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COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW: HONDA S2000 (1999 to 2009)

COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW: HONDA S2000 (1999 to 2009)
In this review, I’ll be covering the Honda S2000. Why Honda S2000?
It’s because I was drawn to the car after watching Initial-D Stage-4 Anime. In Act 23 and Act 24 of the Anime, the S2000 RACED against the main character Takumi’s Trueno AE86.



WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, Here’s the Specifications of Honda S2000.

Performance
0-62mph: 6.2 seconds (5.9 secs – F22C)
Top speed: 150mph (155mph – F22C)
Emissions: 236g/km




Engine & transmission

Engine:
Code: AP1, F20C – 1999 to 2004 (AP2, F22C – 2004 to 2009)
Four-cylinder inline petrol engine mounted longitudinally in front. (F22C Same)
Drivetrain: Rear wheel Drive (F22C: Same)

Cubic capacity (cc): 1997 (2156cc)
Valve gear: Four valves per cylinder (16v). (F22C Same)
Compression ratio: 11.0:1 (EU) / 11.7:1 (JP) (F22C: 11.1:1)
Bore x stroke:
87.0 mm (3.425 in) x 84.4 mm (3.323 in) – F20C
(87.0 mm (3.425 in) x 90.7 mm (3.571 in) – F22C)

MAX Power/Torque:

F20C
240ps@8300rpm (EU) / 250ps@8300rpm (JDM)
207Nm@7500rpm (EU) / 218Nm@7500rpm (JDM)

F22C
237 bhp (177 kW; 240 PS) @ 7,800 rpm (US/EU)
239 bhp (178 kW; 242 PS) @ 7,800 rpm (JDM)


Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox with Limited Slip Differential (LSD) – (F22C Same)
Chassis & running gear

Gear ratios: (F22C)
1st: 3.133 (same)
2nd: 2.045 (same)
3rd: 1.481 (same)
4th: 1.161 (same)
5th: 0.970 (0.943)
6th: 0.810 (0.763)
Final drive: 4.100 (same)
Reverse: 2.800 (same)
Secondary gear reduction: 1.160 (1.208)






Brakes: (F22C Same)
f: 11.8 in (300 mm) ventilated discs
r: 11.1 in (282 mm) solid discs
4-wheel/4-channel ABS

Suspension:
Independent Double Wishbone front and rear suspension with stabilizer bar with coil springs & dampers


Steering: Electric Power assisted steering.


Dimensions & weights

Length (mm): 4135
Height (mm): 1270
Width (mm): 1750
Wheelbase (mm): 2400
Cargo volume (litres): 143
Kerb weight (kg): 1271
Fuel tank capacity (litres): 50


FUEL CONSUMPTION:
Octane Rating 91 AKI / 95 RON (98 RON recommended) City 18 mpg-US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg-imp) (US EPA)
20.6 mpg-imp (13.7 L/100 km; 17.2 mpg-US) (UK) Highway 24 mpg-US (9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg-imp) (US EPA)
35.3 mpg-imp (8.00 L/100 km; 29.4 mpg-US) (UK) Combined 20 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg-imp) (US EPA)
28.2 mpg-imp (10.0 L/100 km; 23.5 mpg-US) (UK)

END OF SPECIFICATIONS...

In Malaysia, Honda Malaysia DID NOT BRING IN any units officially. ALL Honda S2000 you see in Malaysian roads were GREY Imports with AP. Tough luck, A peek inside Issue 465 to 470 (Ie. last 6 issues)  of Motortrader Magazine/s, Malaysia = 0 UNITS of S2000 available in the Market. A used Honda S2000 is FREAKING RARE. If there’s one on sale, it’s BUYER’S Market (ie. Buyer determining the Price of the car).

As usual, I don’t have a unit to test and brag about. All is not lost, I dished out 6 reviews from ALL OVER THE WORLD. TWO MAIN Reviews (1 from Carpages UK and the other from GoAuto Australia) followed by 4 “Owner’s review” sourced from Carsurvey.org.

ENJOY:

REVIEW 1: from The UK. SOURCE: http://www.carpages.co.uk/honda/honda-s2000-review-part-1-05-03-05.asp
Published: 5th March 2005

The Honda S2000 was released in 1999 to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary and has evolved from four decades of motorsport expertise. The S2000 is built at the same plant as the Honda NSX in Tochigi - Japan and is subject to the same meticulous build process. Virtually every component is unique to the S2000 and designed for outstanding performance.

With competition in the form of the Audi TT, BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK and the Porsche Boxster we tested the S2000 to find out if Honda's front engined, rear wheel drive, high performance roadster can out perform Germany's finest.

How It Drove - Performance

The S2000 is powered by Honda's 2.0 DOHC VTEC engine which produces 240 PS @ 8,300 rpm enabling it to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds and continue to a top speed of 150 mph.

This 'race-bred' normally-aspirated, four cylinder engine races to 9000 rpm before hitting the rev-limiter - without resorting to turbocharging and it conforms to some of the toughest emissions legislation in the world.

From the moment you press the red starter button you know you are going to experience something special. Up to 5000 rpm the car feels docile but once over 5500 to 6000 rpm all hell breaks loose.

As the engine speed builds the note changes progressively becoming more urgent and more like a motorbike accelerating and it is certainly addictive echoing Honda’s decades of involvement with high-revving Formula 1 and CART ChampCar race engines. The transmission tunnel is located directly under your left arm and after a particularly vigorous workout the heat rises from the centre of the car.

The short-throw shift action six-speed manual transmission is superb offering light and precise gearchanges. The clutch is extremely well weighted and it is a pleasure to change gear. The only downside is that to keep hearing that incredibly raucous engine note you have to use the car and that can easily put you over the speed limit - be warned driven without restraint this car is a licence breaker!

The engine is remarkably flexible even at low speeds thanks to the latest generation of Honda’s VTEC variable valve timing. Around town the S2000 is easy to drive and compliant with most road surfaces, even pot holes which it negotiates without breaking your back.
The 2004 model is equipped with ventilated front disc brakes, rear disc brakes and ABS (anti-lock braking system) ensuring that the S2000 stops reassuringly well.

How It Drove - Ride/Handling

The Honda S2000 is a car that begs to be driven and the more you drive it the more addicted you become.

Honda have engineered a superb driving machine and with such high performance capability the S2000 demands a competent chassis to harness and efficiently exploit that power on the road. The rigid body, advanced in-wheel double wishbone suspension and good weight balance are complemented by well weighted and direct electric power steering and powerful, progressive brakes.

Conventional hydraulic power steering systems require a pump driven off the engine which can sap power by as much as 5 PS as well as adversely affecting fuel economy. For this reason the Honda S2000 is equipped with electric power steering (EPS) which only absorbs electrical energy when required.

The S2000’s compact dimensions and low weight result in outstanding agility. The engine is situated at the very back of the engine bay in the quest for a low centre of gravity and an optimum weight balance for balanced handling. Occupants sit behind the car’s overall centre of balance, and close to the centre of the rear axle giving the driver a feeling of being closely connected to the car.

The high level of stiffness provided by the high X-bone frame body structure ensures consistent suspension geometry alignment; and suspension technology that builds on Honda’s racing experience all combining to provide advanced chassis control.

A torque-sensing limited slip differential is standard as a guard against wheel spin in tight corners - we would like to see ESP (electronic stability programme) available as standard (with an option to disengage) as a rear wheel drive vehicle with 240 PS can be a little tail happy in inexperienced hands especially in poor weather conditions.

Ease of use

The Honda S2000 is a very easy car to drive and manoeuvre. Visibility is very good with the rood down although it is a little more difficult to reverse park with the roof up.

The electrically operated hood is very easy to use simply release the two over-centre catches on the windscreen header rail and press the rocker switch located on the centre console - all in all it takes about six seconds - annoyingly this can't be done on the move at low speed. However, once we discovered the joy of open top motoring the roof mostly stayed down.

The cabin is uncluttered, ergonomically laid out and the controls are easy to use. The instrumentation is in digital numerals which is much easier on the eye and the fuel and rev counters display in arcs, in keeping with the S2000's F1 relatives.

The S2000 is equipped with high performance, high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps which are twice as bright as halogen bulbs. They use a high voltage current and a bulb filled with Xenon gas to produce an output much closer to that of daylight. Some manufacturers call them Xenon headlights.

To ensure that the headlights are aimed accurately at all times, an automatic adjustment mechanism is provided. This consists of an ECU that continually monitors the car’s attitude via suspension - mounted sensors, adjusting the headlamp aim to reduce the risk of dazzling oncoming motorists.

A word of warning don't wash the windscreen whilst stationary with the roof down as the powerful headlight washers will project washer fluid over the cabin and in your face.

The trim materials have been checked for susceptibility to degradation from ultra-violet light and they have also been selected for their resistance to the occasional rain shower that may be encountered whilst driving before an opportunity can be found to raise the hood.

On a practical level the Honda S2000 is equipped with a large illuminated boot with 160 litres of space, digital odometer (trip), central locking, remote keyless entry, boot release in the locking centre console & a 12 V power outlet, the key fob incorporates a boot release button which is much easier to use, 'bee-sting' aerial, glass heated rear screen, a pair of hooks is provided on the rear bulkhead behind each seat and a space-saver spare tyre is stored horizontally on the right and inset into the forward boot panel.

Storage is minimal with 2 small mesh door bins, a storage net in the passenger footwell, a locking centre console (replacing the glovebox freeing up space) and a centre console storage tray incorporating twin cupholders.

Safety and Security

The following safety & security equipment is standard on the Honda S2000 Roadster:
Dual front SRS airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), high level rear brake light, headlight washers, front ventilated disc brakes, rear disc brakes, roll-over protection, anti-roll bars, rolling code ECU engine immobiliser, remote keyless entry, central locking, Thatcham category 1 alarm system (interior monitoring), boot release in locking centre console and a torque-sensing limited slip differential.

Comfort and Refinement
 
The S2000's cabin is snug with just enough space for two people. Head room is OK with the roof up but could prove problematic for the taller driver - with the roof down head room is not a problem.

Leg room is excellent and the seats provide generous fore and aft as well as rake adjustment. There is no adjustment for seat or steering wheel height - one size fits all but we did not find it to be a problem.

The seating position is low but with wide opening doors the S2000 is surprisingly easy to get in and out of. The standard leather sports seats are comfortable and supportive and feature integral head restraints which echo the shape of the individual roll hoops. The seat belts pass through a guide on the side bolster to place the webbing conveniently to hand.

Thanks to careful aerodynamic tuning of the cabin and the wind deflector positioned between the seats, turbulence is kept to a minimum during open top motoring.

In terms of refinement the Honda S2000 is equipped with electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, manual air conditioning, front electric windows, leather and alloy gear knob, leather wrapped steering wheel, foot rest, a heated rear screen and an illuminated passenger vanity mirror.

We would like to see an auto-dimming rear view mirror as standard because the car is so low headlights from vehicles behind can prove distracting and tiring.

How It Looks - Exterior

The Honda S2000 is a beautifully proportioned car which is elegant and sporty and in our opinion slightly reminiscent of the Porsche 944 at the front. Unlike some convertibles the S2000 looks just as good with the roof up or down.

A few subtle changes have been made with new-shape front and rear body coloured bumpers, body coloured door mirrors, new 'triple-beam' headlights, LED rear lights and dual oval shaped exhaust tailpipe outlets. The sole S2000 identification is on the front wings alongside the side indicators.

17" allow wheels and 215/45 (front), 245/40 (rear) tyres are standard.
We would prefer to see an aerial integrated into the front windscreen.

How It Looks - Interior

The interior styling of the Honda S2000 is based around a pure sports theme which is simple but purposeful and does not distract from the driving experience. The cabin exudes a high level of build quality but some of the switchgear feels a little dated.
The black interior plastics were of a good quality and are enhanced with brushed aluminium trim.

The leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob are tactile and the digital instrumentation is black when the ignition is off, but illuminates once the key is turned.

The S2000 features drilled aluminium pedals for added sports appeal and embossed kickplates.

Leather sports seats and matching leather door inserts are standard. The leather upholstery and carpets were of excellent quality and should prove durable in the long term.

In Car Entertainment and Satellite Navigation

Integrated single slot CD tuner with RDS radio, front speakers, tweeters and remote stereo controls. This system does the job but is not particularly inspiring and is fiddly to operate. The stereo is hidden behind a brushed aluminium effect panel.

Rivals

Audi TT Roadster, BMW Z4 Roadster, Mercedes-Benz SLK & Porsche Boxster

What We Liked (+ve)

Performance
Raucous engine note
Handling
Powerful HID headlights
Gearbox
Comfortable seats
Styling

What We Disliked (-ve)

Having to stop to put the roof up
Dated switchgear
Stereo controls fiddly to operate

What We'd Like To See

Tiptronic gearbox
ESP or even just traction control
Side airbags
Better weather to enjoy the car all year round with the roof down
An auto-dimming rear view mirror and wing mirrors

Note: The S2000 won the 'International Engine of the Year Award' in 2004 in its respective size category for its phenomenal 2.0 engine.

Value For Money

The Honda S2000 Roadster is excellent value for money with impressive levels of standard equipment. Hondas are among the slowest depreciating cars and the S2000 is a very desirable car - expect residuals to be around 60% after 3 years.

Overall Opinion

The Honda S2000 is aimed at the sports car purist and is guaranteed to stir the emotions of performance motoring enthusiasts everywhere.

The engine is superb but does require you to be in the right gear/power band at the right time to fully exploit the power to its maximum. The engine and exhaust notes are addictive and can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and raw power pushes you back in your seat when accelerating hard.

The lack of ESP and Traction Control is a concern especially in the wet as the rear wheel drive S2000 can be unforgiving in inexperienced hands.

After appearing in the 2001 film 'The Fast And The Furious' the S2000 became every adolescents fantasy and in Imola Yellow pearlescent the car attracted a lot of attention from this age group. With the roof down around town this can be a bit intrusive and if you are feeling less than extrovert either put the roof up or consider buying the hard top GT version. The hardtop can be removed when not required to reveal the soft-top underneath.

Honda S2000 Road Test Conclusion

Performance: 4.5/5
Ride and Handling: 4/5 
Ease of Use: 4.5/5 
Safety and Security: 3/5 
Comfort and Refinements: 3.5/5 
Interior Styling: 4/5
Exterior Styling: 4.5/5
In Car Entertainment & Navigation: 3/5
Build Quality: 4/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall 79%

End of UK review, I now present you Australian Review (GOAUTO Australia).

 (Model release date: August 1999)


Overview

HONDA'S S2000, like any worthwhile new car, takes us places where no-one has ventured before - in this case, to new heights of normally aspirated power.

With 176kW from two litres, the Honda's engine is perhaps the most brilliant of the decade, delivering the greatest specific power output of any normally aspirated engine used in a road car.

And unlike the company's very first attempt at a sports car, the S2000 has a chassis well matched to the engine's towering capabilities.

The icing on the cake is that the S2000 doesn't cost the earth.

An in-your-face challenge to BMW's Z3, and even Porsche's Boxster.

 The Car


The S2000's 2.0-litre engine has the highest specific power output of any normally aspirated production engine.

The engine uses new-generation Honda V-TEC design with roller bearing camshaft followers helping reduce friction by as much as 70 per cent. Honda says the new V-TEC design is as compact as a single-camshaft engine

All-aluminium engine and bonnet reduces overall weight and maintains optimum weight bias

Power steering relies on electric rather than hydraulic assistance, while a torque-sensitive limited slip differential helps transfer power to the road effectively

S2000 uses a four-wheel disc, anti-lock braking system, with air-conditioning and electric windows and rear view mirrors also standard

An optional perspex wind-blocker fits between seat headrests to minimise cabin buffeting with windows down. The electrically-operated roof raises or lowers in six seconds

Dual airbags are standard and built-in roll bars are located behind the seat headrests
Alloy rear wheels are one inch wider than the 16 x 6.5-inch front wheels

The S2000 uses a 'high X-bone' frame that raises the axis of rigidity higher than regular open-top cars to increase torsional rigidity and prevent scuttle shake
High intensity discharge headlights offer improved low-beam vision at night

The six-speed manual transmission has a short 36mm shift stroke and uses a triple-cone synchroniser on second gear to cope with the extra stresses imposed on that gear.
The boot contains a space-saver spare


Our opinion

We like (+ve)

Superb engine, excellent chassis

Room for improvement
Takes the minimalist theme maybe a little too far. A clock, and a cruise control would have been nice

By TIM BRITTEN 07/12/1999

TWO litres and 176kw?

Wow - is it a twin turbo or a single turbo?

What, normally aspirated? Yeah, right - and Jeff Kennett has joined the ACTU ...

Even if you didn't drive Honda's S2000, you would have to be impressed by the figures. That 176kW is a towering figure for a non-turbo 2.0-litre, never bettered by any road car, past or present.

And the 9000rpm red line is the sort of thing you would expect to see on a motorbike, not a car.

Of course if any car-maker was to produce an engine like this, it would have to be Honda. The company has a history of squeezing big power out of small engines, right back to its first sports car, the S600.

The little two-seater may not have matched the MG Midget of the time in general capabilities but it was notable for using an engine way ahead of anything else in the small car class.

Twin overhead camshafts, roller bearing crankshaft and four carburettors were a lot to squeeze into a half-litre engine - quite a contrast with the simple 1.1-litre pushrod engine used by the reigning champion of small sports cars at the time.

Honda today is of course a rather different company to the motorcycle manufacturer turned car-maker of the 1960s - and the S2000 equals a lot more than just a superb, class-leading engine.

The entire car shows the hand of a master sports car designer. From the X-bone framed monocoque chassis that shows no evidence whatsoever of torsional flex, to the 50-50 weight distribution and the well tuned double wishbone suspension, the Honda shows no evidence of corner-cutting in its design - much like the exotic, no-compromise NSX with which it shares a special production line near Tochigi, 100km north of Tokyo.

Designed to carry two people and no more, and reeking of minimalism inside - there's no clock, no cruise control, virtually no space for oddments and very few instruments - the S2000 could be presented as the pure essence of a sports car.

About the only concession to present-day sensibilities is the quick fold electric roof that goes from shut to open in about six seconds.

No, what this lithe little car (it is slightly bigger and heavier than an MX-5) does is aim to please the driver in every possible way.

Not accidentally, the cockpit brings to mind open-wheel racing cars with its tight but comfortable fit, digital instruments and hunkered-down seats. Peering out from inside this Honda at a set of traffic lights, cyclists tower overhead and it is almost possible to reach down and touch the pavement - an exaggeration, but it is hard to bring to mind a car that sits passengers as close to terra firma as the S2000.

The driver is presented with a tight little instrument display showing just engine temperature, fuel level, engine and road speed - all digitally. As it turns out, we are generally not fond of digital instruments at Driver' Seat and we do not particularly like the Honda system, except for the bar-graph style tachometer that actually works quite well. The digital speedo, on the other hand, is constantly annoying and does little to hinder excursions into illegal speed zones.

That happens all to easily with the S2000. The 176kW engine is only asked to haul along 1259kg and is eager to demonstrate its rpm abilities. The driver is constantly being sorely tempted.

A few words about this engine.

Like the S500 - which became the S600 after only a few months - it uses twin overhead camshafts and has four cylinders, but begins to depart radically after that.

The chief source of its phenomenal power output is the VTEC camshaft management system. Used elsewhere across the Honda range, including the NSX, the system basically allows race engine tuning and regular tuning to be embodied in one application.

The camshaft has two profiles, one for low-speed performance and one for top-end performance.

Aided in the S2000 by technology such as roller bearing rocker arms for reduced friction, direct ignition with a separate coil for each cylinder, sequential fuel-injection and a straight-port inlet manifold - as well as a general friction reducing program that has brought losses down by as much as 70 per cent - the system switches from regular to full-bore VTEC mode at 5850rpm, on its way to a 176kW power peak at a soaring 8300rpm.

The torque, not unexpectedly, comes high in the operating range too, way beyond where most normal engines have long given up. Its respectable 208Nm is produced at no less than 7500rpm.

Because this might indicate an intractable engine impossible to drive at low rpm, the important thing here is to observe the actual torque curve. Herein there is something of a revelation because the high-strung 2.0-litre is actually quite generous in torque output as low as 2000rpm, where it is already producing a quite healthy 175Nm. This low-speed torque means an awful lot as far as general driveability is concerned.

The all-alloy engine is quite compact in dimensions too. Honda embarked on an extensive space-saving program that included the cylinder head (as small, Honda claims, as some single-camshaft cylinder heads), camshaft drive (by chain for compactness) and single-plane serpentine drive for water pump, alternator and air- conditioning compressor. The use of electric power-assistance also does away with the bulky power steering pump.

Along with its six-speed, short-throw gearbox it sits - well back to help achieve the 50-50 weight balance - into what Honda describes as a high X-bone frame designed to give greater torsional strength than normally found in convertibles. Where open-top cars usually have all their strength lower in the structure, the Honda's axis of rigidity is raised higher, closer to where it is located in a closed body design.

The result is a body free of the scuttle shake that is the bane of most open-top cars and a general feeling of tightness most uncommon in this genre.

The S2000's chassis and braking are ground-up developments too. Suspension is by an extremely compact double wishbone arrangement, helping maintain the low centre of gravity and allowing the swooping, aerodynamic front end.

Of course all this barely touches the surface of the development work that has gone into the S2000.

What is important is the way it works and it is here that the whole glorious concoction comes together in a way that makes one wonder why it should be necessary to spend so much on a European equivalent.

The Honda's stance on the road, for a start, is compact but menacing in a chiselled sort of way. It has the ultra-low Honda bonnet line and a sweep of angles and curves best seen in metallic colours like the silver of our test car. The back end has a broad-shouldered presence, magnified by the twin tail pipes emerging from either side of the moulded bumper.

Inside, there is precious little room to move around but at the same time there is no shortage of legroom for taller drivers. The seats offer nothing so frivolous as electric, or even height adjustment, but it seems drivers from short to tall are able to find a perfectly comfortable position - even without an adjustable steering wheel.

That little leather-covered wheel fits the hands nicely, providing a clear view through to the minimal instruments, and there are neat little toggle levers on the panel itself that control heater fan (on the left) and radio volume (on the right).

The radio itself is concealed behind a hinged cover (helping the minimalist look) while at the back of the armrest-height transmission tunnel is a small, lockable compartment not quite as big as a regular glovebox.

Therein lies probably the biggest criticism of the S2000. There is precious little cabin storage space - no glovebox, no door pockets - and while we understand the nature of this car and its intended usage, surely it would have been possible to find the odd cubby here and there. Even a couple of small lidded bins in the doors would have been nice. The only oddments container apart from the lockable bin is a net hanging off the transmission tunnel on the passenger's side.

But enough of the beefing. What's the S2000 like on the road?

Well, for a start, here we have a sports car, not too expensive, that actually lives up to expectations in terms of outright performance.

Nothing in the soft-top category in this price range is able to stop the watches the way the S2000 does. Honda says it will run the standing 400 metres in 14 seconds which, if it is accurate, is very fast regardless of what you are driving.

The 176kW engine, despite the capabilities of the chassis, is the heart of the car and dominates the driver's awareness at all times. Its abilities are readily accessible through the slick shifting six-speed gearbox and a sharp but smooth clutch.

Expectations of a notably two-stage power delivery are not realised for the car is surprisingly tractable at low engine speeds, noticeably raspy and accelerative at medium to high rpm and shriekingly fast once the VTEC comes into operation at precisely 5850rpm.

At first it may seem the S2000 may be one-dimensional - a fast, challenging car with pin sharp handling, powerful brakes and a brilliant engine. But a couple of days driving in all sorts of conditions from peak-hour commuting to slippery, twisty, empty mountain passes shows the car is an amenable companion almost regardless of how it is used.

The alloy-topped shift lever moves through a tight six-speed pattern with slick precision, which is a significant part of the driving experience because the S2000's real abilities can not be experienced without entering into a dialogue with the gearbox. The ratios are tightly spaced so moving up through the gears with reasonable forcefulness keeps the engine in its best working range.

Digging deeper into the engine's reserves reveals VTEC in its full glory.

The higher-lift camshaft comes in with a very audible snarl and the bar graph tacho climbs swiftly towards that impossible 9000rpm red line.

By this time, virtually regardless of the gear, the car is moving very swiftly indeed and the driver has no choice but to revel in the ultimate feeling of involvement that comes from being in charge of a highly tuned, communicative and capable performance car.

The S2000's road grip encourages confidence too.

The perfect weight distribution gives the Honda a neutral attitude when pushed. It sits tight and flat, generating convincing G-forces and easily flicked straight if the rear end shuffles out slightly.

The steering is close to perfect, very fast with only 2.4 turns from lock to lock and nicely weighted to communicate what the front wheels are doing. The S2000 is not, however, for ham-fisted dolts; rather, it is a car that rewards precise driving.

And the powerful brakes are a stab of the pedal away, reassuringly in control and significant contributors to the car's overall feeling of competence.

About the only downside of the handling is a peculiar unsettled feeling from the back end when being driven with reasonable verve around tight roundabouts. We did not resolve the cause of this but suspect it may be a function of the torque-sensing limited slip differential sending inordinate power through to the weighted outside wheel. At higher speeds, on less tight corners, the Honda feels beautifully balanced and controllable.

But no words can really portray the sensation of driving fast in the S2000. It comes as close as current technology allows to offering the experience of driving a race car on the road. It has all the ingredients, except it offers surprising ride comfort and is really quite cosseting as far as the cockpit environment is concerned. What noise there is, is far from unpleasant (though some drivers found the engine sounded more harsh than expected) and the optional wind-blocker between the headrests minimises top-down buffeting to a surprising degree.

The light weight, electrically-operated top raises or lowers with amazing speed although it does suffer the disadvantage of a soft plastic rear window.

There is a decent boot as well, shaped to carry more soft luggage than expected and containing a space-saver spare tucked high between the passenger compartment and rear firewall.

Those who are after a genuine, no-compromise soft-top sports car for two need look no further than the Honda S2000. It has the sheer performance to take on most serious operators, backed by Honda design integrity, and is not priced ridiculously.

There are plenty of reasons to seriously consider whether it is necessary to go European for your next thoroughbred sports car.

And that red starter button on the right side of the instruments is a novelty that actually works.

MECHANICAL:


End of Review 2. from GOAUTO Australia.
http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/18CDF9C400F0A2CDCA2569FC0000EF25

Year to Year Changes (North American Markets)
(SOURCE: http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/
2000-to-2009-honda-s2000-7.htm)

2001 Honda S2000: Floormats, a rear wind deflector, clock, and in-trunk emergency release became standard in the sports car's second season. Indy Yellow was a new color choice, too. Fewer than 5,000 S2000s were being built annually for sale in the U.S.

2002 Honda S2000: A glass pane with defroster took the place of the prior plastic rear window in the Honda roadster's power-operated soft top. The six-speed gearbox was reworked in an effort to provide smoother, quieter shifts. The interior gained extra aluminum trim and a restyled console, and a leather-wrapped gearshift knob replaced the previous alloy piece. Revised taillights held chrome rings.

Suzuka Blue joined the color palette, and the stereo system gained power.

2003 Honda S2000: A tan interior was now available on white cars.

2004 Honda S2000: The S2000's engine grew from a 2.0 4-cyl, to a 2.2 liter in 2004. Also, 17-inch wheels now replace 16s, front and rear bumpers are restyled, and the S2000's suspension tuning got a revision.

2005 Honda S2000: Honda's sports car is unchanged for 2005.

2006 Honda S2000: An antiskid system was the main 2006 addition to Honda's sports car.

2007 Honda S2000: S2000 carried over unchanged.

2008 Honda S2000: The 2008 Honda S2000 got a new model aimed at club racers. The S2000 CR came equipped with a removable hard top, track-ready suspension tuning, and added body cladding.

2009 Honda S2000: The S2000 carried over virtually unchanged for its final model year.







END OF SOURCE...

That’s all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this ULTRA LONG Review.


REFERENCES:
1) http://www.carpages.co.uk/honda/honda-s2000-review-part-1-05-03-05.asp
2) http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/18CDF9C400F0A2CDCA2569FC0000EF25
3) http://www.carsurvey.org/reviews/honda/s2000/
4) Initial-D Anime, Stage 4 – Project-D, Chapter 23-24.

1 comment:

Han Yang Lim said...

hi

can you please share if one wants to get one, how can one go about doing it in malaysia? is it possible to have someone scout for a reconditioned car maybe in Japan?

thanks
mr Lim