. Since the S660 is making its debut in Tokyo, it seems likely that this will be Ito’s sports convertible. However, he made no mention of making the convertible available outside Japan, so we’ll have to wait to find out where it’ll be available. Of course, you can always buy through the auctions, or straight from a dealer through us and we can export it straight to you.

In addition to the Honda S660 concept, Honda will bring two other new vehicles to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, where they’ll have the largest booth of any automaker. The first vehicle is the production version of the Urban SUV Concept from earlier this year, and the second is the N-WGN / N-WGN Custom. They’ll also be bringing their Acura NSX concept to Japan for the first time.

Whether or not we get more details about the Honda S660 before the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show is completely up in the air.  It seems likely, but the Japanese automaker may decide to adopt an air of mystery regarding their new concept – it wouldn’t be the first time.  Either way, we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we have more information, so make sure you subscribe to Integrity Exports for more Japanese car news.