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Honda N360 and N600 (1967 - 1972)

Last updated 23 May 2013

 
3
Beautifully engineered, fun and nice to drive... if you're not too tall
Buzzy at speed and your chances of finding one that's not been restored from original are slim

Introduction

Some would say that the Honda N360 and its more powerful N600 were perfect Mini-rivals that improved on Issigonis' concept in a number of key areas. For one, when it came to Europe in 600cc form, the N600 was not ony faster than the Mini 850, but it was also more economical - and a fair bit better made. But the N600 wasn't without its foibles.

The original N360 was launched in 1967 tocompete in Japan’s Kei-Class, and was certainly an excellent showcase for Honda's engineering talent. It was launched in 360cc form and featured an advanced specification that allowed it to punch well above its weight – its 354cc air-cooled ohc twin-cylinder engine pushed out 31bhp, and it handled tidily thanks to well-engineered FWD chassis. In 1968, the N600 joined the range, and was designed specifically to compete in European markets. The additional power really benefited the N-Series, giving it an impressive 85mph top speed and a 0-60mph time of less than 20 seconds. Despite being a technical miracle, it failed to sell in big numbers in Europe – but many lessons learned were incorporated into its (European and US) replacement, the Civic.

 

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