Roadsters, you might argue, are best when they're small and nimble. If you're thinking of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, you're on the right track, but there have been even smaller ones: pint-sized, three-cylinder roadsters like the Daihatsu Copen, Suzuki Cappuccino and Smart Roadster. But the most iconic and enduring of them was surely the Honda Beat.

Designed by Pininfarina, the Beat was – not unlike the F40 was for Enzo Ferrari – the last car approved for production by company founder Soichiro Honda. It complied with Japan's strict Kei car regulations and packed a tiny, naturally aspirated 656 cc that produced just 63 horsepower. The cult classic ended production in 1996, but six months ago Honda hinted at a revival with the presentation of the S660 concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Now it seems Honda – or Yachiyo, we should say – is gearing up to put it into production at the same factory that produced the Beat two decades ago.

That plant is the Yokkaichi factory, a facility owned by Yachiyo Industry Co., Ltd. that builds small cars on contract for Honda. It was slated for a major expansion a few years ago until Honda shifted some of its small car production to its own plant in Suzuka, but continues to build the N series of boxy, upright hatchbacks, as well as small commercial vehicles like the Life and Vamos lines. The reintroduction of a small roadster line to the factory's output sometime in 2015 will undoubtedly be a cause for celebration in Yokkaichi. For our part we can only hope that American Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura gets his way and manages to bring the S660 to the US in the near future.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 7 Months Ago
      Finally a fun Honda like the Honda's of old.
      Bradford
      • 7 Months Ago
      I just came here to say S2000 please.
      jonnybimmer
      • 7 Months Ago
      I like it, but is it MR like the Beat? That'd be a great move if so. If not for the likely better driving experience, then at least for the increased usability (hood looks like it could hold more luggage than the trunk).
      Jaybird248
      • 7 Months Ago
      Cool, but let's get it with a 1.0 to a 1.5 engine, and how do you put the top up?
      maxwell s
      • 7 Months Ago
      I love these Kei cars. I have been wishing they would sell them in the U.S. for years. The problem is that we are so safety conscious in the U.S. that all the added weight kill the performance and fuel mileage in these types of cars. Just think what fun a 1500 # car would be with a .9L turbo and 60mpg.
      PTC DAWG
      • 7 Months Ago
      I like it....
      EJ
      • 7 Months Ago
      The most important piece of information is missing.....what is the weight?
      AcidTonic
      • 7 Months Ago
      Damn, I just bought a 1.0 3cylinder geo metro for my hypermiling project car..... 55 horsepower and 1650lbs. Already averaging 50mpg and able to hold 70mpg+ if I drive 30 miles per hour in 5th gear lugging around. Am I really going to see a new car coming out with a 3 cyl smaller than 1 liter? The new mirage is a 1.2 if I remember correctly. The 1.0 in the Geo actually still feels too big for someone only interested in gas mileage. Grabbed the whole car running for $300 bux and I've enjoyed playing with it in my spare time. Wish we got more 3 bangers.....
        lne937s
        • 7 Months Ago
        @AcidTonic
        660cc is the maximum displacement to qualify as a Kei car in Japan.
        prince_david
        • 7 Months Ago
        @AcidTonic
        I don't think we would ever get a car like this approved in the US
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 7 Months Ago
      Would be a cool vertible for the states.
      knightrider_6
      • 7 Months Ago
      Honda must be having bad days that it has to copy Hyundai's designs.
      carguy1701
      • 7 Months Ago
      Oh wow, something interesting from Honda. $5 says it'll be watered down to an FF configuration instead of the concepts RR layout.
        churchmotor
        • 7 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        Let me guess, you talked to the farmer's daughter down the street that knows this girl she chats with in California with a neighbor from Japan, and they cousin works for Honda in Japan. You got the "inside" scoop again.
          carguy1701
          • 7 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          It's called knowing that concepts like this inevitably get watered down to some degree. Happens all the time in this industry. You'd know that if you paid attention.
          churchmotor
          • 7 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          LOL
      Tony Akinremi
      • 7 Months Ago
      This would be a nice replacement for the CR-Z. A kinda modern Del Sol with either Soft or Hard-top Option.
        rsxvue
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Tony Akinremi
        I miss the Del Sol -- quirky little cars that Honda used to make before shifting attention to only mass-market vehicles.
          carguy1701
          • 7 Months Ago
          @rsxvue
          >missing the Del Slo Why?
          TIMMAH!
          • 7 Months Ago
          @rsxvue
          Hopefully this one won't have the roof leakage issues that the Del Sol had.
    • Load More Comments