Details emerge on production-bound Honda S660 roadster

The S660 Concept pays homage to Honda\'s first sports car.

The Honda S660 concept that debuted at last year's edition of the Tokyo Motor Show has reportedly been given the green light for production, and a new report gives us a better idea of what to expect from it.

The roadster will be built by Yachigo Industry Company, a small Honda-affiliated supplier that has assembled many of the automaker's kei cars and trucks over the past couple of decades. Production is scheduled to kick off later this year, and the roadster will land in Honda showrooms across Japan in early 2015.

The S660 is an evolution of the all-electric EV-STER concept that Honda presented at the 2011 edition of the Tokyo show but it is powered by a gas-burning 660cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine borrowed from the firm's kei car parts bin. The mid-mounted mill sends 63 horsepower to the roadster's rear wheels via either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a six-speed manual unit.

Visually, the S660's overall shape is reminiscent of the Beat (a small convertible built in the early 1990s) but its front end borrows a couple of styling cues from the Acura NSX supercar that is currently being developed at Honda's research and development center in Ohio. The production version of the two-seater will lose the concept's futuristic cockpit and gain a simple, minimalist dashboard with a digital instrument cluster. Similarly, the concept's dual roll bars will be replaced by a single Targa-like unit.

In Japan, the S660 will fight head-to-head against the recently-introduced Daihatsu Copen. Honda's next roadster won't be sold outside of its home country with a three-cylinder in the engine bay but the automaker might shoehorn a larger four-cylinder unit and distribute the roadster in select markets around the world.

Live images by Ben Hsu.

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