Honda in North America had a rough go of things in the early 2010’s. The S2000 roadster had ended production the year before, and a year later, in 2011, the ninth-generation Civic came out to the groans of the buying public — it was unattractive and lacked the fun-to-drive characteristics of previous generations.
Since then, Honda has been slowly building back brand credibility with models like the redesigned CR-V, the new HR-V, and the 2016 Pilot. Still, the Japanese automaker has a hole in its lineup that only a performance-focused model can fill. Of course, Honda’s luxury brand, Acura, finally revealed the highly-anticipated NSX sports car, with its stunning looks and impressive drivetrain tech, but brand-loyal buyers still yearn for Honda sports car.
Now there’s some hope on the horizon with a few upcoming sporty offerings. At last, America will get its own version of the Civic Type R, and there’s talk that a more powerful version of the Japanese market S660 roadster will come stateside. But perhaps the most exciting bit of news yet has come in the form of patent drawings that appear to show a baby NSX-esque sports car with Honda badges, and that have leaked online.
Several CAD illustrations have surfaced in patent filings that seem to show the brand is developing another mid-engined concept. The drawings appear to show an NSX-inspired vehicle with traces of the pint-sized S660, and I’m hoping we’re looking at the S2000 successor.
Judging from the car’s stance, it’s a fair guess this concept is a higher performance target than the S660 with its measly 63 horsepower, but also not quite as aggressive as the new NSX’s twin-turbocharged, electrically-assisted 550 hp setup. If we are looking at a spiritual second act to the well-acclaimed S2000, expect it to borrow certain performance traits from the NSX, while reducing production costs enough to make it affordable for the average joe.
Look for a tangible version of this concept to appear at an auto show sometime next year.