Welcome to our latest edition of Car Facts, our series where we answer your car questions.
Today we are back talking about one of our favourite Japanese car manufacturers, Honda.
In particular, we are looking to answer the question “are there any RWD Hondas?”
Honda Is Famous For FWD
If you’re looking for an answer to this question, then you’re probably already aware that Honda is famous for FWD.
Apart from Renault, perhaps no other manufacturer has done more to advance ‘performance FWD’ than Honda.
While most people associate performance with RWD (or perhaps even AWD these days) there is no doubt that Honda has made massive strides in terms of making front wheel drive also synonymous with performance and power.
The Honda Civic Type R is pretty much the final word in FWD performance, especially impressive when you consider that it is a practical, reliable, comfortable car that can easily be used every day and also purchased for a very reasonable price.
Other legendary FWD Hondas include the Integra Type R and the Accord. The list goes on and on.
But has Honda made any RWD cars?
Yes – there Are RWD Hondas. While Hondas RWD selection is fairly slim, it features a couple of true “heavy hitters”, namely the Honda S2000 and the Honda NSX.
The Honda S2000 is one of the most beloved two seat roadsters of all time, and famous for its excellent handling and high-revving engine (with one of the highest outputs per litre of any naturally aspirated engine in history).
It really is a superb “riff” on the classic roadster formula (RWD, naturally aspirated engine, manual gearbox). As such, prices have been soaring for Honda S2000s; if you’re thinking of buying one, then consult our Honda S2000 buyer’s guide here.
Another famous couple of RWD Hondas are the first and second generation NSX. The first generation NSX was Honda’s answer to the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world and one of the best cars of the 1990s. You can read our first gen Honda NSX buyer’s guide here for more information on this superb supercar.
Other RWD Hondas have generally fallen into the Honda “S” family of small roadsters (primarily produced for the Japanese domestic market).
Examples include the Honda Beat:
And the Honda S500/600/800:
There was also the Honda Vamos of the early 1970s, which was a Kei truck, and which came back in the late 1990s as the Vamos Hobio:
As you can see, outside of the Honda S2000 and first-gen NSX, Honda’s RWD was always fairly limited!
Does Honda Currently Make Any RWDs?
Yes; but only one – the Honda S660.
The S660 is the spiritual successor to the Honda Beat; a pint-sized “Kei” car roadster (Japan has special tax rules that incentivise the ownership of small cars in the Japanese Domestic Market – learn more about why Japan has such small cars here).
The Vamos Hobio Kei truck finished production in 2018, leaving the S660 as the only RWD Honda that we know of.
The second generation NSX is actually all wheel drive (AWD) so no longer qualifies.
While Honda might be synonymous with front-wheel drive performance, there is no denying the fact that Honda has also produced some superb RWD cars, namely the NSX and S2000 – two of the greatest sports cars ever produced.
Although Honda have basically said that they won’t be producing any more RWD cars (even their flagship supercar, the second generation NSX, is all wheel drive) we are grateful for their contribution.
What is your favourite RWD Honda? Leave us a comment below – we would love to hear from you.