Kez Casey | May 20, 2016

Honda’s return to its sports car roots looks set to continue with a rumour gathering pace that a new S2000 roadster is being prepared to help the company celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2018.

Slotting in between the supercar-rivalling NSX and the diminutive S660 roadster, the new S2000 looks set to arrive as a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive roadster. That's according to a report in US publication Car And Driver.

That means that earlier patent renderings for a supposed mid-engined S2000 successor may not see the light of day.

Mystery Mid-engined Roadster Renderings
Mystery Mid-engined Roadster Renderings

Just as the original S2000 was build to commemorate Honda’s 50th anniversary in 1998, the new S2000 is set to arrive in time for Honda’s 70th birthday - but it won’t be the only celebratory model launched.

Honda’s motorcycle division is also gearing up to launch a detuned, road-focussed variant of its RC213V-S MotoGP superbike, which already sells as a registrable bike in strictly limited numbers to Australian customers for a whopping $244,000.

As for the S2000, don’t expect the new version to offer the same screaming 9000rpm redline as the original, with the second generation car likely to adopt a version of the 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder engine from the Civic Type-R.

As well as being turned sideways to turn the rear wheels, the engine is likely to offer slightly lower power and torque outputs compared with the 228kW and 400Nm of the Type-R (but still out-performing the 176kW and 208Nm of the original S2000).

As for a rear-wheel-drive platform to underpin the S2000, Honda doesn’t have one at the moment, but with the mid-engined S660 and NSX both riding on bespoke, low-volume platforms, it’s no stretch to imagine the S2000 doing the same.

Honda’s American luxury division, Acura, may have already given a preview of the new chassis, with the Acura Precision Concept from this year’s Detroit Auto Show slipping a four-door coupe body over rear-wheel-drive mechanicals.

At over 5.1 metres in length, the Precision’s platform would need to be treated to a major rework before being applied to the S2000 however, with final packaging of the S2000 expected to be closer in size to the 3.9 metre Mazda MX-5.

MORE: Honda News and Reviews

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