"I wouldn't put my chips on [the S660]," American Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel told Automotive News. At nearly 11.1 feet long, the S660 slots in between the 12.8-foot Mazda MX-5 Miata and the 8.8-foot Smart ForTwo. Yet Mendel says the tiny two-seater wouldn't work here.
"When the practicalities of the market come in, and the car only so big, that might not be the best car for the US market," Mendel said. "It might be better for India or China or somewhere else."
Honda is considering its options here in the US, though. As AN reports, after his takeover earlier this year, new CEO Takahiro Hachigo promised more sporting models, like the new, US-bound, 300-horsepower Civic Type R. And while it's no secret that Honda has filed patent drawings for a mid-engine model, Mendel offered little to indicate that it'd become a reality.
Calling the project from Honda's Silicon Valley research and design facility a "design study," Mendel wouldn't answer AN when it asked whether this new model was successor to the S2000 or a more attainable, lower-powered NSX. He did, however, say his company was getting pressure from dealers over the lack of verve in the company's lineup.
"They want anything in the sports car world," Mendel told AN. "They're going, 'Gimme a sports car.' They want a retractable hardtop; they want a high-horsepower $20,000 sports car. Because that's the nature of what they do."
There you are, Honda. Your dealers want it, which means your consumers are probably are asking for it, and your CEO wants it, too. Make something happen.