S2000 is go! Honda greenlights mid-engined sports coupe

s2000 go honda greenlights mid engined sports coupe 2006 03 970x0

In May, we reported that Honda was planning to revive the famed S2000 nameplate with 350 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Now, Honda has reportedly greenlit the program.

Like the previous S2000, the new car will have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder at its heart, but that’s where the similarities end. Motoring is reporting that Honda has settled on a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, with the turbocharged four-banger from the Civic Type-R supplying power.

Like the upcoming NSX, the S2000 will also have an electric motor bumping combined output to around 365 hp, but the dispatch makes no mention of the aforementioned AWD option. Previous sources reported the next-gen sports coupe would have a simplified version of the gas-electric traction system from the upcoming NSX.

For now, we’ll have to assume the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels only. We’ll keep you updated when the information is confirmed by Honda.

Could the new S2K be even better than the original? It’s too early to tell, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

Below the new S2000 will be the Honda’s upcoming “open-top sports-type minivehicle,” but you may prefer the less wordy S660 nameplate. Also on the horizon for the Japanese automaker is the next-generation NSX, which will have a hybrid powertrain, Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, and a combined output of 560 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque.

Motoring’s sources say the S2K will be built alongside the NSX supercar at Honda’s new Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio, which probably means it will employ the same feather-light carbon fiber/aluminum construction as the range-topping Acura.

As far as looks, it’s still a long ways away, but there are rumors the S2000 will borrow heavily styling cues from both the NSX and the S660. That means a wide front grill, headlights that wrap around like Geordi’s visor from Star Trek, and sleek aerodynamic accents.

Average Hondas these ain’t.