Honda announces the end is near for the mid-engined S660 roadster

March 12, 2021 6:46 pm by Web Desk

Honda announced it will end production of the S660, a nimble two-seater convertible powered by a mid-mounted engine, in early 2022. It will send off the roadster with a limited-edition model named Modulo X Version Z.

Released in April 2015 as a follow-up to the Beat, the S660 was developed primarily for the Japanese market, and it was designed to comply with the kei car regulations that give motorists several tax advantages. Honda has sold over 30,000 units of the S660 during the past six years, and it will make the last example in March 2022.

Honda didn’t shed light on why it’s putting the S660 out to pasture, but Japanese website Response unsurprisingly blamed the decision on ever-tighter regulations. Government officials in Japan are forcing carmakers towards electrification by enforcing strict fuel economy, emissions, and noise regulations. Adding automatic emergency braking to a car like the S660 is easier said than done, too. It’s simpler for Honda to give the roadster the axe. This is a prime example of a phenomenon we’ve written about in the past: Electrification could mean the end of the kei car tradition.

Based on the Modulo X variant, the Version Z is available in a special color called Sonic Gray Pearl. It also gains tinted emblems, black alloy wheels, and specific rear spoiler also painted in black. Inside, the Version Z receives an array of carbon fiber-like trim pieces, suede and leather upholstery, plus a metal plaque on the center console.

Honda made no powertrain modifications, so power comes from a 658cc three-cylinder turbocharged to 63 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque. Mounted behind the passenger compartment, it spins the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission; the standard car’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) is not available on the Z. While a 63-horse rating might sound puny, keep in mind the S660 tips the scale at merely 1,830 pounds.

Pricing for the Honda S660 Modulo X Version Z starts at 3,150,400 yen, which represents about $29,000 at the current conversion rate. It’s on sale now, though nothing suggests it will be available in the United States.

Globally, the S660 is one of two standalone sports cars left in the Honda range. Some markets still get the NSX, which is sold as an Acura in the United States. And, the Civic Type R remains available in many regions, but it’s an evolution of an existing model, not a purpose-designed performance model. While details about what’s next haven’t been released, we’d guess that enthusiasts waiting for the S660’s replacement shouldn’t hold their breath.

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