Nothing delights the bank of desks that pushes the buttons of TopGear.com more than tiny, weeny Japanese kei cars. And of those, it’s the tiny, weeny kei sportscars that make us giddiest.
(Click HERE to read about another kei fave, the Suzuki Cappuccino)
King of the kei sportscars at the moment is the Honda S660, a mid-engine, rear-drive roadster that channels some of the NSX’s aesthetic while eschewing all of its hybrid complexity and sticking with a good old-fashioned manual gearbox.
Sure, stringent kei regulations mean its weeny 660cc 3cyl engine produces just 63bhp. But that won’t matter a jot when you’re careening around Shibuya with the roof stowed away. It’s a glorious little thing.
And it’s still glorious post-facelift, as Honda’s had the good sense to make its meddling minimal. There are new colours to choose from, different wheel designs, darkened taillights and you can have heated seats and an Alcantara-rimmed steering wheel inside. Alcantara is the official material of fast, and therefore makes any sportscar, no matter how demure, feel quicker.
So there we have it. World’s cutest car stays cute. It’s not an earth-shattering development, but if you’ve opened up any sort of news app recently, that’s really rather welcome.
(Click HERE to read about our very own 'David & Goliath')
Oh, and as an addendum, Honda has also launched an accessories range for the wee roadster. It fixes some of the problems we identified on our big drive through Tokyo - more storage space has been freed up (via some seat based solutions) and the lack of sat nav has been fixed (via, um, a sat nav) - as well as plenty we didn’t. Such as an active rear spoiler to pin down its not-at-all wayward rear end, smatterings of Alcantara and carbon trim, a wide-angle rear-view camera (displayed via the traditional mirror), coilover suspension and grabbier brakes.
STORY Stephen Dobie