Honda bids farewell to its coolest kei car
Honda’s smallest sports car, the S660, is to end production, but it’s not going without a fight. The final edition will be its most racy ever.
The S660 was launched in 2015 as a tribute to the Honda S500 of 1963. That car was a cute coupe or convertible powered by a tiny 531cc four-cylinder engine, with four carburetors, that would rev to a heady 9500 rpm—just like Honda’s motorcycle motors. Although it only mustered 44 horsepower, the S500 was a featherweight at 1500 pounds and could reach 80 mph. The S500 featured a bike-style chain drive to the rear wheels and independent suspension all around. Honda followed up with the more sophisticated S600 (below) and S800, and the Beat of the early 1990s. The ultimate S-car was, of course, the 1999-2009 S2000, by which time it had grown in stature considerably.
When the S660 brought back the badge it was a return to its roots as a kei car. The two-seater roadster was just 134 inches long and 58 inches wide. It weighed a scant 1870 pounds and positioned its turbocharged 660cc, three-cylinder engine amidships. Power was restricted to 63 hp and it could be had with either a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission. It’s a joyous little thing, but hardly a serious performance car.
Honda has announced the demise of the S660 by 2022 and the final Modulo X Version Z not only has the longest name of any kei car that we can think of, it comes with a striking red and black synthetic leather cabin, suede-style door trim, special badging, and a custom center bag inside. It’s painted in Sonic Gray pearl and wears stealth black 15-inch alloy wheels, unique black badges, and a special active rear spoiler with a gurney flap, which is definitely more for show than go.
The Modulo X Version Z costs a far-from-diminutive 3,150,400 yen in Japan ($28,854), but if you want to zip through the streets of Shibuya in style then it’s a cool choice and we’ll miss it when it’s gone.