What's the news?
Crikey, it's been a busy week for Honda. First we had word of a new line-up of turbocharged petrol VTEC engines, then there was the unveiling of the work-in-progress 300hp Civic Type R and now there's these two - the Vezel compact SUV and the S660 sports car concept, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The S660 is probably the most interesting car of the pair, casting its lineage back to the dinky little Honda Beat mid-engined sports car of the early nineties, and further back to the original S600 sports car of the sixties, with which Honda first made it its name. Like the Beat, the S660 is based around a turbocharged 660cc petrol engine, taken from one of Honda's Japanese-market 'Kei' cars, which use tiny engines and bodies to get around Japan's stringent car tax rules. Although the S660 is badged as a concept for now, Honda has confirmed that it is working towards a production model for 2015, although there's no guarantee that it will come to Europe - sadly.
We will get Honda's new compact SUV; although we'd doubt that the Vezel name will translate across. It's much more likely that Honda will revive the old HR-V badge for European versions of its Juke/Countryman/Q3 competitor. Low slung and chunky, it mixes design cues from its big brother, the CR-V and some influences from US-market luxury Acura models. The version being shown in Tokyo features both a 1.5-litre turbo petrol VTEC engine and Honda's new i-DCD twin-clutch gearbox. A hybrid version will also be available, but most European versions will probably use Honda's brilliant 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine. Japanese sales start in December so expect to see it landing in Europe by the summer of 2015.
Oh, just a little thing called the NSX, which has been confirmed to be using a twin-turbo, north-south-mounted V6 petrol hybrid engine (phew, take a breath) that is expected to have at least 500hp when you combine it with the three electric motors that make up the hybrid bit. And four-wheel drive. And Honda has more or less confirmed that there will be a convertible version this time. Yummy.
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