This is the Honda S660 Concept, which previews a compact mid-engined, rear-wheel drive roadster powered by a 660cc turbocharged engine, revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show.
It’ll eventually transform in to a production car destined for the Japanese market in 2015 – though a more powerful version for Europe is possible – and may bear a resemblance to some to the 2011 EV-Ster concept. The electric powertrain of that car has been ditched in favour of a 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 64bhp.
Despite its styling similarities to the EV-Ster we asked Honda senior designer Ryo Suguira about how the S660 will evolve for production and he said: “The only addition will be a fully retractable roof which you don’t see on the concept.”
For markets like Europe, Honda is looking at other more powerful engines, and the rumour is that a 1.0-litre turbo with more than 100bhp is the favoured choice. In a roadster that tips the scales at between 850-900kg that’ll be plenty of power.
Honda has form with this kind of compact roadster, launching the Beat in 1991. Like the S660 it was also powered by a 660cc engine producing 64bhp, though it was fitted with a five-speed manual, while the new concept gets a seven-speed CVT.
What’s more the S660 is thought to be the smallest member of a new three-car line-up of mid-engined sports cars. Sitting at the top is the new NSX and in the middle we’re expecting a new coupe similar in size and price to the Toyota GT86.