Honda is on a mission to return at their own pace sports. We have already seen the new Acura NSX; the Civic Type R was unveiled at the recent Geneva Motor Show; Company comeback as an engine supplier in Formula 1 is underway; and now Honda has added a new sports car, a little smaller in its range. First shown in concept form at the 2013 Tokyo show, the S660 is a spiritual successor to the small impact Roadster of the 1990s.
As the pace, the S660 has a mid-engine design with a 660 cc three-cylinder turbo, which keeps it within the parameters of a kei car (a special class of ultra small compact car) in its home market, Japan. Sure, it looks good, but why should Americans care? Well, as we reported in January, an inside source told us that the company is also currently working on an export version with a more powerful 1.0-liter turbo pump rumored horsepower and over 125 provided for USA , That is enough to make this little funster a spin right.
Showfloor monitor the Paddock
As we arrived at Sodegaura Forest Raceway, 90 minutes south-east of Tokyo, were three S660s in the paddock. They looked almost identical to the concept car of 2013, the new model generated. The S660 is the result of an internal competition, which began four years ago, in which more than 400 young engineers presented ideas for new vehicles for company executives and design S660 reached the top.
Honda has developed a mid-engine, rear-drive chassis only for the S660, the aluminum structure that uses steel stiffer than the previous S2000. Japan-spec S660 may be equipped with an engine of 63 horses boring force, but said, the chassis could have much more power, hence the 125-PS version. You can feel the rigidity, even during fast cornering and under braking.
Small car, small engine
Tipping the scales at just 1830 pounds (Honda) S660 uses the same three-cylinder turbo engine in the car N-Box popular kei found. However, to improve the response, engineers have reviewed quickly produce Turbo acceleration outside the line geometry and stronger pair of midrange.
In order to increase overall engine performance, the red line of 7,000 rpm to 7,700 rpm increases, while a deep sink helps to cope with the high g forces during cornering and braking. The turbo spools up to about 2,500 rpm and delivers a good dose of torque to redline. It is 5000-7700 rpm, the engine really comes to life, however, let out a loud, shrill metallic roar that punishes his little displacement lies.
As the glorious shots S2000 legendary gear and lever, the S660 has a positive feeling, six-speed manual transmission with short translations that fits perfectly to the engine. It also has well positioned pedals and a clutch of light.
Of course, there is a lot of power on tap, but although he threw at 60 mph into a corner, it is difficult to move the planted back. Honda “Agile Management Assistant” a brake system in the inner wheel spin and improve cornering stability while Yokohama Advan tires specially developed 16-inch Neova offer levels hitherto unknown in traction kei cars.
All those who feel and the fact that traction control can not be turned off, ie, there are no taxes to play with. But no understeer, or only one at-the-limit neutrality quite rare these days. As for the direction, which is done in one additional wheel 13.8 inches, it is essential to feel enough weight, provides clear answers and provides decent feedback on what the front tires are doing.
The cabin is small, but comfortable. A six foot controller setting two inches behind the wheel gear and switching without going over your knees against the steering wheel straight, of course. The large central tachometer Create an elegant tone, while the dash-mounted screen gives drivers the option of a g-meter lateral forces and deceleration in real-time displays.
Our only problems with the S660 are the lack of power and almost uncomfortable folding roof must be deconstructed manually and placed in the small trunk. But other than that, the S660 takes the genre to new heights kei car, only Honda can bring hope to our country.