Come on Honda - Take on the Mazda Miata and Subaru BRZ with the Sports EV Concept
While we’re at it, let’s throw in the Toyota 86 and the new Toyota Supra tooby Robert Moore, on
One could argue that the sports car market is slowly deteriorating, leaving us with nothing but slightly faded memories of our illustrious past in which we would dream of owning cars like the Nissan 350Z, Honda S2000, Toyota Supra, or Nissan Skyline. But, those days might as well be gone as the Nissan Z line is in danger of becoming a badge for the SUV, the Skyline (for intents and purposes in the sports car market) is dead, Honda has remained quiet about an S2000 successor, and it seems like every day another SUV is born, and even taking the name of once awesome cars (think of the abortion on wheels known as the Eclipse Cross, for example.) With the EV evolution slowing taking shape, however, we can find new hope in a future where sports cars may once again reign supreme or, at the very least, maintain a firm hold in a market that we hold so near and dear to our hearts.
Regardless of your taste in sports cars, or ideal price point, you can’t deny the fact that the offerings for sports cars seem to be dwindling unless you’re willing to pay out the ass for something like the Nissan GT-R, or Mercedes-AMG GT, for example. Even the Nissan 370Z has been practically untouched for the last decade, leaving it as a poor choice even if you could afford one. But, we still have cars like the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins, and Mazda recently hit us with the new MX-5 Miata. BMW and Toyota are about to bring a new Z4 and Supra to the market within the next year, so you could say things are starting to look better, but we’re still missing something. I’m talking about, of course, the Honda S2000. And, while Honda hasn’t said a word about a successor, we could have already seen a glimmer of hope in the 2017 Honda Sports EV Concept. The question is, does Honda have the balls to step back into the compact sports car market? Let’s talk some more about it!
Is the Sports EV a Future S2000?
A specific segment or niche doesn’t need a lot of models competing
Whether or not Honda will ever announce a successor to the Honda S2000 remains to be seen, but it’s certainly got its eye on the compact sports car market as seen with the Sports EV Concept that it brought to the Tokyo Motor Show. Sure, Honda didn’t say much about it, and it is electric, but that’s the future of the automotive industry, right? Why couldn’t Honda jump back into the market with its first, dead-to-rights all-electric vehicle? Well, it damn sure could, and the Sports EV would be a prime competitor.
Take this scenario for example. Honda manages to give this baby a range of about 350 miles and motors capable of delivering around 300 horsepower while keeping the weight in check. It could be rear-wheel drive or even all-wheel drive – it could be optioned either way. As a coupe, it would take on the BRZ and 86 twins, or as a hard-top convertible it could take on cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, Toyota Supra, or the BMW Z4. The latter would require the sports EV to have a little more power at its disposal, and it would have to be luxurious enough to compete, but it could certainly pose a serious threat. A specific segment or niche doesn’t need a lot of models competing – manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW have proved that with their funky coupe-ish crossovers, wagons, and sportbacks – so there’s no reason why the market has to die now that we have replacements for the Z4 and Supra coming. If Honda put this sports EV into production – even with a gasoline engine – it could be on point when this niche is at its strongest, and it could claim itself a pretty decent chunk of the pie too.
Taking it a Step Further
Honda needs something to compete in the little sports car market again, and the sports EV will provide the basis
Let’s take the Sports EV Concept, and put it into production much quicker. I say, Honda keeps it front-wheel drive and drops the new Type-R drivetrain under the hood. Hell, it could do one even better and drop it into the rear, making it rear-engine, rear-wheel drive. That would be something, don’t you think? Think about this little compact with 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of turbocharged, four-cylinder, six-speed, three-pedaled Honda madness on tap. In the Civic Type R, that engine is enough to push the car up to 60 mph in as little as 4.9 seconds. It can also run the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds, with maximum speed (if you have a long-enough straightaway coming in at 169 mph. Take a lighter, more compact car like the Sports EV Concept with the same drivetrain, two seats, and plenty of weight reduction measures, and I bet that Type R engine will push it to 60 mph in close to four seconds, with the quarter-mile coming in less than 12.5 seconds. Top speed might even be a little higher too, but who cares about that – this little car will be fast, and that’s exactly what Honda needs. Honda needs something to compete in the little sports car market again, and the sports EV will provide the basis with battery packs or a gas tank – it doesn’t matter at this point as long as the brand does it.
2018 Honda Civic Type R Specs
|Engine Type||Turbocharged In-Line 4-Cylinder|
|Turbocharger||Single-Scroll MHI TD04 with Internal Wastegate|
|Boost Pressure||22.8 psi|
|Horsepower (SAE net)||306 HP @ 6,500 RPM|
|Torque (SAE net)||295 LB-FT @ 2,500-4,500 RPM|
|Fuel economy (City/Highway/Combined) (mpg)||22 / 28 / 25|
|Curb Weight (lbs.)||3,117|
|0 to 60 mph||4.9 seconds|
|Quarter-mile||13.5 seconds at 108 mph|
|Top Speed||169 mph|
Oh, How I want to see this Happen
Oh Honda, please please please make this happen. I would love to see the Sports EV come to market. I would even love to see it come to market as an according-to-Hoyle EV, but I’m willing to settle for getting it faster if you can just throw that Type R drivetrain under the hood. I’d really love to see it come in a rear-engine, rear-wheel configuration too. Will that ever happen? Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath, but having the Type R drivetrain up front or having it as an official EV that can take on the BRZ, 86, Z4 and Supra is well within the realm of reality. Someone over at Honda just needs to greenlight it and make it happen. Lord knows I’m waiting. What do you all think, though? Would the Sports EV be successful as a competitor against the cars currently on the market or about to be, assuming it delivers enough power? How about a rear-engined Honda? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Sports EV Concept.
Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.
Read more Honda news.