Honda working on a small, rear-drive, mid-engined roadster

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

If you're one of those who were dismayed with the demise of the Honda S2000 and the fading glory of the Honda Beat 660cc minicar of 1991, this report is bound to delight you.

A source close to Honda said that these two models may live again in the guise of one car. Honda is reportedly busy 'molding' the two models together in a new project from Tochigi's R&D Centre near Tokyo.

The new roadster has been dropped onto a modified Fit (Jazz) platform. It will use a rear mid-engined layout. That Honda is working on a new sports car is interesting because the carmaker hasn't really been focused on this genre.

Aside from the Civic Si, there's the hybrid CR-Z (the Civic Type R will end production in August). In addition, Honda has a patent pending in Japan to assemble a roadster using a subframe and parts from current cars but it will utilize new technology to reduce curb weight and production costs.

The patent is related to the "engine being fitted to a center frame" which means that it will be mid-engined and have rear-wheel drive. For sure, this car will be lightweight and will have good front-rear weight distribution too.

What's unclear is if the "mid-engine" refers to a hybrid, fully electric or fuel cell. In the past few years, Honda has tried its hand in the three alternative forms of propulsion, so there's no way to predict this.

If Honda builds the car with a gasoline engine option, this would restrict its international application so it's unlikely to happen. The car isn't expected to appear on the road before 2014.

Topics: honda, roadster

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