Who doesn’t like a lovely, sporty-looking two-seater without a roof? Not anyone that we know of, certainly. In European countries, these sprightly little cars are found darting about the countryside with good weather. And if the driver has the skills, these roadsters can be taken to a track for fun on the weekends. These roadsters are also very popular in Great Britain. However, our focus is on roadsters that are small, fast but affordable – something that would make total sense in a market like India. Every model we’re about to list out has its own identity, but there’s one thing all these cars share in common: the ‘cool factor’. These models can also be driven on a regular basis, but the question is: are any of these truly coming to India anywhere soon? We help you with your wish-list.
1) Honda S660 roadster
The revised Honda S660, that was launched in Japan last year, is the smallest roadster you could possibly buy. It looks way better than its predecessor. It features a low-set grille, stylish headlights, aluminium alloy wheels, smoked-out tail lamps. The body-coloured A-pillars look good, and the Targa top gives it a sporty look. Step inside, and you get a new gearstick knob, an Alcantara-wrapped steering and heated seats.
The S660 had originally been introduced in 2015, and has since, featured a mid-engined, 660cc, three-cylinder turbo petrol engine that produces 63bhp and 104Nm of torque, sending power to the rear wheels through either a 6-speed manual or a 7-step CVT gearbox. Dimensions-wise, it is the most compact two-seat roadster you buy. And thanks to its tiny footprint and engine, it is considered as a ‘kei’ car in Japan, where it is manufactured.
While many of us would love it if Honda brought it to India, it’s unfortunate that Honda cars have decided to sell its cute roadster exclusively in its own market, and not globally.
2) Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Miata has always been a good-looking roadster, even in its previous generation avatars. The new model continues to look small and compact with creases all over, curving shapes and vents in certain parts. It sits squat to the road, and it really has you feeling like you’re sitting low to the ground. It is also lower and has a shorter wheelbase than its predecessor. The opened-mouth grille seems to bode nicely with the nose, particularly along with the slit-like LED headlamps. At the rear, it gets circular tail lights with pointy extensions. The overall silhouette is beautiful.
Inside the cabin, the top-half of the doors are body-coloured, giving the cabin a bit of a lively appearance. On top of the beautifully designed dashboard, sits a nice screen, which is controlled via a rotary dial placed on the central console. There are also dials for the climate control, and the instrument panel is perhaps the closest you get to a classic ‘feel’ in a car. Both seats sit low into the chassis, with the centre of gravity just beneath your buttocks. The quality is great, making it a snug, cozy place to be seated in.
The MX-5 has always been about driver involvement, focusing majorly on driving dynamics while delivering the same at an affordable price. It is also 100kgs lighter than its predecessor, which makes its 1.5-litre petrol engine a hoot, with 130bhp on offer. The engine revs with vim, and the car corners in a manner very few cars do. And those who love the manual gearbox, its 6-speed unit has a lovely, mechanical feel to it.
3) Fiat 124 Spider
The 124 Spider is the most gorgeous looking roadster in this list. And being an Italian roadcar, we can see why. It’s larger than the Miata, that it is based on, but somehow feels small when on tarmac. It has a long hood and a stubby tail, with flowing lines, large oval-shaped headlights with DRLs, a wide grille and split fog lights on the front bumper. The side profile is simple, but it’s the rear we like the most for its smoothly curved bumper, neatly designed tail lamps and the twin tail pipes.
The cabin quality is great, and everything around feels solid along with a lot of soft-touch materials and a leather steering. It also gets leather seats and the convertible roof function matches that of the Miata.
The 124 Spider is powered by a 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine that makes 138bhp and 240Nm of torque, paired to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission, with power being sent to the rear wheels. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.