With the new NSX on the horizon, the company’s return to Formula 1 and the eminent 306-horsepower Civic Type R, Honda is clearly looking to reestablish itself as a performance brand, and there’s likely more excitement on the way, in the form of a new mid-engine S2000 and a more performance-minded CR-Z. Both could get updated versions of Honda’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive hybrid powertrains, and we could see a preview of this updated tech competing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the very near future.
We recently told about the Honda S1000 — a mid-engine, compact performance car based on the S660 kei car currently being considered. According to Austrailia’s , the next S2000 would be positioned between the S1000 and the NSX, and against the Porsche Boxster/ ,Cayman, Alfa Romeo 4C and Nissan’s next Z car. Power is expected to be well north of 300 horsepower and could come courtesy of a more fuel-efficient version of the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. A pair of electric motors will power the front wheels, while power to the rears would be channeled through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Why it matters
An engineer at Honda told he would very much like to see a new mid-engine S2000, and we couldn’t agree more. A Honda sports car priced around $40,000 is something the world desperately needs. It would also put Honda in the unique position of having three mid-engine sports cars spanning an enormous price range, from around $15,000 for the S660 to over $200,000 for the NSX.
The next CR-Z, meanwhile, is still being considered, but could be put on hold if resources are allocated to S2000 development. If it is a go, the next CR-Z would likely use the 1.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the proposed S1000, and some sort hybrid-electric power for a total of around 220 horsepower. It would also have a decidedly feistier bent than the rather bland current CR-Z.
“Truth be known, our engineers might be working on a more efficient electric four-wheel-drive system in the Pikes Peak CR-Z, but that will not directly lead to a road-going all-electric CR-Z,” a Honda insider told . “We still need to evaluate exactly where a new CR-Z would fit into our sports car hierarchy.”
About that Pikes Peak CR-Z: Honda is apparently building an experimental CR-Z that would compete at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June. It’s a modified version of the current CR-Z that will serve as a test bed for Honda’s future performance hybrid technology. says the car has been fitted with a new version of Honda’s SH AWD system with four electric motors instead of two, though it’s not clear if the system will also have internal combustion power.
We should know by June if the Pikes Peak CR-Z is reality, but it will probably be a few more years before we hear any confirmation of Honda’s other future sports car plans.