Covering the ‘Beat’: Honda’s S660 roadster spotted in Japan

Honda’s new mid-engine, turbocharged two-door (not this one) was given the green light for 2015 production last year, and a finalized version has just been photographed in Japan. Yes, the Honda S660 ‘baby roadster’ has been spotted in the wild.

The photos come from Minkara and show the small Kei car in the metal. Those familiar with the Japanese vehicle class will not be surprised by the S660’s small stature, as Kei car laws state that they may not exceed 133.8 inches long or 58.2 inches wide. That’s 1.5 feet shorter and 9.9 inches skinnier than the current Mazda MX-5, by the way.

As previously reported, the roadster takes styling cues from the Honda Beat, a small convertible produced from 1991 to 1996. The production iterant is actually quite similar to the S660 Concept, albeit with smaller wheels and a more traditional lighting setup. Inside, the heavily stylized steering wheel and seats have been swapped for more conventional units.

The photos show the car idling at a shipping port, possibly awaiting transport to dealers across Japan. The vehicle is not headed stateside as far as we know.

The mid-engined S660 features a 660-cc turbocharged three-cylinder bolted behind the seats, boasting a scant 63 horsepower as per Kei regulations. It’s not exactly an NSX, but remember that the roadster weighs less than 2,000 pounds, has a low center of gravity, and employs a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

The S660 is Honda’s first convertible Kei car since the Beat was retired in 1996.

As we reported last November, Honda may also be mulling a hotter S1000 version, which could equip a 1.0-liter turbocharged engine with 140 hp. Highly-respected Honda tuner Mugen is reportedly involved in the vehicle’s development.


Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.