The turbocharged droptop would be built alongside the NSX in Ohio.
Honda celebrates 70 years in business in 2018, but open-air driving enthusiasts might be the ones receiving a present on the Japanese automaker's birthday. An anonymous insider tells Car and Driver that a new roadster is on the way, and it reportedly uses a version of the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
“Size-wise, it’ll be similar to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but the Honda will have a lot more power,” the source claims. It will also ride on a dedicated platform, and the insider hints the roadster will have a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. The mid-engine sub-NSX in patent photos last year is reportedly now on the back burner in favor of this model.
Like the latest NSX, Honda will engineer and build the new roadster in Ohio. “A large complement of R&D staff from Japan are already in Ohio working on the car,” Car and Driver’s source alleges. “They have more time now that the NSX is finished.”
While these quotes are enticing, Honda isn’t saying anything official about a new roadster yet. The evidence continues to pile up about its existence, though. An earlier rumor claimed the company’s engineers attended an S2000 owners’ club meeting in the British Isles last year, and the employees spilled the beans about the new car. They echoed many of this source’s claims, including hinting at a front-engine, rear-wheel drive vehicle. In addition to the 2.0-liter turbo four, these people also said a turbocharged 1.5-liter with about 180 horsepower would be available.
Honda reportedly gave the new roadster a green light for development in 2014. Even that far back, the company had the 2.0-liter turbo in mind for power, and it intended production to take place in Ohio with the NSX. With two years of engineering done, Honda's team might have the S2000-successor half way to completion behind closed doors.
Source: Car and Driver