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There was a time in the not too distant past when Honda had a slew of fun-to-drive tuner specials ranging from tiny JDM Beat kei-car to the razor-sharp S2000. Both of those vehicles are dead and gone now, but a report from Motor Trend posits that Honda could be working on a way to replace both vehicles in one tidy (and presumably, fun-to-drive) little package.
The rumored roadster, which reportedly wouldn't be production-ready until 2014, would utilize a subframe with a mid-engine layout for optimum weight distribution. If this exciting-sounding ride is indeed in utero, the big question would surround the avenue Honda would choose for propulsion. Options include a small, possibly boosted gasoline motor, a CR-Z-like hybrid and possibly even an electric-only solution. All three options would likely be relatively efficient due to the roadster's small stature, but MT points out that a gas-only option could limit the vehicle's international appeal.

A mixture between a Beat and an S2000 sounds great to us, but is there any proof that such a vehicle is under development? The magazine did some digging and discovered a Honda patent pending in Japan for a subframe vehicle with an "engine being fitted to a center frame." Add to that the fact that last year we heard rumblings of a next-generation Beat that looks a lot like the rendering above, and we could finally be looking at a fun new Honda by mid-decade. Click on the photo above to check out Motor Trend's hot-looking rendering.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      They should just revise the s2000 slightly and re-release, its bad ass looking still. Its a timeless look. They will over style it if they use their current designers and it will look like ass. The old S is just beautiful and should not be deviated from too much. The car companies that lock on to a design and make subtle teaks build a real cult following. Uhmmm the 911 ring a bell...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda needs to save face after the Crosseyed and the CR-Ded. Best way to proceed is to concentrate on the driving dynamics of the vehicle, and leave any green stuff til afterwards. Fair enough, be mindful of whybrid drive, fuel cell, ceramic steam, compressed air, or however you choose to provide motive power; but just *make* one with an ordinary, low tech, super-clean gasser.

      Hey, they'll make me happy if they put a turbo diesel in a sports-ish car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It sounds more like an update to the MR2 than either the S2000 or Beat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Direct Injection... maybe?
      Doesn't even have to be a big engine, stock. 2.0l at most. Drop a 6, or maybe even 7-speed manual, and maybe a dual clutch auto/stick for those who don't want a straight manual.
      But, please, no hybrids. They've got enough. They need SOMETHING that isn't a hybrid. Whatever stick is up their ass that sporty and hybrid makes sense needs to be pulled out. GM could make everything they make a hybrid, except the Vette, they won't. I doubt Ford will make a hybrid Mustang or whatever Vette fighter they develop.
      Sure, American cars to Japanese doesn't work, but my point still stands. All manufacturers need something sporty, something they can throw in the ranks of GT2 and GT3 races.
      Come on, Honda. I'm not a fan, but I do like small sports cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The real question is: Will it be sporty like a CRZ???

        • 5 Years Ago
        Way to miss the sarcasm, Daniel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yet another time sarcasm doesn't transfer well over the internet. I'll give myself a facepalm.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks like the fwd Lotus Elan from the 90's. to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Terrible decision to go mid-engine. I'm sure it'll be a great car but that archetype has inherent packaging problems that limits its appeal and sales potential. At anything below a a premium pricepoint, people need roadsters to have a certain basic level of practicality. Such was the MR-2's primary reason for failure.

      Honda's engineering and marketing arms seldom talk to each other and it's clear that it's happening again here. Unless it's a front/rear package, this will have a very short lifespan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have to agree, a mid-mounted engine is better for weight distribution, but the packaging is not that practical. If they mount the engine in the front but as close to the firewall as possible it should be good IMO.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tell the packaging problems to Porsche 987. :D

        If they do it right, it could be a better revision of the SW20-chassis MR2

        If they do it wrong, it could be worse than the packaging of the MR2-spyder.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jeeze, who called the fun police?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm going to preemptively disparage this car because it's a mixture between a roadster and a kei car. Also, Honda's definition of "sporty" tends to differ from that of most auto enthusiasts.

      Sorry Honda fans, it seems that you may have more time to wait for a sporty car than you think.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sort of a Japanese, drop-top Fiero. Sweet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Please make it light, RWD and at least 200 horses.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda won't do this. You cannot recreate the s2000 with mpg in mind. The Beat maybe, but not the s2000. Sports cars =/= super great mpg or hybrid.
        • 5 Years Ago

        My Z06 with 505hp gets a horrid 30mpgs on the highway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Stars Fan, I wasn't implying that a sports car and good mpg are mutually exclusive, but that you don't buy a sports car b/c it gets good mpg or is a hybrid.

        @ Sutitan, Honda wouldn't leave the 2.2L motor in the s2000 if it became a hybrid. They'd put the CRZ/Fit 1.3L in there. I can't think of a hybrid with a gas engine that makes more than 120hp on it own.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks good but if they neuter it with that hybrid crap then I doubt it will sell well.
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