Posts Tagged ‘S660’

New Honda S2000 or CR-Z to Sit Between S660 & NSX

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 1st, 2015

Pikes Peak Honda CR-Z

Honda has been perhaps the most exciting Japanese automaker to follow in 2015. First it was the news of the S1000, a ‘hot’ version of the turbocharged S660 roadster kei car that’s currently available in Japan. Then it was the new Civic Type-R. Then it was the Acura NSX Concept which previewed a new hybrid supercar that’s likely to make its production debut at the beginning of next year.

Now, according to Motoring, we’ve learned that Honda plans to introduce not one, but possibly TWO more sports cars in the near future. The first will be a successor to the S2000 that got axed back in ’09. The second will be a performance-tuned CR-Z. Both cars could sit between the S660 / S1000 and the NSX as mid-level sports cars. They’ll be bigger and faster than the kei car roadster, but much more attainable than the six-figure supercar.

Let’s start with the S2000. According to the report, the new S2000 would feature a mid-engine hybrid layout that’s similar to the one showcased in the NSX. Motoring’s Honda informant says that their engineers “are currently evaluating a detuned version of the Civic Type-R’s 2.0L turbo.” He went on to say that a more efficient 1.5L turbo is on the table, and that he believes that such a car could output a minimum of 300hp with a price tag somewhere in the mid $60k. This would put the car in prime position to take on the likes of the Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z4 and even Nissan’s Fairlady Z.

As for the CR-Z, details are even sparser. Motoring’s insider offered barely two sentences about the possibility of the compact coupe’s return: “We still need to evaluate exactly where a new CR-Z would fit into our sports car hierarchy … We are looking at the potential of electric 4WD [like] the Pikes Peak CR-Z.” However, he went on to say that, “The powers that be in our R&D section are leaning strongly towards channeling development funds away from the CR-Z and into an S2000 successor.”

Either way, the good news is that another sports car is definitely on the table for Honda. We just don’t know exactly which one it’ll be. And, we should make it clear that neither car is anywhere close to production. Honda’s first priority is boosting sales of their high-volume models in two primary markets – the US and China. They believe that a focus on those markets is the key to higher profits, which would then allow them to devote research and development into lower-volume models like a new CR-Z coupe or S2000 roadster.

Honda S660 Concept Edition Commemorates JDM Launch

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

2015 Honda S660

Honda has been on a sporty spree throughout 2015. Following in the footsteps of the new NSX and the Honda Civic Type R, their latest addition to the lineup is the Honda S660 roadster. After a full two years of buildup, Honda is finally ready to release the production version of their new two-seat roadster in Japan. To commemorate the car’s release, they’ve revealed a limited edition Honda S660 Concept Edition, pictured below:

2015 Honda S660 Concept Edition

2015 Honda S660 Concept Edition

The S660 officially launches later this week on April 2. As the name implies, this is a 660cc mid-engine roadster, and one of the smallest roadsters currently in production by any automaker anywhere. The turbocharged 660cc engine has three cylinders and outputs a meager-sounding 63 horsepower and 104 Nm of torque.

Meanwhile, power is sent to the rear wheels only with a six-speed manual transmission (the first-ever kei car to offer such a transmission) or a seven-speed CVT. If you opt for the automatic, you’ll get paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel with available Sports Mode driving – definitely a worthy upgrade.

2015 Honda S660 interior

Although the numbers sound low, remember that this is technically classified as a kei car in Japan. That means that there are legal limitations to the power the vehicle can output in order to offer its drivers the financial benefits that come with driving such an efficient car. And, ever since the S660 Prototype made its debut all the way back in 2013, Honda has put special care into achieving a low center of gravity and perfect 45:55 weight distribution for “excellent cornering”.

The other new feature that Honda has incorporated into the S660 is their Agile Handling Assist electronic control system. Basically, this system monitors the movement of the roadster’s body throughout turns and alters brake torque in accordance with optimized performance.

S660 Concept Edition plaque

Fittingly, Honda plans to sell 660 units of the Honda S660 Concept Edition roadster. The special edition models get a Premium Star White Pearl paint job, contrasting leather-wrapped seats with red stitching, and of course the obvious Bordeaux red top instead of the normal black one. The Concept Edition is meant to showcase how little the Honda S660 has changed since the original concept back in 2013. Apparently they’ve been very deliberate about keeping the concept’s same look and feel intact for the production roadster.

Unfortunately, the Honda S660 is currently earmarked for Japan-only production. However, rumor has it that Honda will manufacture a more powerful international model with either a 1.0L or 2.0L turbocharged engine, fittingly named the Honda S1000 or S2000. Who knows, maybe we will see a preview for the model in New York? We’re not counting on it, but it would sure be a nice surprise.

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.

Honda S660 Kei Sports Car Confirmed for Production

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 9th, 2014

It’s been a big week for Japanese-made sports cars. First we had the unconfirmed rumor out of Australia that Toyota will produce a convertible GT86, even after previously indicating the opposite. Today we have confirmation that Honda is giving the green light to manufacture the Beat-based S660 Concept as early as 2015.

Honda S660 Concept

We first saw the Honda S660 Concept (above) at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show last November. As you can see, it has a splendid aesthetic with a modern design that goes above and beyond what you’d expect from an automaker like Honda. At first glance it’s reminiscent of a convertible Acura NSX, albeit much, much smaller, but in truth it’s based on the Honda EV-STER Concept from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show (below).

Honda EV-STER Concept

Honda’s newest sports car’s measurements are small enough to fit Japan’s Kei car regulations, which limit body length at 3.4m and width at 1.48m. Even the concept’s name hints at its size, S660 being a reference to the bite-sized engine displacement – 660cc. This engine is the same size as was in the original Honda Beat from 1991.

In fact, the closer you look at the S660 Concept’s powertrain, the more you see where this car has its roots. Just like the original Beat, the S660 will use a rear-drive, mid-engine layout for optimum balance. Honda claims that the car will have a perfect 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles. If the S660 does indeed follow in the Beat’s footsteps, then you can expect to the production model to get a turbocharged three-cylinder engine that outputs 64 horsepower, the maximum power allowed by Kei car regulations.

With all the limitations put on the S660’s mechanics, you can see why Honda put such a heavy emphasis on its looks. What they presented us in Tokyo was simultaneously clean and aggressive with all the right features. LED headlights, a dominant grille and sharp-cut wheels all help make the S660 stand out from the crowd. Of course, by the time the S660 launches in 2015, it will need to stand out from the crowd… Toyota is planning to revive their Daihatsu Copen sometime around 2015, and Suzuki may do the same with their old Cappuccino by 2016.

There are probably at least a few reading this who’d be interested in owning one of these pearly white S660 roadsters when they finally launch sometime next year. Unfortunately, initial speculation indicates that the S660 will be limited exclusively to the Japanese market. Still, anything can happen, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we draw closer to the little sports car’s debut.

Honda Cars & Concepts from the 2013 LA & Tokyo Motor Shows

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, November 30th, 2013

If you’ve been following along with us this week, then you know the drill. We have two major motor shows to cover – the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and 2013 LA Motor Show – and only one week to do so. Today, we’re looking at Honda and the new cars and concepts they’ve unveiled at this week’s automotive events.

No sense wasting time on an introduction…. Let’s jump right in:

Honda MC-β Concept (Tokyo Motor Show)

If this car looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve already seen the Renault Twizy, Nissan Mobility Concept, or Honda’s own Micro Commuter from 2012. Or maybe it could even evoke the three-wheeled Toyota i-Road we saw earlier this year.

The cars listed above and the Honda MC-β Concept all fit in the same category – they’re city-friendly EV’s with short range and high convenience.

The Honda MC-β (Micro Commuter Beta) Concept can seat two adults with an “offset seat layout”, which apparently still offers enough utility space for some storage. However, the main focus of the vehicle is ease of handling and nimble performance across a diverse array of road conditions, as one might expect to meet in a bustling city. More specifically, the vehicle is targeted towards Japanese and European drivers who’ve set a precedent interest in these types of vehicles.

Mechanically, the Honda MC-β is more or less an electric motorcycle on four wheels. In fact, if it goes to production, it will be classified in Europe’s L7 category which is reserved for vehicles 400kg or less – almost exclusively motorcycles. It achieves this light weight with pipe-based construction beneath a boldly designed plastic panel. Under the hood (so to speak) you’ll find an AC100V/AC200V charging system that’s been developed to achieve a shorter overall charging time.

Honda FCEV Concept (LA Motor Show)

If you thought the Honda Micro Commuter Beta Concept looked futuristic, wait until you see this.

Across the Pacific, this was the primary showcase of Honda’s booth at the 2013 LA Motor Show. And what a showstopper it is.

Obviously, it’s safe to say that whatever hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle Honda does launch in 2015 won’t look anything like this, but we still appreciate the design. It lets us know that, deep down, Honda does have the chops to make a slick-looking sports car.

Moving past the design (no easy task), the mechanical goal of the FCEV Concept compared to its predecessor – the Honda FCX Clarity – is more power output and a higher driving range, all with a lower refueling time. In short, it should be more fun and more convenient to drive.

Despite all these improvements, the fuel-cell stacks in the FCEV are actually 33% smaller than those in the FCX, which should theoretically allow for a more economical production model.

Either way, we’ll reiterate that this is all conceptual at this point. What’s clear is that Honda intends to contest Toyota’s claim on the hydrogen fuel-cell market.

Honda S660 Concept (Tokyo Motor Show)

Here we go – the Honda S660 Concept is much easier to evaluate. What we have here is a new Japanese kei car, likely a successor to the Beat. Strangely, Honda made very little effort to tell us anything about the S660 roadster, so we don’t really have that much to say. All we know is that this will likely be a JDM-only car, although it will for sure make it to Japanese dealerships in 2015. So, good news for some of you, at least.

Honda Vezel Concept

Lastly, we have yet another rival to the ever-progressive Nissan Juke. The Vezel Concept is a small compact crossover that apparently “belongs to a new category of automobiles fusing multifaceted values at a high level.” Whatever that means.

Basically, here’s the deal – Honda, like many other automakers, has realized that there is a segment of customers that want something smaller than a normal SUV… In Honda’s case, that would be the CR-V. The problem is that ‘something’ doesn’t exist in Honda’s lineup. So, the Vezel Concept is to be the Japanese brand’s attempt at capturing some of that market, and what you see above is actually very close to production. In fact, it will go on sale in Japan next month, and it will likely make it into the US and Europe sometime next year.

Beyond that, all we know is that the Honda Vezel Concept will offer a hybrid option for fuel-conscious buyers. But, we should know more when the car officially hits dealerships next month.

Well, there you have it – the most newsworthy concepts and cars from Honda’s Tokyo and LA Motor Show booths. Not quite as exciting as Subaru’s lineup we looked at yesterday, at least in this writer’s opinion, but it’s hard to imagine being disappointed with any production cars born from the concepts we’ve seen here… The same can’t be said about Subaru’s.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

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.