Honda has greenlit the S660 roadster, shown at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, for production. The mid-engined kei sports car will begin rolling off the assembly lines in 2015.
Fifteen years after the S2000′s debut and 51 years after that of the original S500, a revived S-Series is welcome news, but in reality the S660 hews most closely to another mid-engined Honda kei car, the 1991 Beat.
The soon-to-be-nostalgic Beat was the last car to be approved by they company’s visionary founder, Soichiro Honda, before he passed away in 1991. Not only will the S660 serve as a great tribute, but in fact the same factory that built the Beat, Yachiyo Industries in Mie Prefecture, has been tapped to build the S660 as well. The Honda affiliate factory currently constructs Life 5-doors, Vamos van and Acty trucks and has been building kei cars since the 1972 Life StepVan.
The 1990s were a heyday of sporty kei cars, having spawned everything from the gull-winged Mazda Autozam AZ-1 to the RWD Suzuki Cappuccino to the original 1991-96 Beat. Daihatsu recently announced production plans for a new Copen, so perhaps a kei sports comeback is nigh.