Honda is poised to reveal a new sports car in 2023 as it celebrates its 75th anniversary, building on decades of motorsport-honed performance expertise.
The Japanese manufacturer has previously stated its intent to continue offering performance vehicles and recently told Autocar that the Type R sporting brand will continue beyond today’s hot Civic. Now, it has suggested it will soon give a first look at the maiden sports car of its new era, and suggested it could follow in the footsteps of the acclaimed S2000.
The firm has just revealed a trio of crucial new electrified SUVs, aimed predominantly at the mass market, but the enthusiast sector remains an important part of the brand’s business, according to Europe vice president Tom Gardner.
When asked by Autocar if it still needs enthusiast-focused halo models, Gardner said: “We will characterise the brand, particularly in Europe, as two words – we work very closely with R&D to ensure that our products will embody this – which are ‘advanced’ and ‘sporty’.
“Honda has a very strong technology base. Not technology just for the sake of technology, but technology that adds new value to customers.
“And we love a sports car. We love performance, and we’re very grateful for the strong reaction we’ve had to the latest Type R. There is huge demand for it, and the performance has been very well appreciated. We really enjoyed seeing it nail the Nürburgring record in the last month, and that is an important part of our brand.”
He would not go so far as to reveal the positioning of the new model, nor its powertrain, but did suggest that it’s imminent, and that it could be as important as the last sports car that marked a Honda anniversary: “Watch this space: [2023 is] 75 years – we had the S2000 at 50. Who knows…”
Reports of a revived S2000 have been circulating for several years. In 2017, then Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo expressed a keen interest in the prospect of a follow-up to the seminal roadster, launched in 1999: “I’ve already heard many voices expressing they’d like a next-generation S2000. Honda development engineers are quick to develop sporty cars if the requests are there,” he said.