Though earlier reports indicated a more powerful version of the Honda S660 convertible would come to the U.S., a new report suggests it may not come here after all.
"I wouldn't put my chips on that," John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, told Automotive News. "When the practicalities of the market come in, and the car only so big, that might not be the best car for the U.S. market. It might be better for India or China or somewhere else."
Being a Kei-car, the Honda S660 is nearly 2 feet shorter than the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Where the Japanese-market S660 features a 64-hp 660-cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the more powerful "S1000" is expected to use a 1.0-liter turbocharged I-3 with 126 hp. That car reportedly received the green light, but its chances of coming here are now looking slim.
Although the new report suggests the miniature convertible won’t come to the 'States, Takahiro Hachigo, CEO of Honda Motor, promised more sporty models are on the way, including the 305-hp Honda Civic Type R hatchback. Additionally, the automaker is rumored to be working on a mid-engine sports car to slot between the S660 and upcoming Acura NSX.
Earlier this year, the automaker filed patent drawings for a mid-engine model as well as showed a full-scale exterior design study at the opening of its new research and development lab in Silicon Valley. That model could be based on the NSX’s chassis and use the Civic Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 and hybrid SH-AWD system. According to the report, Honda dealers have been asking for a sports car for some time.
"They want anything in the sports car world," Mendel said. "They're going, 'Gimme a sports car.' They want a retractable hard top; they want a high-horsepower $20,000 sports car. Because that's the nature of what they do."
Do you think the S660 is too small for the U.S. market? Tell us in the comments below.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)