Honda ventured into the world of sports with its introduction of the S2000. This was the company’s first serious performance car which had roots on early S models like the S500, S600, and S800. The maximization of speed and power was among the common praises the car gets from owners and critics. The S2000 was designed to compete against the Mazda Miata and the BMW Z4. After 10 years and two major models, the car was the perfect roadster for anybody looking for the simple joys and pleasures of driving a car. Even if the S2000 is no long in production, its reputation as one of the best is unshakeable.
First model (2000-2003): AP1 without a turbo
To get a good idea on why the S2000 has such a reputation, one simply needed to check the engine to see what all the fuss was about. Honda’s F20C engine, a 2-L, four-cylinder DOHC-VTEC, powered this car with 240 horsepower. This strong engine needed to reach almost 9,000 RPM before it reached the red line. In other words, for a car to reach those numbers, it needed a turbocharger kit—which to everyone’s surprise, the S2000 didn’t have. It was unbelievable power from such a small package. Its X-bone frame and monocoque chassis provided enough stability and control for handling. There may be some issues with a rough ride and some interior shortcomings, but overall, it was truly a car ahead of its time. It was only fitting that America responded positively.
Second model (2004-2009): AP2 improvement ‘till the end
If the mind-blowing F20C engine wasn’t enough, Honda came out with the new and larger F22C1. A longer stroke and increased displacement may have reduced the engine to 237 horses and an 8,000 RPM redline, but these were a step to making the car even better. A revised six-speed manual, with a clutch release delay valve, harnessed this power. Bigger tires and a tweaked suspension lessened oversteer and the bumpy ride. There were also non-mechanical upgrades received: an improved stereo, a glass rear window with a defroster, leather seats, and keyless entry system. For the serious racer/driver, a CR (Club Racer) trim was offered. An aluminum top was offered as well in place of the standard convertible.
Because of diminishing sales, in part because of the economical crisis in America back in 2008, Honda released the last S2000 during the 2009 model year. The car still had beastly powerhouse, aggressive and forgiving handling, and stylish looks: qualities that have made it a hit with owners. There are words buzzing about an updated S2000 in the near future, but these are only rumors without concrete details.