Honda debuting Specialty Sports Concept — NSX? S2000? — at Japan show next month

The Japan Mobility Show, formerly the Tokyo Motor Show, starts in less than a month. Honda always makes statements at its home show, even if that just meant displaying a ton of products spanning a ton of possibilities. This year, Japan’s second-largest automaker is going to check all the boxes with three world premieres of new product, a wide variety variety, and plenty to see. Our primary interest starts with the debut of the Honda Specialty Sports Concept, an electric sports car “which will enable the driver to experience the pure joy of driving (driving pleasure) and transcend the constraints of time.” The debates have already begun as to what kind of car this might be: Reborn NSX? Or reborn Honda S2000?

The image above is from 2022, teased when Honda began going public with the large-scale electrification plans that will see the automaker exit internal-combustion powertrains by 2040. Let’s make it clear we have no idea if either vehicle in the teaser image has anything to do with what’s appearing in Japan next month. We only know that automaker CEO Toshihiro Mibe said last year that Honda is planning to put two electric sports cars on the market before the end of the decade, one a “specialty” model and one a “flagship.” The S2000 and NSX conjecture fits that description.

In support of the S2000 theory, watchers note that Honda introduced the S2000 partly as a celebration of the automaker’s 50th anniversary, and this year is Honda’s 75th anniversary. Also, the S2000 bowed in concept form at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show as the Sport Study Model (SSM). In support of the NSX theory, Acura teased a Performance Electric Vision Design Study one month ago with lines that looked a lot like we’d expect from a futuristic NSX. The NSX has historically favored U.S. introductions, however; the original debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the reboot debuted as a concept and later in production form at the Detroit Auto Show. 

Elsewhere in the Honda show booth, visitors will find lil guys like the Sustainia-C Concept. Shaped like an even dinkier Honda-e, the Sustainia-C’s body panels are made of recycled acrylic resin. Another four-wheeled offering is the CI-MEV, a “pod car” employing Honda’s cooperative intelligence (the “CI” in the name) and autonomous driving tech for “easily-accessible last-mile mobility.” This one sounds like another take on a share car, described as being “for those who are in situations that tend to limit mobility, such as when there is no public transportation or when people experience difficulty in walking a long distance.” 

Two-wheeler fans can throw a leg over the SC e: Concept, an electric scooter powered by two of Honda’s Mobile Power Pack e: swappable batteries. Visitors who don’t need roads where they’re going will be invited to check out a full-size interior mockup of the HondaJet Elite II light business jet and a gas turbine engine planned for use in a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

And the Honda Avatar Robot will be there, a remote-controlled automaton standing on the shoulders of Honda’s ASIMO that “will let users perform tasks and experience things remotely as if they are there in person.” Honda says the Avatar will have a “multi-fingered robotic hand;” it seems to us the word “hand” would have been fine if the Avatar had five fingers. The distinction makes us wonder what kind of 30-fingered, 6,000 keystrokes-per-second anime trickery we might be invited to witness. We’ll find out about these products and more in a few weeks’ time.

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