Honda Plans Roadster Concept, Fit-Based Crossover For Tokyo

Honda’s plans for the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Motor Show include plenty of exciting news for the brand, including the Honda S660 Concept, a small, mid-engined roadster; and the production version of the Honda Urban SUV Concept that was shown at the 2013 Detroit auto show.

The Honda S660 Concept takes its name from past small Honda roadsters, including the S500, S600, and S800 from the 1950s and 60s, as well as the more recent S2000. It looks a lot like Honda’s EV-STER concept from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, which was an electric mini roadster that we heard had a reasonable chance of going into production.

That concept was apparently set up to accommodate a gasoline engine as well, so this S660 Concept could be an evolution of the EV-STER’s design that is closer to a production model. It wouldn’t be too shocking to see this compact roadster become a reality, as Honda’s CEO said last year that a new sports car was coming as part of Honda’s six-car microcar offensive, possibly to revive the Beat name that graced Honda’s small, mid-engine roadster produced in the mid-1990s. We can only hope that Honda would consider selling the production version of the S660 Concept in the U.S., but it’s too early to tell.

One model from Tokyo that will be coming to the U.S. is the production version of the Honda Urban SUV Concept, a subcompact crossover that should compete against the Nissan Juke. This is the long-rumored Fit-based crossover that Honda CEO Takanobu Ito confirmed to us last year. This crossover, which has yet to be named, will slot in below the Honda CR-V in size and price, but should display bolder styling than the relatively staid CR-V. The concept had many Acura-inspired design elements, including a prominent, aggressive grille along with a tapered roofline that looks like the current Acura RDX.

On the inside, this crossover should retain the Honda Fit’s versatile nature, as the same centrally-mounted gas tank design allows the signature fold-flat “Magic Seat” to stay. Honda previously said that the production Urban SUV would feature the new Earth Dreams engine technology, meaning that the 1.5-liter Earth Dreams four-cylinder from the new 2015 Honda Fit should make its way into this vehicle. All-wheel-drive is not out of the question—the previous Fit platform accommodated all-wheel-drive outside of North America—but we expect front-wheel-drive to be standard. This crossover should go on sale in the U.S. sometime in 2014, most likely after the U.S. debut of the redesigned 2015 Honda Fit early next year. Along with the 2015 Fit, the North American version of this upcoming crossover will be produced at Honda’s Celaya, Mexico plant.

Other than these two significant debuts in Tokyo, Honda will once again show the NSX Concept along with an array of offbeat, Japan-market debuts like the UNI-CUB personal mobility device and the DUNK 50cc scooter. Look for more information to come from Honda when the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show begins November 20.

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