Despite some rumors to the contrary — and continued pleading from American fans of all things Honda — the Japanese automaker won’t bring its tiny S660 to the U.S. market. John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, recently told Automotive News not to get too excited about the S660 reaching our shores.
“I wouldn’t put my chips on that,” he told AN. The reasoning, he says, is simple: Such a small car doesn’t make sense in a market dominated by large vehicles.
“When the practicalities of the market come in, and the car is only so big, that might not be the best car for the U.S. market,” Mendel said. “It might be better for India or China or somewhere else.”
Built to fit in Japan’s specific kei car category, the Honda S660 roadster launched in Japan earlier this year. At under 2,000 pounds and powered by a 0.66-liter turbocharged inline-three engine, the S660 offers either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive roadster has sporty Yokohama Advana Neova AD08R tires and features like automatic pre-collision braking and LED headlights.
But at just over 11 feet long, the Honda S660 would be far tinier than most other cars on American roads. It’s about two feet shorter than a Mini Cooper and almost six inches narrower than a Fiat 500. As a result, it’s hardly surprising Honda isn’t keen to bring the car to the U.S. Fortunately, we know the raucous Honda Civic Type R is on the way to our shores to appease the performance-crazy Honda faithful.