Honda S660 sports car revives Beat

The Honda S660 sports car concept complies with Kei-car rules and harks back to the 1990s Beat

The Honda S660 concept previews a comeback for the Honda Beat sports car. Described slightly clunkily as an ‘open-top sports-type mini-vehicle’, it’s a small roadster that takes clear inspiration from 2011’s Honda EV-STER concept as well as the Beat, which battled the Suzuki Cappuccino in the 1990s.

The stars of the 2013 Tokyo motor show

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Styling has changed little since the EV-STER, with the grille and lights now looking much more production ready, while the drivetrain has switched from 78bhp electric power to a 660cc three-cylinder turbo engine with 64bhp, which allows the dinky S660 to comply with Japan’s dinky Kei-car rules, something the Beat, Cappuccino and later the Daihatsu Copen took advantage of.

While the S660 could hark back to the Beat with a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, its gearbox is a little less exciting, eschewing a manual for a CVT transmission. Expect a modest top speed below 100mph and a 0-60 time of over 10 seconds, though the S660’s diminutive size (and therefore low weight) should ensure it’s agile.

Advertisement - Article continues below

A production version of the Honda S660 is expected in 2015, with a retractable roof and smaller alloy wheels likely to be the key changes. The interior is also likely to gain a more conventional steering wheel and air conditioning controls. The 660cc model is set to remain in Japan, but a bigger engined version – perhaps with a 100bhp 1-litre turbo petrol engine – could be exported elsewhere. With Honda’s UK range lacking a sports car since the S2000’s 2009 demise, fingers crossed we see a version on our shores.

The Honda S660 will debut at November’s 2013 Tokyo motor show, two years after the EV-STER made its bow in the same halls. Also on Honda’s stand will be the latest NSX concept and an array of motorbikes and Honda’s ASIMO robot.


Most Popular

Jaguar F-Type

2020 Jaguar F-type revealed 

An updated Jaguar F-type has been revealed with a consolidated engine range and new front end
2 Dec 2019

Rodin FZED - a drive in the fastest track car you’ve never heard of

Based in New Zealand, Rodin has recreated the Lotus Type 125 concept into a stunning circuit car and has even bigger plans for the future
2 Dec 2019
Best Buys

Best sports cars 2020

If you value driving thrills but can't stretch to the price of a true supercar, a sports car could be the ideal middle ground
29 Nov 2019
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019