Honda S660 Won’t Make It To The US; Company Has Other Sporty Ideas
It just took one quick glance at the 2016 Honda S660 to realize that it would have a very difficult time in the U.S. market. The positively microscopic car is nearly two feet shorter than a 2016 Mazda MX-5/Miata, and it has a three-cylinder engine that displaces 658 cc and produces 63 horsepower. That has the potential to be a fun car to drive, but it would be such a tiny niche market that American Honda executive vice president John Mendel has said that he doesn’t expect it to come stateside. Saying specifically “I wouldn’t put my chips on that.”
Honda does still have some sports car plans in the works, even if the S660 isn’t coming. We already know that a 300-horsepower 2016 Honda Civic Type-R is finally coming to U.S. shores next year, and a full-sized design study of a mid-engine sports car was recently shown at Honda’s R&D facility in California. Officially, this has nothing to do with future plans, but Mendel has said that dealers are asking for new sports cars every day, any sort of sports car. So hopefully we’ll be seeing something new soon, at least a concept, and maybe something to rival the Scion FR-S.
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Why it matters
The S660 would have surely found a few fans in this country, but it was very clearly meant specifically for Japan. The most obvious evidence of this is the engine’s displacement. Small cars in Japan with an engine displacement under 660 cc qualify as kei cars, a category of vehicle that is subject to much lower insurance and tax expenses. Honda’s 658 cc is obviously made to get as close to this limit as possible. Kei cars are rarely sold outside of Japan, since the laws that necessitated their existence are specific to just Japan. Of course, if Honda would like to build a bigger version with an engine to scale, that could go over well here. So, how about it, Honda?
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Source: Automotive News