As automakers adjust to the realities of a recession, we've seen rumors of many vehicle programs being cancelled. But until now, the cancellations have almost entirely focused on poorly-reviewed cars that weren't truly competitive within their segment of the market. Today, however, we've seen unconfirmed reports that Honda has cancelled the 2010 version of the S2000 sport convertible - a car consistently near the top of our affordable sports car ranking list.
The U.K.'s AutoCar reports, "Honda is completely dismantling its plans for the next two years as it attempts to deal with the rapid collapse in new car sales across the world. Among the casualties of Honda's rethink are a range of rear-wheel-drive cars to be sold under the Acura brand, a proposed V8 engine, a successor to the Honda S2000 and a convertible based on the forthcoming Honda CR-Z coupe." None of the other cancelled programs affects a vehicle currently on the market, but the decision does mean the S2000 "will die this year."
The automotive press has praised the S2000 since its debut, but the decision is not a complete surprise - convertible sales have been slow since 2007, and sports car sales are slowing as the recession deepens. Still, Autoblog writes, "needless to say, there's more than enough disappointment to go around."
One bit of good news for American buyers may come out of the decision. Honda has built two separate cars under the name Accord for years - one sold in the U.S. as the Accord, the other sold in Europe as the Accord and in the U.S. as the more upscale Acura TSX. Jalopnik reports, "It looks like the US could finally get the same Honda Accord as the rest of the world," with the European model coming stateside after 2010, and the TSX dropping from the lineup. If Honda keeps Accord pricing competitive with other affordable midsize cars, that could mean that an upscale Acura product will be available for Accord-like prices in 2010 or 2011.