What Would You Want From A Honda S2000 Successor?

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Looking around the market today at rear-wheel drive sports cars at relatively affordable prices, there aren't a lot of options. A new, and very good option, has come in the form of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ (near) twins, but beyond those and the Mazda MX-5, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, the lower end of the Nissan 370Z range, and the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro (which are both more muscle car than sports car), there's a bit of a void--an empty space.

That space is left, largely, by the Honda S2000, though some might include the RX-8's absence in that gap. If you want a new car with more than 225 horsepower and less than 2,800 pounds curb weight, you're currently without any real choice in the under-$30,000 range--and without many even in the under-$50,000 range.

Fortunately, there are the beginnings of whispers (Automotive News, sub. req.) about a rebirth of the Honda S2000 line--or a successor to it, perhaps. They're weak and thready, not even rising to the status of rumor as yet, but the whispers surrounding Honda have been shouts in the throats of fans of the S2000 since its discontinuation in 2009.

So we ask you: what would you want to see in an S2000 replacement, keeping in mind that it would have to be both quintessentially Honda and suited for the modern regulatory and retail marketplace.

What kind of engine would you like to see? Another high-revving, peaky, VTEC four-cylinder? Something with a turbo on it? More cabin space? Lighter weight construction? More than the last model's 240 horsepower rating?

Put some thought into it, and formulate what your ideal Honda S2000 successor's spec sheet would look like and post it in the comments below.

We'll start with ours:

  • 260 horsepower naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Two seats (cloth)
  • Manual soft top
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Base version with manual windows, manual locks, no radio, optional soft top delete with separate hard top
  • Luxury version with power retractable hard top, navigation, HUD, and full leather interior
  • 25+ combined mpg
  • Price from $28,000-40,000+
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Comments (32)
  1. -More "torque" oriented than top horsepower

    -NA FTW! but tri-turbo (twin + low rpm electric) would be cool too, they can go with cheaper internals than ones needed for 12:1 pressures to reach that 120 hp/L and save the money for ...

    -6 Speed Dual Clutch

    -40k+ nm/angle structural rigidity (original was soft jelly by today's standards)

    -GT-R like electronics

    -Optional Active suspension ("Luxury" version)

  2. I'd go a bit smaller than you, Nelson:

    200hp 2.0L Inline 4 w/ Auto Start/Stop
    6-speed Manual
    Disc Brakes all around & 16" alloy wheels
    Soft top standard/Optional lift-off hard top (Old Merc SL style)
    AC Optional
    Cloth or Woven-Vinyl seats
    Space behind the seats to stash both a briefcase and a small overnight bag.
    Rubber floormats (Optional carpet)
    Optional AM/FM 4 speaker stereo w Smartphone dock (use the phone you already own for your Nav)
    @2700 lbs curbweight
    30 MPG

    Luxury Pack:
    Power Mirrors/Windows/Locks/AC/Homelink/Alarm
    17" alloys
    Standard Smartphone Dock/Stereo (see above)
    Lift-off Hardtop
    Optional Leather
    Optional Wood Trim
    @3100 lbs fully loaded.

  3. IMO, 3100 lbs is too heavy, period, especially with just 200 hp on tap. Also, 200 hp and 2700 lbs is the Scion FR-S. The S2000 would need to be either more powerful or lighter to justify its price point and to match or exceed the previous model. Otherwise though, I like the direction.

  4. I made a username just to post this.

    The S2000 was unbelievable in every way.
    Make the new one a big larger. That's it.

    The old one was cool for its: high end red line, timeless styling both in and out, handling... it really is an amazing vehicle.

    Drawbacks: brand new price of $53,000 here in Canada, and the fact that it's the size of a Miata.

  5. More cockpit space I can definitely agree with--I can't comfortably drive them due to the lack of knee room and the fixed steering wheel position.

  6. How about starting with a concept for a full factory racing program ala the MX-5? Then design it with components to be competitive in existing series.

  7. This would be excellent, but perhaps expensive. That said, Honda has renewed its HPD-based grassroots racing efforts in recent years. Would be great to see even a mixed-make roadster series with MX-5s and S2000s both.

  8. It would be nice to have a coupe version.
    270 hp would be nice, I think they have the tech now
    They could have a rebadged Acura version with a hardtop if it's not too expensive to develop. It would also go against the SLK roadster and Z4.
    But they need to keep a soft-top version with a four cylinder with a 6-speed manual

    but do you guys think a V-6 would be bad for an S2000?

  9. 6 speed manual
    225hp, 4-cyl
    Soft top standard/Optional lift-off hard top
    Bigger than the old s2000
    Stiffer body
    Kick-Ass Stereo
    Disk brakes front and back

  10. Always thought the s2000 would really be suitable for a small v6 or even a v8... What's with u guys and 4 bangers... I believe 370 plus hp would be much more fun than 270... :) IMO

  11. sorry, but even though it's your opinion, a V-8 is out of the question. The S2000 isn't a muscle car, it is known for its agility, so even a V-6 may not be good for its balance.

  12. Hmm, what about a 3.0 liter Inline 6? I'm pretty sure I've heard of people swapping in a 3JZ into an S2K, and it would be pretty cool to have one come in the S Roadster.

  13. I agree, I love the V6 scream. I love my S2000 and would never change it, but sometimes I think it could do with some more torque lower in the rev range.

  14. - Curb weight 1200 kg (2625 lbs right?;])
    - Naturally aspirated 2.0 250 HP (ideal version impossible to make thanks to emission bullshit, I mean, Ferrari has 126,6 HP from one liter but in cars for reasonable money that will not pass because of amounts of cash needed to engenering procees to meet the regulations...
    -...so maybe 2.0 Turbo, 250-300 HP, should be enough.
    - 6 speed manual, no more talking here.
    - Bigger, bigger inside!
    - No crap like Apps,mp4,5,6,9..., iphone, iMac, ithis, ithat...
    In few words, pure driving experience, joy of driving, acceleration, high reving engine, no eletronic gadgets that weigh, breakdown and are useless!!!
    Thank You :)

  15. 30+mpg or don't bother. It's sad that a company would make a car that light and you only require 25+mpg!

  16. Forget MPG, you're the reason why people aren't buying affordable sports cars. Just focus on making it fun to drive, if it only gets 26-28, oh well.

  17. I want to boldly second Drew Duncan's comment. If this next sports car gets less than 30mpg then I expect it to be a bit more powerful than the alternative. My S2000 gets 11 to 18mpg on a racetrack and only about 23 while driving to these racetracks. That is my expected cost for the great time that this car provides me. I budget for extra fuel costs and use my other 36-to-44mpg car as a daily driver.
    As for the idea that there needs to be a luxury or comfort-convenience version of this car - Well that is that ACURA is for. A sister model would still fit in to that luxury-line well below the cost of their next NS-X with its mid-engine-hybrid [fancy-pants] technology flagship car for 2014 or 2015.

  18. I also decided to create a profile just to reply to this article. I was also a former s2000 owner, and I had no idea how good the car was until I decided to sell it. I'm not sure though if Honda needs to reintroduce the s2000. I think they might do better with bringing back the prelude or integra. I would prefer something more like the prelude though. They could even use the F20 or F22C engine and gear box from the s2000, but if they wanted to make an even better engine and gear box, I wouldn't complain. Other than that, keep it light weight and low slung. Honda has shown us through the years that they are capable of producing brilliant sports cars, and i think it's time they did so again.

  19. -> Here are my suggestions as a current S2000 owner:

    CR Model (base/barebones model)
    - Standard high-revver F24C 2.4L 270hp @ 9K rpm/190Ib-ft I-4
    - No convienience features (manual windows/locks/opt softtop/standard fixed h-top/opt radio/opt A/C)
    - 6M/T
    - Cloth Seats

    Si Model (similar to the Base AP1/AP2 Roadster)
    - Improved material on power soft top
    - Convenience features (power window/lock/A/C)
    - Optional Leather
    - Optional Miata-style PHRT

    Touring Model (luxury model)
    - Different tune engine less-revving but same F24 engine
    - Power hardtop similar to Miata PHRT standard
    - Leather
    - Different Suspention tunning

    - "Well Duh!"
    - 2.5L 290hp @ 10,000rpm/200Ib-ft
    - Chassis mods

  20. I like this... I definitely would want 9,000 rpm or more. For sure either make it slightly lager than my ap1, or make the steering wheel and seats adjustable. 6 or 7 speed manual only. Maybe a mild hybrid system for the Touring Model you mentioned? And maybe as an option on the "Si" model. 2,900 pounds maximum for the high end models, 2,700 for the stripped models.

  21. My S2000 has been my only car and my DD for 9-1/2 years. It's been supercharged to 421whp. I can't find anything I like driving better.

    A next-gen S2000 needs more interior room, more torque to keep up with the Camry in the next lane, and another 100+ hp if it is to be considered a serious car. Plus option packages for electronics and other stuff to fatten profit margins and make customers happy. 18" or 19" wheels.

    I'd start with a base model with a 2.5-liter making good torque and 220-250hp, add a 350hp turbo model, and then offer a luxury package with all of the latest unnecessary crap people like paying for. Let the clueless option theirs up like a Benz, and give the purists a minimalist package for the track.

  22. Oh yeah, and Honda is overdue to offer a dual-clutch automated manual. Offer that and a 6-speed manual, and let people argue over which is better. Having an auto means at least 50% more sales, so the car can be profitable.

  23. 2700 curb weight
    2.4 liter or 2.5 all motor. direct injection, dual variable cam timing, vtec. ... we are talking 300 horsepower easy . and torque around 190 which isnt bad for 2700 lbs

  24. 2700 lbs would be sweet, especially if that same car made over 250hp and 180ft-lbs of torque. Hondas seem to keep getting heavier though ;(
    I would prefer a targa or hardtop since time-trials and HDPE-racetrack organizers are pretty hard on rollover protections these days. OPTIONAL-convertables-only. The car needs to be simple and not loaded with Sat-NAV, no expensive/heavy/12-spkr-Stereo, minimal climate controls and lighter/manual transmission is perfect. The [fun & engaging] driving experience needs to impress far more than a long list of electronic or luxury features and we probably could save $4-to-5000 by deleting the ubiquitous 'technology-packages' Please Keep it Simple. Thank you for inviting or feedback!

  25. as a current owner of a s2000 i would say its near on perfect as it is and will be 1st in line if a new model comes out.

    240bhp is a fantastic figure but i would also like to see a higher hp opption. maybe a supercharged version hitting around 300hp or a straight6 vtec would be a fun idea.

    that would push the 0 - 60 into the 5 sec range and mean it could challenge some other high end roadster.

    back end to not be so twitchy would be nice.

    seats that didnt have bolster wear and look awfull after 20k miles.

    a touch screen satnav / radio.

    vsa as standard

    i love the red/black interior. but that i belive only came in a few exterior colours. would be nice if it was optional to have other colours or even stitching to match exterior for all

  26. also flappy paddle gearbox option would be kool

  27. I've decided my next car will be an F-Type jag and that I will keep my S2000. But to be honest, I'd rather get a 2015 S2000 with 350hp and STILL keep my current one :)

  28. I am a current 2004 S2000 owner. My car is my daily driver and I autocross it. I would like to see 3 versions. A Honda version with a 270 HP 4 cylinder with wider wheels and 2600 - 2700 lbs, 6 speed manual and a dual clutch 6 speed option. An Acura luxury version with a V-6. And an Acura S-Type with a 400hp V-6.

  29. From an S2000 owner and fanatic...

    1. An electric soft top that can be replaced with a hard top easily and with basic tools. On the S2k, you need four hours and a friend to take out half your interior to switch them out.

    2. Seat bolt patterns and rails that DON'T bolt into other Hondas. Seat theft is a big issue, and they cost thousands to replace from the dealership.

    3. Keep the tech low-key: part of what's awesome about driving an S2k is that it doesn't feel like you're driving an iPhone or PS3. It's a car, not a gaming system!

    4. DSG/SMG/flippy-paddle clutches are for sissies. Three pedals and a stick, or go home.

    5. Either low displacement and stratospheric revs NA, or low displacement and high revs with a turbo.

  30. I would like to see:

    Coupe version as well as Roadster
    Strictly under 28k price
    Offer 2 engines- 1.8 NA and 2.4 NA
    cloth seats
    no nav
    simple stereo
    more cockpit space
    aerodynamic (coupe )
    throaty exhaust
    realistic torque ( not 8k redline with no torque)
    manual cloth top
    17in wheels
    ample luggage space
    6spd manual and 6spd DSG type trans
    standard LSD
    well under 3000 lbs...2700 would be target
    full assortment of gauges ( like old Jag XKE)
    and this time FWD not RWD ( yes I know some haters will hate me)

  31. I think a good starting point would be 2800 lbs with 280 hp via a 2.0 turbo. Although the biggest selling point for me would be how "stripped down" they could offer it. Too many companies are making luxury options standard, and this is where Honda could break the mold. On the base model, rip out the carpets, ac, radio, and any other convenience items you can find. Obviously offer a luxury option as well. 4 seater coupes are a bad idea, this needs to be a purpose built car, either a 2 seater coupe, or a sedan(something along the lines of a lighter rwd evo). Also, Honda's styling has declined, bring in some exotic car design consultants to style it right. Whatever you do, do NOT make it bulky or tall. It needs to be sleek. Need more room, lol

  32. and don't even think about adding "hybrid technology" to this car. Price needs to be under 40k if you want it to sell. And I'm willing to bet, you will be able to sell the stripped down version for near the same price as the luxury version. Some people might even pay more for less. I know I would.

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