New Honda Kei Car Gets Retro-Like Design

Americans have recently embraced a new wave of economical-yet-refined small cars, abandoning decades of obsession with supersized land yachts. Yet even our compact cars are huge compared to the kei cars of Japan, where government regulations have given rise to a new class of small cars that are light, small, and a whole lot of fun. Japanese automaker Honda is hoping to tug on some nostalgic heart strings with a new line of kei cars based on the popular classic design of the old Honda N-series, which was revealed in recent patent filings.

Cute But Capable

The Honda EV-N concept debuted in 2009 to a lot of accolades, and Honda followed it up with the N Concept 4 last year. Drawing on the design of the old Honda N360/600, this retro-looking design is easy on the eyes without going overboard on the old school. While I much prefer the looks of the coupe, these recent patent filings indicate that Honda is more obliged to build a sedan, which is a more versatile vehicle when all is said and done.

The original Honda N600 could deliver over 30 mpg in an age where most cars barely broke 15. The new N600 however will utilize a 660 cc 4-cylinder VTEC engine that will deliver 64 horsepower and probably over 40 mpg. Alas, this is likely a Japanese market only vehicle, as kei cars are too tiny and slow for motorways in America. Then again, the rate at which Americans have embraced small cars could mean a niche vehicle like the N6000 might find a home in more crowded metro  marketplaces like New York City or Los Angeles.

Are we feeling the retro flair from Honda’s new design?

Source: LeftLane News

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.