A report out of the U.K. suggests that Honda might unveil an electric sports car later this year. A year ago, the company stated that it would build two sports cars as part of a bigger push to release 30 EV models by 2030, a $40 billion investment. It was assumed that a sports car would be low on the priority list, but a European company exec now suggests otherwise.
In speaking with Tom Gardner, Honda’s European VP, Autocar learned that the first of the two Honda electric sports cars could arrive as early as this year. “Watch this space: [2023 is] 75 years — we had the S2000 at 50,” Gardner said, referencing how the S2000 was revealed in 1998 in honor of Honda Motor’s 50th anniversary. However, he did hedge with a “Who knows …”
Honda Motor was founded in 1948 and started out making motorized bicycles and motorcycles. The S2000 roadster was a spiritual successor to Honda’s first passenger car, the two-seat, open-top sports car called the S500 that debuted in 1963.
However, it’s also possible that the sports car may not be an S2000 successor. In the 2030 EV roadmap, CEO Toshihiro Mibe specifically mentioned “specialty” and “flagship” sports cars. In Japan, a specialty car typically refers to sporty coupes like the Toyota Celica, Mazda MX-6 or Honda Prelude. However, an earlier report from Japan predicted that the specialty EV would not be ready until 2028 because Honda wants to put solid-state batteries in it and has stated the technology would not be ready until the latter half of the decade.
As for the flagship, that’s widely assumed to be the next NSX. Even before the second-generation supercar was sunset, Acura head Jon Ikeda was already hinting at an EV successor.
“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,” Gardner told Autocar. He also reaffirmed the company’s brand direction. “We will characterize 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’.”
If we had to bet, we’d guess that the curtain will be pulled back on Honda’s first EV sports later rather than sooner. A 2028 debut would still coincide with the company’s 80th anniversary. However, even if it’s not a new S2000 or Prelude, it seems that something still might be brewing for the 75th.