Honda's next S2000 might not be mid-engined after all

Honda S2000
Honda will celebrate its 70th birthday by introducing a new roadster, a recent report finds. The ragtop will be presented as a successor to the vaunted S2000 (pictured) that went out of production in 2009.

We’ve heard rumors of a reborn S2000 before. They’ve usually suggested the roadster will arrive with a mid-mounted four-cylinder engine, some form of electrification, and all-wheel drive; in short, it’s shaping up to be a scaled-down version of the new 2017 Acura NSX. Interestingly, the new report completely contradicts most of what’s previously been said about the next S2000.

An anonymous company insider told Car & Driver that the S2000’s successor will arrive with a detuned version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s found under the hood of the Civic Type R. It will be mounted up front, and it will spin the rear wheels only. Additionally, the source didn’t mention electrification.

The term detuned suggests the turbo four will generate less than 310 horsepower, but more precise technical details haven’t been announced yet. However, the source added that the roadster will weigh approximately 2,900 pounds, and that it will fight in the same segment as both the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Fiat 124 Spider.

The convertible could ride on a purpose-designed platform that will later spawn an Acura-badged coupe. The development process is already under way, if Car & Driver’s source is to be believed.

“A large complement of R&D staff from Japan are already in Ohio working on the car. They have more time now that the NSX is finished,” the insider revealed.

Read more: Honda’s Global Rallycross entry is a 600-hp Civic that does zero to 60 in just 1.9 seconds

Honda hasn’t commented on the report, so we’ll have to be patient to find out if a new S2000 really is in the works. If the rumors turn out to be true, we’ll see the roadster debut at a major auto show in 2018, and it will go on sale shortly after as a 2019 model. Pricing will need to start in the vicinity of $25,000 if Honda wants to lure buyers away from Mazda showrooms.

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