While performance enthusiasts are thankful to finally have a new Acura NSX, there’s still a hole in the hearts of those who value attainable thrills.
For its dearest fans, Honda will reportedly bring back one its greatest creations: the S2000 sports car. Since it was discontinued in 2009, rumors have been circulating about if and when the Japanese automaker would deliver a successor, and now Autocar estimates the third generation is on its way.
The new model reportedly will stay true to its original recipe of a rear-wheel drive platform, front-mounted engine, and folding ragtop. With new and redesigned competitors to content with, the next S2000 will look to lightweight motors, superb handling characteristics, and inspired design as distinguishing factors. Honda’s sights are set on the Mazda MX-5 though it plans to exceed the little roadster’s performance, as it did with prior generations.
Most likely, Fiat’s 124 Spider (based on the Mazda MX-5 but with turbocharged power) will more directly contend with Honda’s next S2000. Presently, Honda has yet to decide on an engine for its roadster but one option is its 1.5-liter turbocharged motor with 180 horsepower — more than both the Fiat 124 and MX-5.
There’s also talk of a Type R version of the upcoming S2000 that would use the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter turbocharged motor to make over 300 horsepower. In addition to the extra power, the Type R variant would use a more aggressive suspension setup, a limited slip differential, and unique bodywork. The hotter S2000 would stand off against Fiat’s planned 124 Abarth.
The third generation S2000 sounds like a winner on paper, but first it needs to find a platform. Honda is investing heavily in its new front-wheel drive platforms, which may force the S2000 over to the Acura side of the ledger as an entry-level model in the luxury brand. If that happens then the S2000 would match up more closely with Audi’s TT Roadster and BMW’s Z4.
However it arrives on the scene, Honda’s reborn S2000 is still a few years off and awaited eagerly by enthusiasts.