Hot on the internet is japanese magazine CarTop's video of Honda's new S660 open-top sports-car being driven on a race track by professional race driver Akihiko Nakaya of Japan's BEST CAR fame. The relevant page from Car Top's website is at http://www.webcartop.jp/movies/7453 and we have embedded the video itself in this page below.
Unfortunately, the video is in japanese...
However, thanks to hardcore TOV/TOVA Honda freak members, we are able to provide additional information on the video. In addition, two of our regular contributors also provided invaluable translations to english of the key points by Nakaya-san from the video. So here they are.
First, from TOV/TOVA member IntegraDC5R, he recognizes the circuit where the test was done as being the Sodegaura Forest Track in the Chiba district in Japan. According to him, this track is approx. 4.2 km in length (though it will be shortened to only 3.2km in the future) and is considered a 'reasonably fast' track. On a (heavily modified of course) JDM Honda Fit RS, he was able to reach 160kph (~ 100mph) on the straight section after turn 2 and his best lap on the Fit RS was 1:22.98 (he being a regular track goer with plenty of experience).
As for Nakaya-san's feedback of the S660 from the video, below are the key points noted by our member Daniel.
The gist is that the S660 drove much better than Nakaya expected it would be. Also the chassis is a mixture of aluminium and high tensile strength steel and is said, by Honda, to be more rigid than even the mighty S2000 ! The S660 is, like the Beat, an MR with literally '4 wheels at the corners'.
Finally, TOVA CRV9 provided some additional info. Basically, CRV9 said that the video revealed that the LPL (Large Project Leader = Chief Engineer) of the S660 is Mukumoto-san and he is 26 years old. In fact, the average age of the the whole engineering design team is only 30 ! One of main reasons for this is that Honda not only intend/plan for the new S660 to be just an affordable sporty car but it's also to train and embrace their new generations of engineers for the future. In a sense, it doesn't really matter to Honda if the S660 is going be a great hit or not. The Honda S660 is important as it's existence is part of Honda's DNA, just like how F1 is. Of course Honda do hope that it will also bring in some good revenue because they did spend hundreds of millions of yen to develop it.
In fact, the S660 LPL Mukumoto-san is 26 today, but the S660 development started around 3 years ago which means he was only 23 when he was given the assignment. However, the assistant project leader is in his 50's and the lead body engineer is in his 40's. So Mukumoto-san did have very well experienced supports in his team.
There you have it then, Honda's new S660. And based on the fact that there are also journalists from the U.K. and Australia whom tested the car, this means that while the S660 is currently a JDM-only model, it is almost certain that there will be a ROTW version. For the ROTW, our insider says it cannot remain in the original K (Kei) car dimensions as it will make it too limited so the ROTW version is -supposedly- going to be larger, maybe nearer B-segment/compact car in dimensions. Supposedly, it will be called the S1000 and is rumoured/expected to sport a larger and obviously more powerful 1.0l Turbo engine (still only 3 cylinders) instead of 660cc for the JDM version. Max power is supposedly around 100ps according to our insider though U.K.'s Auto Express has gone on print saying they were told it's going to be higher at 127hp. We shall see in the near future.
In the meantime, you might want to buy the printed issue of Car Top (image of the front of the magazine on the left) when it hits the newstand. I would think there will be more info in the printed article itself as the website version is free reading. Obviously Car Top needs magazine sales to survive. If you are able to read japanese, maybe you too can provide more translation from the article for the benefits of Honda fanatics worldwide.