Now that there is a mid-engined Corvette on the horizon, all our long-awaited, long-rumored and long-demanded sports car dreams seem on the table. Even Honda might be jumping on the bandwagon of making things happen that we never thought would happen by reviving the S2000. Some sources that claim the roadster will have a 320 horsepower twin-charged four-cylinder. I, however, remain skeptical.
According to Car and Driver, which claims to have an inside source at Honda, as well as Japanese car magazine Holiday Auto, Honda will debut the new the S2000 to celebrate the automaker’s 70th anniversary in 2018 along with an RC213V-S superbike.
Holiday Auto says that Honda will use a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that combines both a traditional turbocharger and an electric supercharger that should deliver somewhere in the neighborhood of 320 HP. They did not indicate how or when the VTEC would kick in with the dual boosted motor.
Car and Driver’s source, who allegedly works at Honda, corroborates Holiday Auto’s report and also says the motor will be mated to an eight-speed automatic dual clutch gearbox for “optimal weight distribution.” This person also gives an explanation as to why Honda didn’t take the easy way out and just drop the Civic Type R’s turbo four into the new sports car. From the source:
Sure, the Type R’s 2.0-liter turbo is a great engine... but by 2018, that would be old news. We need to take things forward. As a celebratory model, the sports car must be special, so it must have a new powertrain and a unique chassis.
All of that sounds incredibly outlandish, leading me to also wonder if it will run on unicorn farts and spray rainbows out of its exhaust pipe.
Of course, the biggest question is: why build this car now? The convertible market is dying, and lightweight rear-drive sports cars like the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ haven’t exactly set the world on fire with sales figures. Sports cars are getting slain by crossovers and SUVs. So what would be the reasoning behind bringing an S2000 to the market?
A gap in Honda’s sports car lineup could be the answer. On the low end, Honda sells the super cool S660 roadster in Japan and on the opposite end of the spectrum sits the NSX hybrid supercar. If Honda is indeed serious about bringing some fun back into its lineup, and the new Civic indicates a clear shift in this direction, the return of the S2000 could give the brand an affordable halo sports car. If it happens at all.
C&D speculates that we could see the reveal sometime in the fall of 2018 and that the S2000 will probably carry a price tag around $50,000, making it a far cry from the affordable-ish S2000 we got a decade ago.
While all of this sounds very exciting, it’s too soon, junior, to trust sources like these that Honda has really committed to bringing back the iconic roadster.