Honda S2000: Motorweek Retro Review (video)


Was the Honda S2000 a perfect modern roadster?  When the car first came out, it had all of the elements, lightweight, rigid chassis, a high revving engine, a sweet shifter, and tremendous steering feel.  Every response or communication from the car was shared with every input with the driver.

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At 240bhp with a 153lb.-ft. of torque, the car felt plenty quick.  Even with a soft top convertible, the chassis felt stronger than most modern cars on the road.  Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy a 9,000 rpm redline with Honda reliability?

Later versions had changed ratios with the six-speed transmission and a smidge more torque mid-range.  The redline dropped to 8,000 rpm.  It’s stratospheric compared to most modern cars, but some prefer the 9,000 rpm redline.

With a slightly more conservative suspension, the revised S2000 was easier to live with as a daily driver.

The Honda S2000 makes for a perfect second or third car.  With Honda reliability, a sports chassis, and good power, the S2000 was able to provide purist driving feel at much more humble pricing compared to more exotic Porsches and other cars.  While many cars can be found with high mileage, there are cars that can still be found with few, if any, modifications.  Depreciation didn’t hit this car like it would another, as a 2000 model year could still be found between $6,000 to $10,000 depending on miles and condition.  Not bad for a 15 year old car.

That may seem expensive for an older vehicle, a Porsche Boxster of varying years and condition can be found for the exact same price. While the Boxster offers mid-engined thrills and far more torque out of a flat-six motor, the S2000 provides a level of security and potentially higher thrills than the Porsche.

I had my eyes on a mid-90’s Mr2 and Mr2 Turbo for years.  I’ve owned a couple.  Now, it looks like I should turn my attention elsewhere.