ST TROPEZ, FRANCE - Honda will launch its S2000 sports two-seater across all main European markets in September.
The S2000 - the spiritual successor to the S800 of the 1960s and 1970s - has already proved a huge success in Japan, where the waiting list stretches to next January.
It is built at the Takanezawa plant in Tochigi, Japan, alongside the NSX.
Like the NSX, the rear-wheel-drive S2000 will be constructed at a series of workstations by a number of specialist teams. Honda stresses that the car is hand-built, and not assembled on a traditional production line.
Honda expects to sell 3,000 units in Europe during the S2000's first 12 months on the market, with 800 scheduled for the UK, 500 for Germany, 300 each for France and Switzerland, and 200 each for Italy and France.
Following lengthy testing on European roads, Honda increased the rigidity of the S2000's chassis by 50 percent. Engineers claim the roadster's body is as rigid as a closed-bodied car.
The location of the engine - behind the front axle - gives the car enhanced stability, a low center of gravity, and 50-50 weight distribution.
The four-cylinder VTEC engine produces 120hp-per-liter, which Honda claims is a record for a mass-produced, normally-aspirated engine. It delivers a maximum 240hp at 8,300 rpm, giving the S2000 a 0-100kph time of 6.2 seconds.
Honda engineers say they preferred the race-bred features of a high-revving engine to a turbocharger.
The S2000's panels are made of steel, with the exception of the aluminum hood. The soft-top lifts and stows electrically, with the operation taking eight seconds.