After the Del Sol failed to grab buyers’ attention and the S2000 pretty much fizzled into nothingness after nine model years, Honda shelved its roadster-building practices for a few years. That being said, in a speech today, Honda’s CEO, Takanobu Ito, has announced that the automaker will again dive into the roadster-building realm, just not as deep as it was before.
According to his statements, Honda will release a new roaster in 2014, but there are two problems here. Problem No. 1, this roadster will only be available in the Japanese market, making us wonder if an S2000 successor will ever show up. Problem No. 2 is the fact that this new roadster will be based on one of the Honda’s “mini-vehicle” models. In other words, we are looking at something along the lines of a Geo Metro LSi convertible – if you even remember that slouch – not an S2000 successor.
According to Ito, this new roadster will feature “strong vehicle dynamics,” which sounds promising, but could ultimately be the typical automotive lip service. From what this sounds like, Honda is planning to actually produce a version of the EV-STER Concept that has been rumored to hit 60 mph in just 5 seconds and have a total electric range of 100 miles – okay, so maybe it’s a little cooler than the Metro LSi, but still not an S2000 replacement.
Given Honda’s tendency to let models hover in Asia for a while before releasing them worldwide, we anticipate that this new roadster will make its way to the U.S. after about two or three successful years. If it fails in the Japanese market, Honda will simply fold it up and act like it never happened.
Now for the big question; what will Honda name this new roadster? Will it bring back the much maligned Del Sol name or maybe finally cater to the purists that want the CRX name back so badly that they can taste it? We doubt that either name will make a comeback, but it would be kind of cool to see the CRX name again. The Del Sol, eh, not so much…
Click past the jump to read the full summary of the speech.