The year 2018 could be a joyous time for Honda fans and enthusiasts. Aside from the fact that Japanese carmaker Honda will be celebrating its 70th anniversary next year, it might also bring back to life its S2000 sports roadster or launch an equivalent successor.
While there are yet no official confirmations from Honda about the new S2000 or its eventual replacement, there are quite a number of reasons and hints that point to the possible return of the carmaker’s iconic roadster.
First of all, 2018 marks Honda’s 70th birthday. As far as we could remember, Honda introduced the production version of the S2000 in 1998 to mark its golden anniversary – three years after the carmaker unveiled its concept form at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Honda decides to unveil a new generation of the S2000 as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations – nearly 10 years after its production was ceased.
This was confirmed by a source for Car and Driver. According to the source, the S2000 successor would be unveiled alongside an RC213V-S superbike, adding that as a celebratory model, the new sports car will be special one with a new powertrain and a distinct chassis. The source noted that Honda had initially planned to employ the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from the Civic Type R, but dropped it since the powerplant would be an old model by 2018.
Instead, the new S2000 would be powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four engine that would be enhanced by a two-stage electric boosting system employing an electrically driven supercharger, a conventional turbocharger and a bypass valve. This engine would be engineered to develop more than 320 hp of output, sending power to the wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Second, there is a considerable gap between the S660 sports roadster (2015) and the NSX supercar (2016). The Honda S660 micro-coupe develops only 63 hp while the NSX delivers a whooping 573 hp. A new generation of the S2000 would perfectly slot in between the S660 and the NSX. However, Honda doesn’t sell the Japan-only S660 sports roadster in the United States while the NSX is sold as an Acura – which means that the carmaker is offering no sports cars in the country. By reviving the S2000, Honda wouldn’t just be able to fill the gap, but would be able to offer a new sports car in the US.
Third, a number of patent images were leaked showing a sports car for Honda or Acura in 2015. Then, a sports car concept from Honda – similar to the patent images -- was spotted at the Mountain View Research Park in California. This wasn’t the Acura, so it was likely that it was prototype of the S2000.