Best Honda Sports Cars – Defining Excellence Over the Years

Published On: March 1, 2024Last Updated: March 1, 2024
Honda Sports Cars

The widely recognized automotive brand, Honda proudly leads in the global production of internal combustion engines and motorcycles. Astonishingly, despite their remarkable production stats, Honda is often overlooked in sports car discussions. Prioritizing safety, efficiency, and reliability, Honda’s sports car lineup is comparatively smaller. Nevertheless, the brand has created iconic sports cars that resonate with enthusiasts.

Today, I will share the coolest Honda sports cars that have achieved legendary status in the automotive world.

Top 9 Honda Sports Cars for Speed Enthusiasts

1. Honda S660

Honda S660

Honda has a rich legacy of crafting compact sports cars, with the S660 being relatively the latest addition, introduced exclusively in Japan in 2015. Despite initial speculation about a global version, the JDM S660, limited to 63 horsepower and a 660cc engine, stayed within Japan due to its modest performance. However, its agility in corners compensated for its restrained acceleration.

Boasting a mid mounted engine and a six speed manual transmission, the S660, tailored for Japan’s winding roads, gained popularity, with over 30,000 units sold by its 2022 retirement. Similar to the Honda Beat, it is poised to evolve into a cherished cult classic, offering an affordable, diminutive roadster embodying the essence of pure driving pleasure.

Key Features:

Powerplant660cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine
Max Power63 hp
Max Torque77 lb-ft
0 to 60 miles per hour11.7 seconds
Max Speed109 mph
Transmission6-speed manual transmission; 7-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT)

2. Honda Prelude Type SH

Honda Sports Cars - Honda Prelude Type SH

An often overlooked sports car in the Honda lineup, the Type SH has gained a dedicated following among enthusiasts. Boasting a refined design and chassis, these old Honda sports cars stand out with its Active Torque Transfer System and a naturally aspirated 2.2L DOHC VTEC inline-four engine. With 200 horsepower and 156 pound feet of torque, it offers spirited driving dynamics, enhanced by a proficient five-speed manual gearbox.

While not a racing champion, the Type SH has found favor among amateur racers in club events. Its growing popularity stems from impressive performance, tight handling, and unwavering reliability, making it a sought after choice among Honda aficionados.

Key Features:

Powerplant2.2L DOHC VTEC Inline-Four
Max Power200 hp
Max Torque156 lb-ft
0 to 60 miles per hour7.0 seconds
Max Speed140 mph
Transmission5-speed manual

3. Honda CRX Si

Honda CRX Si

The Honda CRX Si may not have been the speediest in its prime, but its distinctive features have elevated it to collectible status, outlasting its peers. Derived from the Civic with a sportier design inspired by the Alfa Romeo Junior, the Si variant, boasting 108 horsepower in the U.S., proved popular with buyers due to added features like a sunroof.

Debuting in 1985, it quickly became a sales hit. While now a sought-after classic with rising resale values, prices remain relatively affordable, starting at $15,000. Notably, the CRX secured SCCA GT-4 class victories from 1985 to 1987, solidifying its racing legacy.

Key Features:

Powerplant1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder
Max Power108 hp
Max Torque100 lb-ft
0 to 60 miles per hour9.4 seconds
Max Speed127 mph
Transmission5-speed manual transmission

4. Honda 1300

Honda 1300

Despite Honda’s automotive struggles in the 1970s, the often-overlooked 1300 stands as a remarkable sports car, making waves with its exceptional engineering. The sedan variant pioneered mass-production Hondas with an air-cooled engine, while the coupe popularized the innovative Mohican structure now embraced by many cars.

Honda’s engineers crafted the 113-hp 1.3-liter inline-four engine to outperform rivals like the Toyota Corona, setting standards for the legendary Civic through design evolution and reverse operation in auto production tech.

Key Features:

Powerplant1.3-liter inline-four engine
Max Power113 hp
Max Torque83 lb-ft
0 to 60 miles per hour9.8 seconds
Max Speed115 mph
Transmission3-speed automatic transmission; 4-speed manual

5. Honda S800

Honda Sports Cars - Honda S800

Manufactured from 1966 to 1970, these Honda sports cars marked a significant era for the automaker. Inspired by the success of the S600, this sports car boasted a remarkable 9500rpm rev, earning the title of Honda’s highest revving vehicle.

With a sleek two-door design and options for a coupe or roadster, the S800 blended Japanese ingenuity with British sports influences. Its impressive DOHC inline-four engine, producing seventy horsepower, made it Honda’s first car to reach 100 mph.

The S800 not only excelled on the road but also proved its mettle in endurance races at Suzuka and Nurburgring. With 11,536 units produced, it became a sensation, contributing to Honda’s reputation for well-engineered, performance-oriented vehicles.

Today, the S800 is revered among collectors and enthusiasts for its historical significance and unique engineering features.

Key Features:

Powerplant791cc inline-four engine
Max Power70 hp
Max Torque48 lb-ft
0 to 60 miles per hour11.9 seconds
Max Speed100 mph
Transmission4-speed manual transmission

6. Honda S2000

Honda S2000

The Honda S2000 stands as a pinnacle in JDM prestige, rivaling iconic models like the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R and modified Toyota Supra. Revered as a top-tier open-roof two-seater, its 2.2liter four cylinder engine, belting out 237 horsepower, propels it with a distinctive roar. While not a muscle car, its power delivery distinguishes it as a 21st-century performance marvel.

With a sleek design, the S2000 boasts flared arches and a poised stance, especially in the S2000 CR variant, featuring a unique removable roof and a commanding rear wing. Despite limited practicality and firm suspension, the driving experience from the well-designed cockpit overshadows such concerns.

Initially equipped with a 2.0-liter F20C engine, the S2000 later transitioned to a 2.2-liter mill, sacrificing some RPMs for increased torque. Despite modest acceleration and a need to hit VTEC at 6,000 rpm for optimal performance, the S2000 remains impressive. Its 6-speed manual transmission and mid-five-second 0-60 mph sprint contribute to its appeal.

Beyond the road, the S2000 boasts a stellar racing reputation, excelling in series like the Super Taikyu Endurance Championship and the British GT Championship. In 2004, it set records at Japan’s Tsukuba Circuit, solidifying its status as one of the fastest production based cars on the track.

The S2000’s remarkable performance and balanced chassis have endeared it to both everyday drivers and racing enthusiasts alike.

Key Features:

Powerplant2.2-liter DOHC VTEC four-cylinder engine
Max Power237 hp
Max Torque162 ft-lb
0 to 60 miles per hour6 seconds
Max Speed153 mph
Transmission6-speed manual transmission

7. First Generation Honda NSX

Honda Sports Cars - First Generation Honda NSX

In 1990, Honda released the NSX. It was an influential sports car that reshaped the supercar landscape through a blend of aesthetics, potency, and ingenuity. Equipped with a 3.0L V6 engine, generating 270 horsepower, the NSX showcased a streamlined design, a featherweight aluminum frame, and advanced suspension for superb handling.

Introducing variable valve timing and a drive-by-wire throttle system, it excelled in equilibrium and driving pleasure. Honda’s precise engineering achieved almost flawless weight distribution, and the inventive aluminum monocoque chassis provided unmatched strength. Prioritizing driver ease with a well-designed cockpit, advanced climate control, and excellent visibility, it proved practical for daily use.

Its 1992 Le Mans triumph and championship victories entrenched the NSX as an enduring symbol, showcasing Honda’s dedication to pushing automotive limits.

Key Features:

Powerplant3.0L DOHC V6
Max Power270 hp
Max Torque210 lb-ft @ 5,400 rpm
0 to 60 miles per hour5.2 seconds
Max Speed109 mph
Transmission5-speed manual / 5-speed auto

8. Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R (Honda Sports Cars)

Thrills fuel the Honda Civic Type R. Developed for dominating tracks and urban roads alike, this amped-up rendition of the standard Civic hatchback exclusively features a spirited 315-hp turbocharged inline-four and a six-speed manual transmission. This one of the best street racing cars exhibits impressive grip, hugging the asphalt like a steadfast double-yellow line.

Despite elevated road noise, the vibrant red carpet and coordinated seats in every Civic Type R deliver top-notch comfort— though the automaker reserved the heated seats for the CTR’s sibling, the Acura Integra Type S.

While the Civic boasts a notably lower initial price tag, both the CTR and Integra Type S secured Best Car Awards last year. The Type R is certainly not among the cheapest sports cars around.

Key Features:

PowerplantTurbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Max Power315 hp
Max Torque310 lb-ft
0 to 60 miles per hour5.3 seconds
Max Speed170 mph
Transmission6-speed manual transmission

9. Second-Generation Honda NSX

Honda Sports Cars - Second-Generation Honda NSX

Although it is the fastest car from Honda, unfortunately, it does not get a place in our lists of fastest cars under 10k and fastest cars under 20k.

Also Read: 11 Best Used Luxury Cars Under 30k

Acura’s top tier model isn’t a spacious sedan or a fully loaded SUV. It’s the 2022 NSX Type S sports car, featuring a hybrid powertrain. Combining a twin turbo V-6 with three electric motors results in rapid acceleration, and the system allows for silent electric-only driving to avoid disturbing neighbors.

While competitors like the McLaren 570S and Mercedes-AMG GT prioritize sharper handling or more raw power, the NSX excels in everyday usability. However, drawbacks include an outdated cabin and infotainment system, along with limited interior storage space.

Despite limited racing achievements, the NSX triumphed in various events, including the 2017 Road Americas Pirelli World Challenge Championship and the Long Beach Grand Prix GT class in 2018.

Key Features:

Powerplant3.5L DOHC Twin-Turbocharged V6
Max Power600 hp
Max Torque492 lb-ft
0 to 60 miles per hour2.9 seconds
Max Speed191 mph
DrivetrainUnder 3.0 seconds
Transmission9-speed Dual-Clutch

Final Words

In the diverse US sports car market, Honda stands out with affordable, reliable, and surprisingly fun options. Despite lacking the conventional sports car allure, their punchy engines, manual transmission choice, sporty interiors, and mainstream appeal make them a smart buy for American consumers. While cabin quality may not be top-notch, the great safety and reliability ratings, coupled with affordable pricing, outweigh the limited model and body style options.


What are the top Honda sports cars?

While the Civic inherently provides an enjoyable ride, it transforms into a genuine sports car in Si form. The lineup now includes the Type R hatchback, enhancing both performance and cargo space, albeit at the cost of rear-seat room.

What is the price of new Honda sports cars?

The cost of the Civic Si sedan is slightly above the phased-out coupe version, yet it stays reasonably priced at just under $30,000. On the flip side, acquiring all the power and enjoyment from the new Type R requires a substantial investment, around $45,890 to be precise.

About the Author: Mujahid Khan Jatera

Mujahid, a lifestyle blogger, is a passionate explorer who loves to travel. With a keen interest in luxury automobiles, he exemplifies a strong business mindset and entrepreneurial drive.

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