Next Honda S2000 to get mid-mounted engine, hybrid option?
A new report coming out of Australia finds that Honda could develop a successor to the S2000 roadster that was given the axe in 2009.
While the S2000 featured a traditional front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout, Honda’s next roadster will reportedly adopt a more enthusiast-friendly mid-engined configuration. Base models will exclusively be powered by a four-cylinder engine that will spin the rear wheels, but more expensive variants will gain a fuel-sipping hybrid drivetrain similar in design to the one that equips the 2016 Acura NSX. Hybrid S2000s will also benefit from all-wheel drive.
The S2000 will pack over 300 horsepower in its most powerful configuration. Honda insiders told Australian magazine Motoring that the roadster could feature a de-tuned version of the 2.0-liter turbo four that will power the recently-introduced Civic Type R. Alternatively, the company is also considering offering a 1.5-liter four fed with a beefy turbocharger.
Earlier rumors indicate that Honda will take on the Mazda MX-5, the upcoming Fiat 124 Spider and the Scion FR-S/ Subaru BRZ twins with a hot-rodded version of the S660 that was presented a couple of weeks ago. If the rumors prove true, the S2000 successor will move up a notch on the market in order to fight head-to-head against entry-level variants of premium German roadsters such as the Audi TT, the BMW Z4 and the Mercedes-Benz SLK.
Insiders stress that the S2000 successor hasn’t been given the green light for production yet. Whether or not Honda moves forward with the project will largely depend on how the company does in key markets like the United States and China over the coming years. If profits are high, the company will invest money into designing low-volume models like the S2000 and a replacement for the CR-Z. If sales are low, the mid-engined TT-fighting Honda will never see the light that awaits at the end of a production line.