The little roadster pictured above? Definitely not what a new S2000 would look like. That's the S660, which is sold in Japan and shares some components with the N-Box and N-One microcars. As we told you last year, after some hints that it would come to the US, Honda's brass decided it was too small. That was disappointing, but probably the right call.
On the other hand, Honda finally brought out the 2017 Acura NSX, which may have its flaws but still represents a unique platform that the company spent a great deal of yen building (in Ohio, by the way). It's that bit that the rumor hinges on: Honda's willingness to develop unique platforms for its sporty models. It'd need that for an S2000 revival, because there's certainly no Honda model that could donate its underpinnings at this moment.
Honda execs have been clear that the company is under pressure from dealers over the lack of verve in the company's lineup. American Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel told Automotive News last year that dealers "want anything in the sports car world. They're going, 'Gimme a sports car.' They want a retractable hardtop; they want a high-horsepower $20,000-sports car. Because that's the nature of what they do."
Honda is allegedly going to utilize some sunk cost by employing the new Civic Type R's engine in this roadster. That 2.0-liter turbocharged four makes 306 hp in the Civic, and would make slightly less than that in the S2000, according to the rumor.
At this stage, these rumors are mostly wishful thinking fanned by the flames of dealer pressure for sporty models. We hope Car and Driver's insider has it right, because the S2000 was a phenomenal car that deserves a follow-up – and Honda deserves more fun cars in its American showrooms.