Honda to develop a new S2000 sportscar

Honda to develop a new S2000 sportscar
Highlights

Honda’s iconic S2000 badge is set to make a comeback, and this time on a new rear-drive roadster which will rival the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat’s forthcoming 124 Spider.

Honda’s iconic S2000 badge is set to make a comeback, and this time on a new rear-drive roadster which will rival the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat’s forthcoming 124 Spider.

The original version of the S2000 was introduced in 1999 and it garnered a reputation for its strong powertrain and lively handling. However, the second edition of the car was axed in 2009. Now, the third generation of the two-seat roadster is said to be under development as the Japanese manufacturer attempts to reconnect with the S2000’s dedicated fan base.

The new S2000 will be pitched as a faster alternative to the MX-5. Its performance, however, should be more of a match for the forthcoming Fiat 124 Spider which uses a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine instead of the Mazda’s normally aspirated 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre units. For the new roadster, Honda is considering a number of powerplants.

A retuned version of the firm’s forthcoming 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine could power more basic editions of the car. The four-cylinder unit with VTEC produces around 150bhp in the vehicles for the Japanese market. This is likely to be ramped up to around 180bhp for the most modest S2000, giving the car around 25bhp more than the powerful MX-5 and beating the US-market 124’s 158bhp.

This could also leave scope for a hotter variant that could use a detuned version of the Civic Type R’s 306bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. It could also feature more extreme suspension and chassis settings, including a rear limited-slip differential, with the possibility of a useful extension to Honda's Type R sub-brand, as well as a rival for the more potent, Abarth-badged 124.

The new S2000 will also stay true to the original car's principles of a front-mounted engine, sited behind the axle line, and rear-wheel drive. All versions of the car will feature a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox.

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