Honda has hit a Japan-only homerun with its new S660 sports car. The diminutive mid-engined machine has sold out its entire first-year production run of 8,600 cars. We love the fact that a nation is so excited for a lightweight, low-power convertible that its citizens quickly scooped them all up. There will be another go-around for the car, and the orders will no doubt flood in again.
While the S660 has kicked serious butt in Japan, we'd be really curious how it would fare in the United States. Unfortunately, the car isn’t likely to end up here based on recent comments made by American Honda chief John Mendel.
"I wouldn't put my chips on that," Mendel told Automotive News (subscription required) when asked about the car’s chances of being sold locally. "When the practicalities of the market come in, and the car only so big, that might not be the best car for the U.S. market—it might be better for India or China or somewhere else."
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His comments aren’t much of a surprise considering how small the S660 actual is. Recall that it’s nearly two feet shorter than the already tiny fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. Additionally, the power figures seem rather unappealing on paper. The S660 makes just 66 horsepower. That's fine considering it also weighs less than 2,000 pounds, but it could be enough to scare off potential sales.
Honda’s shrinking pool of performance fans shouldn’t feel too bad, however. New Si- and Type R-badged Civic models complete with turbocharged VTEC engines are just around the corner and are expected to be followed soon by a new mid-engine sports car.