If a new report is to be believed, Honda may be planning a successor to the S2000 roadster. The original Honda S2000 was created to mark Honda Motor’s 50th anniversary. The new car would be released in 2024, a quarter-century after the original’s 1999 Japanese debut and coinciding with Honda’s 75th birthday.
As reported by Forbes, who merely cites “a source close to Honda,” the company’s marketing team is “seriously considering” an all-new iteration of the S2000. Veteran Japanese auto industry reporter Peter Lyon says that 20th Anniversary Concept of the old S2000, which you may recall was shown at January’s Tokyo Auto Salon, was intended to keep enthusiasm going for an upcoming model.
The Forbes piece goes into a bit more detail, saying the car would have similar proportions to the original, using aluminum and carbon fiber to maintain a sub-3,000-pound curb weight. Engine-wise, the report says Honda was considering a 350-horsepower version of the 2.0-liter turbo found in the Civic Type R.
As exciting as a new Honda sports car would be, color us skeptical on this one. For one, rumors of a Honda roadster revival have been ongoing practically since the S2000 went out of production in 2009. Honda has also been historically reluctant to share engineering with other companies, and is unlikely to partner with another to defray costs, as Toyota did with BMW and Subaru, or Mazda with Fiat.
The Type R makes 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and starts at $37,495. With the pricey materials, a conversion to rear-wheel-drive, plus a convertible top, a new S2000 would have a hard time coming in under $50,000.
And then there’s this odd tidbit from the Forbes article: “Obviously the Civic Type R’s brilliant, close ratio six-speed manual transmission would be carried over to the new S2000.” Except, there really isn’t a way to adapt a transversely mounted front- or all-wheel-drive transmission into a longitudinal orientation for a rear-wheel-drive car. A new one would have to be developed from scratch, adding more to the cost.
The original S2000 was known for its high-revving 2.0-liter engine, which had the highest power-to-displacement ratio of any production car on the planet at the time. And the S2000 was itself an homage to Honda’s first passenger car, the 1963 S500, whose motorcycle-inspired engine could rev to 10,000 rpm.
If Honda could create a car to carry on the spirit of these cars, we would welcome it with open arms. With Toyota reviving the Supra, Nissan brewing a new Z, and Subaru giving us a continuation of the BRZ, perhaps there’s a chance for the S2000 as well.