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

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

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
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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
27 Mar 2020
Visit/corvette/202016/1200bhp-hennessey-c8-corvette-shown-testing-on-video
Corvette

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
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