Honda to Resurrect S2000...As the S3000?

October 10, 2008
2009 Honda S2000

2009 Honda S2000

Auto enthusiasts the world over still lament the demise of the Honda (Acura) NSX. And legions of import tuners are still tweaking and lowering their second-gen CRXs, another Honda that was embraced by enthusiasts and promptly left a huge void when it departed in the early 1990s. Enter the rumored S3000, which is part secretive Honda R&D reality, part Photoshopped conjecture from the folks at Road & Track.

A remake of the sporting S2000 (pictured above), a great if aging little rocket that sadly never enjoyed the popularity or sales of the CRX, Road & Track claims "a source close to the company revealed that Honda is indeed in the process of building such a car," but admit they have not seen the vehicle in any form. What they do know is that a recent Honda OSM (Open Study Model) "raised some eyebrows" at the London Auto Show, but they're quick to point out that the OSM was merely a droptop version of the front-wheel-drive hybrid CR-Z sportster shown last year at the Tokyo Motor Show. And yet, they're convinced that the OSM is really a disguised next-gen S2000 design study.

Adding fuel to their speculation, they mention a test mule sportscar prototype spotted near Honda R&D headquarters in Japan that shared the OSM's dimensions but looked significantly different. Their Honda sportscar fever peaking, R&T decided to do a test mule/OSM Photoshop mashup, and arrived at the svelte sportster that makes a prominent splash in their November issue.

But what of the name, S3000? More rumors, it seems. Those unconfirmed rumors claim a 3.0-liter or 3.5-liter (Accord, TL) V-6 stuffed under the hood of this next-gen S2000, which would boost low-end torque to the level that would please American muscle car drivers and make the next Honda S sportster competitive with entries like Hyundai's upcoming V-6 Genesis Coupe.

But let's not forget, Honda is the company that has resolutely refused to install a V-8 in its highest-end luxury Acura, the RL. It hardly seems fitting that the cubic-inch-conservative company would throw a big honking V-6 into its smallest roadster. Especially given fuel prices and auto market woes, we'd place our bets on one of Honda's excellent four-cylinders, perhaps a derivative of the 2.4-liter in the Accord or a version of the turbo four in the Acura RDX cute ute, all the better to keep up with the base Hyundai Genesis Coupe, also equipped with a turbo four. Or maybe even a forced-induction, direct-injection version of the Fit's sprightly little 1.5-liter?

What would you most like to see under the hood of Honda's next front-engine, rear-wheel-drive roadster? And who do you think they're going to compete with: the next gen, lightweight MX-5 Miata, or six-cylinder luxury roadsters like BMW's Z4 and Benz's SLK?--Colin Mathews

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