A new report coming out of Japan finds that the Honda S660 concept (pictured) that was presented at the 2013 edition of the Tokyo Motor Show has been given the green light for production.
Scheduled to make its formal debut later this year, the S660 will be Honda’s first convertible Kei car since the Beat was axed in 1996. The diminutive roadster will stretch no more than 133.8 inches from bumper to bumper and 58.2 inches from side to side in order to comply with Japan’s Kei car laws. To put those figures into perspective, a Chevrolet Spark – the smallest American car you can buy new – measures 144 inches long and 62 inches wide.
Power for the S660 is expected to come from a mid-mounted turbocharged 0.6-liter three-cylinder engine rated at no more than 63 horsepower, a concession again made in the name of Kei car norms. Although 63 ponies is not much on paper, the S660 promises to be a blast to drive thanks to a featherlight 2,000-pound curb weight, a near 50/50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity. A six-speed manual transmission will come standard and a CVT might be offered as an option.
Sources close to Honda have confirmed that the concept’s futuristic styling has been toned down slightly for production. Similarly, the avant-gardist interior will be tossed out and replaced by a more conventional-looking cockpit with a round steering wheel, an upright center console and a high-definition screen that pops up from the top of the dashboard.
The S660 will not be sold outside of Japan with a tiny three-banger buzzing behind the passenger compartment. However, rumors indicate that Honda could shoehorn a four-cylinder in the engine bay and sell the roadster in select markets around the globe, though U.S. sales are unlikely at this point.