Tough times force Honda to cancel S2000 replacement, RWD Acuras

The global economic downturn and complete collapse of the new car market has already shelved a number future vehicle plans, with several more on the cutting room floor. Honda announced late last year that its highly anticipated Acura NSX successor was officially dead, and now come word that several more Honda products are dead in the water.

According to the UK's Autocar, the turbulent global economy has forced Honda to cancel its rear-wheel drive Acura plans. Acur's rear-wheel drive program was developing legitimate competitors for BMW's 3-, 5- and 7-Series sedans, but those future models have officially been canned. Acur's first true BMW competitor was slated to hit the market in 2015 and would have taken on the BMW's flagship 7-Series.

The demise of Acur's rear-wheel drive program also means the death of the company's V8 plans. Acura was developing the new engine for use in its rear-wheel drive models -- which would have given the Japanese automaker equal footing with the rest of the world's luxury automakers - but development has been stopped for good on the bent eight.

Although Hond's Acura brand will be hit hardest by the cuts, even some more economical Honda models will feel the squeeze. A convertible version of Hond's upcoming CR-Z hybrid sports car has been wiped from the board and Honda is said to have completely abandoned plans to replace its aging S2000 with the rumored S3000.

Although Hond's product cuts seem pretty deep, it's probably not the last we'll hear on the subject. There is also talk of Honda merging its two Accord models (one for the U.S. and the other for global markets), with several other future plans still up in the air.