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Honda rolls out production S660 roadster in Japan

30 Mars 2015 - Autoblog

Honda rolls out production S660 roadster in Japan

Honda doesn't do convertibles often, but when it does, they tend to be pretty small. No Cascadas or Continentals here; just nimble little two-seat roadsters like the S2000, del Sol and the legendary Beat.

That's the line into which it tapped with the reveal of the S660 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show late in 2013, and now it's rolling it out in dealerships across Japan.

Picking up where the Pininfarina-designed Beat left off in 1996, the S660 is heir to a proud tradition of Japanese roadsters like the Suzuki Cappuccino and Daihatsu Copen – two-seat convertibles designed to Japan's Kei car specifications and even smaller than the Mazda MX-5 Miata or Toyota MR2 Spyder.

The new S660 joins Honda's minicar lineup alongside the N Series and adopts the same 660cc inline-three, but spins it around to mount it amidships and adds a turbocharger. It's got a roll-up canvas roof and a two-tone cabin that gives driver and passenger seats of different shades. 45/55 front-rear weight distribution promises to keep it fun but friendly, with brake-based torque vectoring to keep it all under control - all wrapped in a package that has barely changed any on the road to production.

The Japanese automaker has still yet to reveal full specifications, including overall dimensions, output and performance. But while it won't be outperforming the Civic Type R or new NSX anytime soon, the combination of turbo power and compact dimensions promise to deliver what we can only imagine will be a fun ride.

And imagine is what we'll just have to do, because for the time being, Honda will only offer the S660 in its home market. There buyers will be able to choose between a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission, two trim levels, six paint colors and even a Concept Edition that adopts a similar color scheme as the show car. The manufacturer expects to move 800 of these little roadsters every month, but no more than 660 examples of the special edition.

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