Honda Exec Says Buyers’ Love For SUVs Has Killed S2000 Successor

Almost 9 years have passed since Honda pulled the plug on the S2000, and despite numerous reports claiming that the roadster with a huge following among petrolheads will eventually make a comeback, things aren’t looking too good.

That’s because Honda Canada’s Senior Manager of Product Planning, Hayato Mori, reportedly told AutoGuide that the successor of the S2000 will never happen.

Mori said that this is due to consumers flocking to crossovers and SUVs, most of whom aren’t willing to pay S2000 money for a roadster because of their impracticality. This makes it difficult for such vehicles to exist in today’s market, and their research and development simply costs too much, hence why Nissan is holding back on a new 370Z.

Those that still want a thrilling ride that’s actually practical end up buying compact hot hatches, such as the new Honda Civic Type R, and that’s why the automaker will probably never revive the S2000.

Despite the poor demand in roadsters, there are still several car companies making them. Among them, we could mention the ever-popular Mazda MX-5, Porsche 718 Boxste, and Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. BMW is also working on a new generation Z4, which shares its underpinnings with the new Toyota Supra, and Nissan continues to offer the 370Z Roadster in different markets, including the United States.

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  • europeon

    Yeah, funny how the “love for SUVs” haven’t killed the MX5.

    • Six Thousand Times

      Per Mazda the MX-5 was on the bubble if not for FCA joining in on the development with the 124 Spider.

      • Puddingpopper

        never thought about that

    • Cobrajet

      Someone has to stay the segment, so they can have the monopoly.

  • LWOAP

    Honda probably would have fucked up the design of the car anyway. The NSX is a great car but it isn’t exactly flying out of the dealerships. Perhaps Honda was worried the same would have happened to the S2000 and is just using the SUV/CUV craze as an excuse.

  • javier

    so they should do a small, really good handling 400 horse cuv, but of course they won’t

    • Honda NSX-R

      A Honda CRV Type R or RDX Type S would be interesting…

      • LWOAP

        That may happen considering Acura is bringing the Type-S name back. I do hope they make it about performance and not just a trim level like what Nissan did with NISMO.

        • Idk I had a feel it would be like F Sport in Lexus rather than full blooded sporty model. I mean come on you got HPD in US doing nothing Honda!

          • LWOAP

            I think HPD just offers parts like what TRD does.

          • HPD actually do racing previously, Acura ARX LMP were product of HPD, They also do rally too. But yeah now HPD is more of a performance parts brand like TRD.

    • Krisnadi Imam

      I would like to see HRV Type R… shouldnt be too far off

  • javier

    they also killed the mini nsx which might have sold ok if it didn’t cost 200 k like the nsx. Competition for the supra

    • LWOAP

      The mini NSX was nothing more than a concept for Gran Turismo. Honda had no plans of ever putting it into production.

      • gor134

        You sure about that? The design of it was patented back in 2015.

        • LWOAP
          • gor134

            I am aware of that. I was referring to the second part of your comment, where you stated that Honda had no plans of ever putting it in production. I was under the assumption, that Honda at one point considered it, and decided to instead include it in GTS as a Vision car.

          • LWOAP

            Oh, ok. To answer that question, yes. I do think Honda never intended on making it as an actual production car. Why do I think that? Well, my reason is the profit margin of making a car for that segment, on top of that fact they haven’t had much presence outside of the S2000. It would be a tough sell to those looking to make a financial case for such a car. I will admit that there may have been consideration for the car but I don’t think they ever planned on building it.

          • I agree with LWOAP, they never really consider it and in fact it’s more of a design study. If you are allowed to go to any design house, you wouldn’t believe all the concepts they hide from public there.

            As for the patent it’s simply for Honda to protect their design since they gonna put it in game, otherwise die cast company can just make the car without license.

          • Krisnadi Imam

            true… its not like they are swimming in money these days.
            Not to mention the shift to electric is coming.
            I guess honda is just trying to bulk up their reserve for the upcoming turmoil caused by the electrification trend.

        • Honda NSX-R

          They literally patented the design for the Gran Turismo game, Honda was fucking around with people by doing it

  • Christian Wimmer

    Good news for current S2000 owners – the resale value will skyrocket!

    The S2000 is a already a future classic.

    • True, I’ve read this month evo when they drive the original S2000 and praised the car compare when they still make it. It’s funny how times can change opinion of cars.

  • Nordschleife

    Maybe all manufacturers can do what Toyota and BMW did and share the costs to make at least one sports car.

    • That would be love but it;s incredibly hard, like what happened to Alpine and Caterham. Basically Caterham owner lose interests on it and they refused to pay left over development cost. Good thing is Renualt decided to press forward.

      • Nordschleife

        Very true. I do remember that debacle. Ideally if they could all work together it would be a great way to divide production costs but I can imagine even BMW and Toyota won’t create a successor partnership with the next generation of these vehicles. It is a shame though.

        • Divide production cost but then who would entrust the development? This is where it gets tricky really. Since manufacturer has sense of proud and they bring those ego in.

          I like that BMW and Toyota partnership started because Akio Toyoda was watching Nurburgring 24h and he met BMW Executives (forgot which one). And it’s more that they realized each other has advantage. BMW just launch i8 with revolutionary structure and Toyota has advantage in hybridization.

          But I heard that the project has not been smooth as there are no future BMW-Toyota tie in after sportscar. Which is unfortunate.

    • Arsu Dhamaka

      True. For low volume selling cars, manufacturers could collaborate to share development costs. Toyota and Subaru did it for 86 coupe, Toyota and BMW are also doing it for new Supra and Z4. Honda could look for similar options.

  • Mark S

    Bull! Those SUV’s could easily fund it. Honda is squandering its heritage.

    • Nordschleife

      I don’t think they can’t afford it, they just won’t see the benefit of the investment.

      • Yep even if they had money for sportscar development from SUV. The results can’t get recycled back for next sports car. And beside they already got NSX for halo car.

  • brn

    Redirecting blame?

    • Honda NSX-R

      Lol yup

  • Imjus Sayin

    Honda already has a capable platform in their portfolio. Just take the Civic coupe redesign the body panels, chop the top, reinforce the frame, and drop in the Type R motor. Done with minimal developmental expense. Duh. It’s not rocket science. What would Mr. Soichiro Honda do? Just do it Mr. 85. If you can make a Passport out of a Pilot. You can take a Civic and make an S2000 too.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Bullshit. People were craving for fuel-efficient cars like the Prius when Honda axed the S2000 back in 2009 or so, not SUVs or CUVs like today. The economic recession and high gas prices axed the S2k, not the SUV craze.

  • nastinupe

    I owned 2 S2000’s. They weren’t very good cars. Very much over rated.

  • Six Thousand Times

    It kills me that they’re probably correct.

  • TheBelltower

    Anyone who romanticizes the S2k and believes that it could somehow serve the purpose of an SUV must not have actually owned one, or even driven it for any length of time. With it’s awful torque curve, the S2000 would get it’s lunch eaten by most SUVs hauling two sticky rugrats in car seats and a trunk full of Costco. Offering it with only a 6spd manual didn’t help either. Great car, but fatally flawed. And it had nothing to do with SUVs.

    • nastinupe

      Yeah, it was slow and didn’t handle that well either. the wheel base was too short and the rear end would break way too easy. Plus it had a lot of bump steer at high speeds. Scary stuff.

  • Sports car is dying breed indeed, since cost of car ownership has soared in some countries and they prefer all around car rather than own sports car or 2 car for example.

    Interestingly Honda UK supposedly approach S2000 owners club and ask them what is the criteria for S2000 successor. But now it’s safe to assume that the car is on ice now.

    It’s shame really but I can’t blame Honda, better not to have sports car rather than see the Brand in trouble.

    • Krisnadi Imam

      i agree with your point of view… the price of a new car, the cost of ownership and all is just not feasible for mere mortals to own a dedicated sports car.
      Somehow the cost outweigh the fun.

  • SteersUright

    This is nonsense and excuse making at its best. Manufacturers use part of their marketing budget (in the $100’s of millions) to develop halo vehicles because they serve a different purpose than the rest of their lineup. They are as much about offering a new exciting product as they are about advertising your engineering chops/prowess, exercising and stretching your engineering teams capabilities, being used as a vetting platform for future tech and hardware, and driving traffic to showrooms knowing the person who came to stare and sit in a Nissan GTR will most likely drive hope a Maxima, Altima or Rogue.

    I believe Honda stretched too far with the current NSX as its stratospheric price and rarity renders it less effective a real-world marketing tool. For regular folk, its only appearance in their lives occurs in the pages of a magazine (or online). An “affordable” sub-$50k Honda sports car would have actually been seen with far more regularity on the road and thus more regularly appreciated. It would thusly draw more admiring fans to their dealerships providing their dealers with more opportunities to send folk back on their way in a new Accord, CRV, etc.

    An “affordable” bad-ass sports car would’ve been a genuinely more effective marketing tool than the out-of-reach NSX ever could have been or will ever be. Instead we get lame excuses from Honda brass. Weak play, Honda.

    • Krisnadi Imam

      NSX is definitely an expensive mistake in my opinion. They would fare much better in a cheaper price segment.

      But i think one of the reason S2000 is canceled is they need to recuperate their losses on the new NSX from somewhere else, and the S2000 is happens to be it.

      They kinda shoot them self twice now.

      Its alright i guess… lets just hope they can move on n survives another era

      • NSX is expensive due to the advanced Hybrid system, the only way to make it cheap is by ditching the Hybrid system which of course it’s a bit late.

        I don’t think next gen S2000 is canceled because of NSX failure, simply expensive R&D cost, remember Honda don’t have platform to create next gen S2000 so that means they had to build one from scratch, for independent manufacturer like Honda it’s a big task.

        • Krisnadi Imam

          what i was trying to say is. its probably because they went over the budget with the NSX for development cost. they dont have enough r&d bugdet to make the new S2000.

          Besides interest in sports care is waning

          • I doubt that, NSX functions as Halo car so I think they would have budget specifically for that. A bit of FYI, after the demise of original NSX in 2006 (I think). They supposed to launch NSX with V10 engine and in fact the car development is finished, But then 2008 (or 2009) Financial crisis happened and then they cancel the car even that the car is virtually production ready and they already teased it in Iron Man movie, the car later turn into HSV 010 GT for Super GT usage.

            And AFAIK I never heard NSX development is over budget or even late. It’s just NSX hype is high so that every 6 months they make rumors about it. Essentially give the impression the car is in long development.

          • Krisnadi Imam

            hmm… u got a solid point there… prolly the cancelation of the S2000 is indeed just a lame excuse from honda.
            Too bad, i would love to see a new S2000 even if i never could afford one.
            Its only compact or crossover for me.

          • Just another FYI but the background of S2000 launching could provide an insight, It was conceived basically as Honda 50th birthday present and to mark the new millennium and a bit of FYI Japanese love to make meaning out of everything and that is why the reason why it’s a 2 door convertible car is a nod to Honda first car, the little S500 that alter morph into famous S600. Which is of course lightweight 2 door convertible sports car.

            So basically the S2000 was launch just for that, and I believe that the reason why S2000 never get successor is due to 2008 Financial crisis, and now when they are in stable hand, they simply can’t get the numbers right, and the fact that sports car sales is in decline.

          • Krisnadi Imam

            That’s very true, especially about the sports car market decline. Why can’t they just come clean bout it. We don’t make it anymore coz it’s not beneficial to us in the long run. Rather than blaming cuv trend.

          • Simply because there are no carmakers that want to admit that, beside blaming the SUV would give people to think about it. And hopefully sparks interests for sports car back. And also I think they just freeze it for a period, in 10 years we might seen new S2000. So fingers cross.

          • Krisnadi Imam

            Finger crossed 😀

  • JimmyK

    Or maybe they don’t want to reveal in public that they actually working on a successor for marketing or other reasons etc…. I know its a long shot but hope never dies.

  • Bash

    Somebody or something have to be blamed!, they all do that!

  • Vassilis

    When there’s a will, there’s a way. Very sad to read something like this coming from Honda.

  • Shahul Usman

    I mean Porsche made the cayenne to fund the 911… Honda could make a roadster easy… what they should have really said is.. we can make more money if we make more suvs… btw booooooo on the suv lol At least they gave us the Civic Type R.. even though personally I could drive it based on the looks (I know many people like it)

    • I think it’s different, 911 is what Porsche is, they had to make successor whether they like it or not. And with 911 sales I think they profits were sustainable enough for R&D and that Cayenne money gave us plethora of high and special editions car.

      Honda meanwhile don’t have halo car to maintained, and now they already had an NSX, I think it’s a matter of profitability. There is rumor that Honda lose money from Civic in USA at the beginning. That’s just to illustrate the profitability of mass market brand.

  • Craig

    A BIG MISTAKE! Consumer’s taste in things can change in the blink of an eye. Before you know it – SUV’s will become what Station Wagons and Minivans became. I wouldn’t want a showroom full of nothing but SUV’s and CUV’s.

  • Enter Ranting

    Right, and there’s a HUGE market for the NSX.

  • Chris C

    So build a convertible on the Civic platform (and assemble it in the UK – traditional home of the 2 seater sports car and Civic production centre with spare capacity) then….

  • AEE91

    “Never say never.” There was a discussion online that it might be a goner for Honda Canada, but always a possibility in the United States as it’s a bigger market.

  • Moisted

    Freaking Americans. Ruining the world for everyone… Only in US do people buy SUVs and monster pickup trucks. If US people cared about environment like everyone else, we could now have a new S2000.

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