Honda Creates RS Micro Hot Hatch

N-One is a true parking bay racer. 

Fans of really compact hot hatches will rejoice at the latest upgrade of Honda’s smallest vehicle platform.

The Japanese automaker has revealed a significant upgrade of its N-One. Originally launched back in 2012 the N-One platform might not be new, but its design has aged remarkably well.

As is typical of any Japanese domestic market Kei-car, the N-One is tiny. It measures only 3.39m bumper-to-bumper and weighs a slight 890 kg. Despite the diminutive dimensions, it has a lot of presence, thanks to a typically outrageous Japanese Kei-car design theme.

The N-One’s overall vehicle proportions are tall and with oversized round headlights, it has a disarmingly cute presence. Honda has now updated the N-One’s styling with an RS-kit and although that might sound like a very disingenuous idea, the results are quite pleasing.

Although the N-One retains its bug-eye headlights, they now feature LED illumination technology. Between those new front lights, there are no less than three grille choices, including a solid section carbon-fibre insert or honeycomb mesh.

The RS trim version channels some of Honda’s extreme Type-R heritage with matte grey competition stripes running lengthwise, over the bonnet and roof section. It also rolls black 15-inch alloy wheels and has a chrome fuel filler cap.

Framing the lower bumper edge is a chrome-plated splitter, which might not have much aerodynamic relevance considering the N-One’s humble performance, but it does add some visual drama.

Inside the N-One RS, you’ll find leather-trimmed steering wheel and manual shifter, which rows through a gearbox with six ratios. Whereas all other N-Ones use a CVT transmission, Honda has made the six-speed manual available on its RS variants, which should appeal to driving enthusiasts who like really small cars.

Powering the new N-One RS is a turbocharged 658cc three-cylinder petrol engine, boosting 47 kW. Despite its modest performance, the latest N-One product update has added adaptive cruise control and autonomous braking to the car’s suite of active safety features. It might not be a Civic Type-R, but there is no question that Honda’s N-One RS is a bold micro hot hatch.

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