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Monday, January 26, 2009

It's Official - Honda Kills S2000

Honda's long-in-the-tooth, but always entertaining, S2000 sports car will not live on passed the 2009 model year, the automaker announced today to little surprise. The car first made it to U.S. shores back in 1999 as a limited edition in celebration of the brand's 50th anniversary, but was later permanently integrated into Honda's lineup as a result of overwhelming consumer and industry praise. The S2000 was the automaker's last true rear-wheel drive sports car and will likely be known as such for a few years, as the automaker is emphasizing smaller, more fuel efficient models in its upcoming product cycle.

2009 Honda S2000

According to Honda number crunchers, the drop-top four-cylinder has sold around 110,000 units since 1999 in 65 countries -- with about 65,000 of those sales coming from the U.S. alone.

Honda recently revamped the already nimble, high-revving model with a track-oriented edition labeled the S2000 CR (for "Club Racer"). As its name suggests, the car features a lighter, stiffer chassis setup, unique aero bits, as well as a small (unofficial) bump in power designed specifically for circuit duty. In either stock or CR form, the Honda drop top S2000 never failed to put a smile on our faces while pushing hurriedly through the twisites or cruising idly on PCH.

2009 Honda S2000 CR

Honda's been making the news lately with its surprising portfolio adjustments in the wake of poor global sales and associated weak profit margins. The Tokyo-based automaker recently stopped all Formula 1 racing operations, cancelled the near-production-ready NSX supercar, and reportedly nixed its next-generation eight-cylinder -- all in favor of adopting more fuel efficient passenger vehicles. As such, no plans for a S2000 successor have been revealed, but it's largely believed Honda's upcoming CR-Z hybrid car will try to fill the sporty void left by the venerable S2000.

Stay tuned for more news on Honda's future model portfolio.

Source: Honda