With the Fiesta ST gone in the United States, something needs to fill its place.
When it comes to introducing hot new concept cars, automakers typically like to show off their new metal at big shows such as Detroit or Geneva. Honda decided to go a different route with the reveal of its new Small RS Concept. This adorable compact hot hatch was just shown off at the 2018 Indonesia International Motor Show—and our want is real. With the departure of the Ford Fiesta ST, the small hot hatch market has dwindled down to just the Fiat 500 Abarth. The opportunity is ripe for Honda to swoop in with this car.
The Small RS Concept was built by Honda's Asia Pacific division, which is used to building small cars for the local market. Honda already sells "RS" branded cars like the Jazz (Fit), Brio (what this concept is based on), and Mobilio. There aren't any other details about what powers the Small RS Concept, but we absolutely love the way it looks. The styling looks reminiscent of a smaller version of the Type R. We absolutely love the Civic Type R, but it's gargantuan by classic hatchback standards. Cars like the Fiesta ST showed how well a back-to-basics approach can work in the hot hatchback market. So far, Honda has been unwilling to fill this gap in the market.
We would love to see Honda build an Si or Type R version of the Fit, but the company is more likely to add some new crossover than a manual hot hatch. The Small RS Concept will be yet another piece of forbidden fruit that escapes our grasp.