Honda in Europe has hinted at something special coming for its 75th anniversary.
“Watch this space: [2023 is] 75 years – we had the S2000 at 50. Who knows…” said Honda Europe vice president Tom Gardner in cryptic remarks to Autocar.
The UK publication reports Honda is poised to reveal a new sports car.
Mr Gardner revealed neither the positioning of the new model nor its powertrain, but said the enthusiast sector remains an important part of the brand’s business.
“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’,” he said, when asked whether the brand needed to have halo performance models.
“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.”
Honda teased two sports cars just over 12 months ago, releasing a single shadowy image of the two side-by-side under silks.
It didn’t release any further information on the sports cars other than confirming they’ll be “a specialty and a flagship model, which will embody Honda’s universal sports mindset and distinctive characteristics”.
That suggests one of these is a replacement for the NSX which recently exited production.
The company said they’ll be globally introduced, though it hasn’t spoken of these models since then.
An S2000 revival has been rumoured in the past, with then-CEO Takahiro Hachigo saying in 2017, “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.”
“All over the world – in Japan, North America, Europe, China – more and more voices are expressing the desire to reinvent S2000. However, it has not matured yet. It’s not time yet.
“We need time to decide if S2000 is reinvented or not. If the sales people investigate, look at it and they’re really enthusiastic, maybe we look at it.”