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

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.

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

Car pictures of the week
Maserati MC20
Maserati MC20 coupe

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 294, we look at the highlights from Jethro Bovingdon’s drive in the highly anticipated Maserati MC20
21 Jan 2022
Hot Aston Martin DBX to be the ‘most powerful luxury SUV’
Aston Martin DBX S
Aston Martin DBX

Hot Aston Martin DBX to be the ‘most powerful luxury SUV’

Aston’s high performance DBX to be revealed on Feb 1 and pack a whole lot more power
24 Jan 2022
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring eCoty – front tracking
Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience

There are few, if any, more rewarding, engaging or intense experiences for those in pursuit of the thrill of driving
7 Jan 2022