Honda S2000 (1999-2009)
The Honda S2000 is a legendary sports car that has captured the hearts of automotive enthusiasts worldwide since its introduction in 1999. With its sleek design, rev-happy engine, and engaging driving dynamics, the S2000 has become an iconic model in Honda’s lineup. In this blog post, we will delve into the history, model variations, features, cost, performance, and current values of the Honda S2000, highlighting its unique characteristics that make it a true standout in the automotive world.
The Honda S2000 was first introduced in 1999 as a two-seater convertible roadster, paying homage to Honda’s rich heritage of sports cars, such as the S500, S600, and S800. The “S” in S2000 stands for “Sport,” while the “2000” denotes the car’s 2.0-liter engine displacement. The S2000 was positioned as a performance-oriented model, featuring a rear-wheel-drive layout, lightweight construction, and a high-revving engine, setting it apart from other sports cars on the market.
The first-generation S2000 (AP1) was produced from 1999 to 2003, featuring a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine that produced 240 horsepower and revved up to an impressive 9,000 RPM. It featured a six-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, and a fully independent suspension, making it a true driver’s car. The AP1 S2000 was known for its sharp handling, precise steering, and exhilarating driving experience.
In 2004, Honda introduced the second-generation S2000 (AP2), which received several updates to improve its performance and handling characteristics. The AP2 S2000 featured revised suspension tuning, improved aerodynamics, and a redesigned engine with a slightly larger displacement of 2.2 liters, producing 237 horsepower and still revving up to 8,000 RPM. The AP2 S2000 also received a facelift with updated exterior styling and a revised interior.
Throughout its production years, the Honda S2000 was offered in various trim levels and special editions, adding to its appeal among enthusiasts. Some of the notable model variations of the S2000 include:
- Base Model: The base model S2000 was well-equipped with standard features such as leather seats, power windows and mirrors, a power-operated convertible soft top, air conditioning, and a CD player with a six-speaker audio system.
- CR (Club Racer): Introduced in 2008, the S2000 CR was a special edition model designed for track enthusiasts. It featured a more aggressive suspension setup, lightweight components, and a removable aluminum hardtop for improved rigidity. The CR model also had a unique aerodynamic body kit, lightweight alloy wheels, and deleted some of the comfort features like the audio system and air conditioning to save weight.
- 10th Anniversary Edition: Produced in 2009 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the S2000, this special edition model featured unique cosmetic enhancements such as exclusive color options, special badging, and a unique interior trim. The 10th Anniversary Edition also came with additional standard features such as the CR’s suspension components, unique alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler.
- GT Edition: Sold exclusively in the Japanese market, the GT Edition S2000 featured unique exterior styling elements, such as a front spoiler, side skirts, and a rear wing, along with upgraded brakes, suspension, and exhaust system for improved performance.
Features and Technology
The Honda S2000 was known for its impressive list of features and technology that contributed to its performance and driving experience. Some of the notable features of the S2000 include:
- High-Revving Engine: The heart of the S2000 was its engine, which was a naturally aspirated inline-four with a remarkable redline of 9,000 RPM (in the AP1 model) or 8,000 RPM (in the AP2 model). This engine produced an impressive power output per liter of displacement, resulting in a thrilling and exhilarating driving experience.
- Six-Speed Manual Transmission: The S2000 came exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, allowing for precise gear shifts and maximum driver involvement. The transmission was known for its smooth and precise operation, contributing to the overall driving enjoyment of the car.
- Rear-Wheel Drive Layout: The S2000 featured a rear-wheel-drive layout, which provided excellent handling characteristics and a balanced weight distribution. This configuration, combined with the car’s lightweight construction, contributed to its agile and responsive handling on the road.
- Limited-Slip Differential: The S2000 was equipped with a limited-slip differential, which helped to distribute power evenly to the rear wheels and improve traction during spirited driving or track sessions. This feature helped to enhance the car’s performance and stability, particularly during cornering.
- Fully Independent Suspension: The S2000 featured a fully independent suspension with double wishbones at all four corners, providing excellent handling dynamics and a smooth ride. The suspension was tuned to provide a sporty and engaging driving experience, allowing for precise control and feedback from the road.
- Convertible Soft Top: The S2000 came with a power-operated convertible soft top that could be lowered or raised quickly and easily. The top featured a glass rear window with a defroster, and when lowered, it stowed neatly behind the seats, providing an open-top driving experience.
- Advanced Safety Features: Despite being a performance-oriented sports car, the S2000 also came with a range of advanced safety features, including dual front airbags, side-impact airbags, antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
- Audio System: The S2000 came with a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and AM/FM radio. Some models also had additional features such as satellite radio, a subwoofer, and an auxiliary input for external audio devices.
- Interior Comfort and Convenience: The S2000 featured a well-appointed interior with leather seats, power windows and mirrors, air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and aluminum pedals. The cabin was designed with the driver in mind, with a focused and sporty layout that provided easy access to all controls.
Cost of the Honda S2000
The Honda S2000 was positioned as a premium sports car, and as such, it had a relatively high cost compared to other Honda models. The cost of a brand new S2000 varied depending on the model year, trim level, and optional features, but it generally ranged from $34,000 to $40,000 for the base model. Special edition models, such as the CR or the 10th Anniversary Edition, were priced higher due to their limited production and exclusive features. As with any vehicle, the prices of used S2000s can vary depending on factors such as mileage, condition, and location.
Significant Achievements and Racing History
The Honda S2000 has had a significant impact on the automotive industry and has achieved notable successes in various areas. Some of the significant achievements and racing history of the S2000 include:
- Engine Technology: The high revving engine of the S2000, with its impressive redline and power output per liter of displacement, was a technological marvel at the time of its release. It set new standards for high-revving, naturally aspirated engines and gained recognition for its performance capabilities.
- Motorsports Success: The S2000 has had a successful history in motorsports, particularly in various racing events and competitions around the world. It has competed in events such as the Super GT series in Japan, where it has achieved multiple podium finishes and class victories. The S2000 has also been a popular choice for grassroots racing, autocross, and track day events due to its performance and handling capabilities.
- Records and Awards: The S2000 has set several records and received numerous awards throughout its production years. In 2000, the S2000 set a Guinness World Record for the highest engine revolutions per minute (RPM) for a production car at 9,000 RPM. The S2000 has also received accolades for its performance, handling, and overall driving experience from various automotive publications and organizations.
- Enthusiast Community: The S2000 has developed a passionate and dedicated enthusiast community around the world. Owners and fans of the S2000 appreciate its performance, handling, and timeless design, and often participate in various events, meetups, and online forums to share their experiences and knowledge about the car.
Current Values and Market Trends
As with any vehicle, the value of the Honda S2000 has evolved over time and is influenced by various factors such as supply and demand, condition, mileage, and market trends. As of the time of writing, the S2000 is considered a modern classic, and its value has been steadily increasing in recent years.
The AP1 (2000-2003) models, with their higher-revving engine and classic design, tend to command a higher price in the used car market compared to the AP2 (2004-2009) models. The limited-production special edition models, such as the S2000 CR and the 10th Anniversary Edition, are often sought after by collectors and can command a premium price due to their exclusivity.
In general, well-maintained, low-mileage S2000s in good condition tend to hold their value well, and prices can range from $20,000 to $40,000 or more depending on the model year, trim level, and overall condition. Modified S2000s with aftermarket upgrades or modifications may have different values depending on the quality and extent of the modifications.
It’s worth noting that the S2000 has a strong aftermarket and tuning community, with many owners modifying their cars to enhance performance or customize the appearance. However, modified S2000s may have different values depending on the quality and extent of the modifications, and potential buyers should carefully evaluate any modifications made to a used S2000.
The Honda S2000 is a legendary sports car that has made its mark in automotive history. Its high-revving engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, and outstanding handling capabilities have earned it a reputation as a driver’s car and a favorite among automotive enthusiasts. With its unique design, advanced features, and impressive performance, the S2000 continues to captivate car enthusiasts and remains a sought-after vehicle in the used car market. Whether as a weekend toy, a track day weapon, or a collector’s item, the Honda S2000 continues to be a true automotive icon that represents Honda’s commitment to engineering excellence and driving enjoyment.