May has been an awesome month so far for our Honda fans. Last week we learned that they intend to revive the Honda Beat with a new car called the Honda S660. This week we’ve learned that the S660 isn’t the only ‘S’ car slated to make a comeback – the Japanese automaker has confirmed the return of the Honda S2000 roadster. It seems that Honda is determined to return to their motorsports-oriented youth, and these two cars together with the upcoming Acura NSX are their plan to do it.
For those of you without an intimate knowledge of Honda’s past production line, the Honda S2000 was a slick lightweight roadster manufactured from 1999 to 2009. In fact, its roots reach back to the Honda Beat with a conceptual debut at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The S2000 enjoyed steady sales for the first seven years of its ten-year lifespan. Unfortunately, sports cars were one of the segments most dramatically impacted by the auto industry’s 2008 recession, so the S2000 was nixed from the lineup. Still, the car was well-loved by critics and continued to garner awards during its last three years of production.
Now, the auto industry is on track and Honda is ready to bring the S2000 back along with it. Except, according to Automotive Express, it won’t technically be the S2000, just the name will remain the same. For example, where the old S2000 featured a front-engine layout, the new model will follow in the S660’s and NSX’s footsteps with a mid-engine layout. Also, the old S2000 was a softtop convertible, but early sources indicate the new one will be a hardtop coupe.
All of these changes pale in comparison to the last one. The old Honda S2000 used an F22C1 four-cylinder 2.0L petrol engine with 239hp, which together with a ‘X-bone’ chassis helped it to achieve its lightweight design. The new S2000 eschews “lightweight” in favor of power. It’s rumored to use the same turbocharged 2.0L 350bhp engine as in the Honda Civic Type R. But, that blazing engine will be part of an NSX-like hybrid powertrain to keep the car fuel efficient and eco-friendly while still boasting a 0 to 60 time of around 5 seconds.
To put each of Honda’s upcoming performance models into a timeline, you can expect the Acura NSX to come in less than a year’s time near the beginning of 2015. Then, the new Honda S660 subcompact will likely arrive at the end of 2015 for the 2016MY. Finally, this new Honda S2000 likely won’t arrive until the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, but unlike the S660 it’s almost guaranteed to make its way into European and American markets.