Published on November 25th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair


Turbocharged Honda N-ONE RS Comes With A 6-Speed Manual!

Most of us are aware that Honda make some pretty cool Kei cars for the Japanese domestic market. Whether it’s the practical and cute N-Box or the engaging and sporty S660, they seem to have the ultra-compact car segment covered well. But what if you want something that sits between the two extremes.

The N-Box is a little bit boring behind the wheel while the S660 doesn’t isn’t quite as functional as a daily driver. Well, starting this month, Honda have the N-ONE RS which is poised to offer the best of both worlds.

The N-ONE RS comes as parts of a major refresh of the N-ONE product line, which has been on offer in Japan since November 2012. Of course, there are other huge updates to the range, including a Premium spec and upgrades to equipment across the range, but none of that is very interesting. The only thing that interests us is this awesome N-ONE RS variant.

That’s because Honda have given this particular variant a very similar turbocharged 0.66L 3-cylinder petrol engine to the one found in the S660! The output isn’t fantastic, but it’s a very light car, so 63PS and just over 100Nm of torque still sounds exciting! Especially with an excellent Honda shifter in hand, as the promo video suggests.

We don’t expect to be quite as fun as the S660, which has that engine mid-mounted and driving the rear wheels. But if there’s anything Honda are good at, it’s making fun little front-wheel driven cars.

But it’s not just performance that stands out here. The company managed to make Honda Sensing standard on all N-ONE cars, they’ve also managed to make Adaptive Cruise Control work on the N-ONE RS, despite it having a 6-speed manual gearbox. It’ll be also one of the first in its segment with support for Lane Keeping Assist.

Of course, the N-ONE RS won’t be seen in Malaysia, probably not even through the grey market (there were a few S660s, but even they’re a pricey rarity). It’s still exciting to think that Honda is capable of making small, exciting manual-equipped hatchbacks in 2020. It makes us a little bit more hopeful about the possibilities

BHP diesel

Here’s some information about the new Honda N-ONE vehicles if you’re interested in learning more about them.


Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will begin sales of the all-new N-ONE mini-vehicle on November 20, 2020, at dealerships across Japan.

Based on the underlying concept of the Honda N Series, which is to offer “enjoyable lives with N*,” the development team for the all-new N-ONE focused on people’s daily lives and the concept of time in Japan, striving to make N-ONE a vehicle which will be a part of people’s daily lives and that can sustain the enjoyment of customers for a long time.

* The “N” represents Norimono which means “vehicle” in Japanese.

The exterior design of the all-new N-ONE was refined to further highlight the unique characteristics of N-ONE in the motif of “circle, square and trapezoid” which is identified as a combination of basic shapes that constitute the uniqueness of N-ONE.

The interior was designed in the pursuit of a cozy cabin space with a minimalist design. To achieve this goal, non-essential elements were pared away boldly. Honda’s original center-tank layout that places the fuel tank underneath the front seats, also contributes to the minimalist yet cozy interior design of the all-new N-ONE. This is the embodiment of Honda’s M/M concept*1 inherited from the N360, the starting point of Honda’s passenger cars. 

The Honda SENSING® advanced safety and driver-assistive system is standard equipment of the all-new N-ONE. The 6-speed manual transmission (6MT) version of the all-new N-ONE will be the first among all 6MT mini-vehicles in the market to feature Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), which support the driver while recognizing the vehicle’s surroundings. 

An individual seat with excellent hold is adopted for the driver’s seat. For the RS type, the combination of front engine/front-wheel drive (FF) turbo engine and 6MT was made available for the first time among all mini-vehicles in the market. Driving performance also was further refined so that the drivers can feel the fun and joy of driving as they use this vehicle on a daily basis for their in-town driving such as commuting to work and school and for shopping as well as long-distance driving.

<Key features of the all-new N-ONE>

◼ Design


The first-generation N-ONE inherited its exterior design from the N360, which consisted of circle, square and trapezoid shapes. With the same basic shapes, and based on the N-ONE’s timeless design, an exterior design which conveys an image of the “fun of driving” and “outstanding safety” was pursued for the all-new N-ONE.

While featuring an upright bumper and grille, the lower part of the bumper is designed to give a look of “standing firm” on the ground. The chiseled headlights create the impression of forward momentum. The rear end is characterized by a horizontal line which extends toward the right and left corners of the rear bumper and features horizontally-long reflectors on both ends. This rearview design emphasizes the wide look of the body and projects an image of stability.


To further enhance a pleasant sense of openness, a minimalist cabin space design was pursued. Striving to offer the fun of driving for the driver and a minimalist yet relaxing space for the front passenger, the instrument panel was pared away daringly and extended all the way from the edge of the meter to the outer edge of the passenger seat area.

In order to enable the driver to obtain information and control the equipment smoothly and accurately, a combination meter consisting of two different-shaped meters was adopted for the information system, and various switches are located around the steering wheel to enhance visibility and ease of use.

◼ Convenience 

Cabin space designed to take advantage of the low-floor platform

・The low-floor and cozy cabin space of the all-new N-ONE was made possible by the center-tank layout, Honda’s patented technology for the platform the all-new N-ONE shares with N-BOX.

・Individual seats were adopted for the driver and front passenger, featuring a console box in between. Along with the redesigned instrument panel, utility features such as cup holders, USB charging ports and storage pockets are laid out within easy reach of the driver’s and front passenger’s seats.

The first mini-vehicle equipped with a Rear Seat Reminder

The all-new N-ONE will be the first mini-vehicle in the market*5 to feature a Rear Seat Reminder system that uses the history of the rear doors being opened and closed and alerts the driver to the possible presence of personal belongings or any other objects left in the rear seats via a reminder displayed on the meter.

◼ Driver-assistive functions 

All N-ONE types feature Honda SENSING as standard equipment

The Honda SENSING advanced safety and driver-assistive system for the all-new N-ONE features False Backward Start Prevention and Auto High Beam Headlights in addition to the eight standard functions. For the first time for any 6MT mini-vehicle in the market, the 6MT version of the all-new N-ONE will feature Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and a Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), which represents Honda’s pursuit of safety performance that enables customers to use their vehicles comfortably in all driving situations. 

<Functions included in Honda SENSING for the all-new N-ONE>

* Qualifies for the Safety Support Car (Sapo Car) S<Wide>category

1. Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
2. False Start Prevention
3. Pedestrian Collision Mitigation Steering System 
4. Lead Car Departure Notification System 
5. Traffic Sign Recognition
6. Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) System
7. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
8. Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
9. False Backward Start Prevention
10. Auto High Beam Headlights 

Low-Speed Follow is available only for vehicles equipped with CVT.

Functions to enhance driver’s sense of reassurance

・Parking Sensor System: 
The system detects obstacles approaching in the back of the vehicle via four sonar sensors mounted on the rear bumper and alerts the driver with a sound and meter display.

・Automatic Brake Hold function: 
When the driver activates the system by pressing a switch while stopping on a hill or for a traffic light, the system automatically holds the vehicle in position without the driver stepping on the brake pedal, and the system automatically releases the brake when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal.

・Electronic Parking Brake:
The driver can activate the parking brake with an easy pull of the switch, and it releases automatically when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal

◼Body colors 

【N-ONE Original】

・Flame Red
・Platinum White Pearl
・Surf Blue 
・Premium Ivory Pearl II
・Luna Silver Metallic
・Crystal Black Pearl

<Two-tone colors>
・Flame Red & White
・Platinum White Pearl & Black
・Surf Blue & White
・Premium Ivory Pearl II & White

【N-ONE Premium/Premium Tourer】

・Platinum White Pearl
・Midnight Blue Beam Metallic
・British Green Pearl 
・Premium Ivory Pearl II
・Shining Gray Metallic
・Crystal Black Pearl 

<Two-tone colors>
・Platinum White Pearl & Black
・Midnight Blue Beam Metallic & Silver
・British Green Pearl & Silver
・Premium Ivory Pearl II & Black


・Crystal Black Pearl 

<Two-tone colors>
・Platinum White Pearl & Black
・British Green Pearl & White
・Premium Yellow Pearl II & Black
・Sunset Orange II & Black

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑