In 1999, Honda took a page out of its own history book and decided to revive the art of open-top driving with the S2000. A successor to the Honda roadsters of the ’60s, the S2000 was a performance-oriented, 4-cylinder powered piece of automotive perfection.
Production lasted 10 years — 1999-2009 — before Honda officially parted ways with the beloved rag top. Six years later and rumors of a reborn S2000 are all over the web. Honda even went as far as to tease us with a lovely little S660 concept in 2013.
But is there any merit to these rumors?
We think yes. Honda is finally back on the up and up in the U.S., and the idea of a reborn roadster could sway a younger generation back to the brand. A few things need to happen in order for it to be successful, though.
Like the new Mazda MX-5, a reborn Honda S2000 would have to separate itself from the rest of the lineup. Sort of like the concept we mocked up here, with the help of Hansen Art. Honda doesn’t have a ‘halo car’ to speak of (aside from the upcoming Acura NSX), so the S2000 would essentially take that place.
Powerful (Enough) Engine
Unlike the Scion FR-S, the Honda S2000 needs to have enough power to keep people interested other than just in the corners; 250 horsepower might be the perfect mix of power and precision needed to get people into the driver’s seat.
Convertible and Coupe
Everyone loves the roadster, but in reality, the more practical coupe is the one people will be buying in bulk. But, Honda could bring back the hard top convertible and make everyone happy at once.
It SHOULD Have a Manual
The manual gearbox is dying and only a few brands are willing to keep it around. Honda is one of those brands— always have and (hopefully) always will be. I can’t imagine an S2000 without a manual shifter. That would be blasphemy.
Rear-Wheel Drive, Of Course
I think this one is a given. In order to keep the purists happy, the more powerful engine and the manual gearbox would have to be paired to a rear-wheel drive setup.
Otherwise, what’s the point?
At the end of the day, whether a new S2000 actually happens or not is up to the big wigs over at Honda. But with rumors circulating and concepts showing up often, it’s only a matter of time before we see the S2K on the streets once again. Fingers crossed for this one.