After nearly a decade of production and a steady decline in sales, it was a foregone conclusion that Honda's much-loved S2000 would be on the chopping block sooner rather than later. Still, despite bracing ourselves for the worst and making the funeral arrangements well in advance, we can't help but find ourselves feeling just a little misty-eyed after hearing official word of the S2000's demise.
A moment's silence please.
The S2000 began production in 1999 as a special model built in celebration of Honda's 50th birthday. Suspension and aesthetic revisions carried out in 2003 marked the introduction of the slightly revamped AP2 model, while last year saw the addition of the Type S (Japanese market - below) and CR (US market) variants to the S2000 lineup. Around 110,000 S2000s have been sold worldwide since it launched.
The S2000 line will be closed at the conclusion of the 2009 model year in June, with no replacement on the horizon. The retirement of the S2000 will also take Honda's only dedicated rear-wheel-drive platform with it, with the rest of the company's range either being exclusively front-wheel-drive or boasting an all-wheel-drive option.
Given the recent canning of a proposed RWD Acura and the 2010 NSX, the future is looking bleak for Honda enthusiasts. Sure, the Civic Type R is a nice little unit, but we get the feeling the S2000 will be sorely missed once it disappears from Honda showrooms.
Will the big H ever see fit to bring out a successor to the S2K? We certainly hope so, but the way things are traveling at Honda HQ, we're not exactly holding our breath.