Reports in recent months have hinted at a successor to Honda’s fan-favourite S2000, this time with a coupe body and a turbocharged heart.
This week, a new report out of the US has added more fuel to that fire, suggesting that we could (instead?) see the return of the Integra.
“A performance brand needs a flagship and it needs an accessible sport car. Not a sports car, but a sport car," Marek said.
It’s that vague clarification, teasingly tacked on the end of Marek’s comment without detail, that begs the question: what does “accessible” mean in this context?
The report highlights the Integra, that object of obsession for thousands of ‘JDM’ enthusiasts in the 90s and 2000s, as the definition of affordable performance in the Honda world.
A new Integra, even if again offered only with a front-wheel-drive configuration, would be seen as a rival-of-sorts to the 86 coupe, Toyota’s own budget-focused sports car.
So, of course, it lines up. A new Integra could be on the way.
But Marek, as the design boss for Honda’s luxury brand, would surely be speaking from the context of the premium market.
With that in mind, this latest report could in fact be further confirmation that a new Acura-badged S2000 is in the works, taking on more expensive two-door offerings like the BMW 2 Series Coupe (or Convertible).
To address accessibility at the regular end of the market - and to justify the development of a new compact rear-wheel-drive platform - a less luxurious and less powerful version could star in the Honda line-up.
Of course, perhaps we’re about to see the return not only of a rear-wheel-drive S2000, but also the front-wheel-drive Integra, to be offered alongside the coming new Civic Type R.
NSX, S2000, Integra, Civic Type R… now that’s a familiar formula. A return to Honda’s heyday of the 90s and 00s could be just around the corner.
Whatever Honda (and Acura) is planning for its ‘accessible sport car’, we likely won’t see it until 2017.
The new Civic Type R will appear in the coming year, however - alongside the new NSX - so Honda fans have plenty to look forward to.
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