Honda S2000, Holiday Auto
Talk of a new Honda sports car will not die. Although we now know that the tiny S660 roadster will not come to America, and a speculated mid-engine sports car positioned below the Acura NSX is probably not happening, the prospect of a reborn S2000 roadster is gaining steam. And it could arrive in 2018, as the company’s present to itself for its 70th anniversary.
There’s a certain symmetry to that, considering that Honda first launched the S2000 in 1998, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. For the 70th, we could be looking at both a new car and a commemorative two-wheeler, as well. âBased on the companyâs MotoGP contender, the bike will be a detuned, roadgoing version of the RC213V-S,â says our source. “As for the car, expect something special. Size-wise, itâll be similar to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but the Honda will have a lot more power.”
Skeptics may note that Honda does not have a platform for a compact, rear-wheel-drive sports car. But our insider tells us to not overlook what the company has done with its S660 mini-coupe and the all-new NSX supercar. âBoth those coupes have unique, dedicated platforms, right?â he says. Spot on.
His statement reminded us of a comment made by one Acura executive at the 2014 Detroit auto show. When asked if Honda were planning a smaller sports car to slot in under the NSX, the executive nodded and said he does want such a car, but that it would not appear before 2017.
One more snippet that points to a new sports car is Acuraâs Precision concept unveiled at this yearâs Detroit show. Sitting on a dedicated rear-drive platform, this look into the near future hinted at a coupe powered by a front-mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with one rear-mounted motor and two front motors employing a torque-vectoring system.
The S2000 successor, which is expected to weigh less than 2900 pounds, will be powered by a slightly detuned version of the Civic Type Râs 2.0-liter turbo. That engine is made in the U.S.A.âand the car will be, too. To keep costs down, Honda has decided to build it alongside the NSX at its specialized Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio.
âA large complement of R&D staff from Japan are already in Ohio working on the car,” says our source, adding, “They have more time now that the NSX is finished.â