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Honda to axe S2000 sportscar

Screamer: The S2000’s naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine goes all the way to 9000rpm.

Honda kills off 'limited-edition' S2000 convertible after nine years

Honda logo27 Jan 2009

JUST weeks after Honda cancelled the devlopment program for its next-generation NSX supercar, the Japanese car-maker has announced it will discontinue its S2000 roadster this year.

Built as a celebration of the Japanese brand’s 50th anniversary, the Honda S2000 is a spiritual successor to the S500, S600 and S800 roadsters of the 1960s.

Honda said the S2000, introduced in 1999, was only ever meant as a limited-run model but was popular enough to ensure a longer production life.

Australian Honda dealers have just three S2000s left in stock, but Honda Australia says it will take orders for the high-revving machine until the end of April.

More than 110,000 S2000s have been sold in 64 countries, with about half going to the US.

Australians have bought 1818 S2000s, although demand waned after the first few years.

Honda Australia sold 596 S2000s in 1999, 521 in 2000, 308 in 2001, 164 in 2002, 79 in 2003, 39 in 2004, 40 in 2005, 30 in 2006, 26 in 2007 and 15 last year.

The S2000 was unlike anything else on the road when it was introduced.

Producing 176kW from a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder was quite an engineering feat. Its 9000rpm redline was one of its most endearing features.

It was also one of the first modern sportscars to feature a ‘start’ button, something that is now a common feature in mainstream models.

The S2000 was introduced at $74,990, while the price stands at $73,590.

At this stage, Honda is not prepared to discuss if it has plans for an S2000 replacement, although it appears unlikely that such a car would arrive any time soon.

With the NSX and S2000 out of action, Honda will be left without a dedicated sportscar - at least until the arrival of the CR-Z coupe, which is being touted as the spiritual successor to the popular CR-X.

At this stage Honda is talking about the CR-Z as a hybrid model, but there is hope a sportier model will also be part of the line-up.

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