Honda S2000

The Honda S2000 is a two-seat, performance-oriented, pure roadster made from 2000 to 2009. This peppy little sports car aims to compete directly with vehicles such as the BMW Z4, Audi TT, and Pontiac Solstice GXP. It marks Honda’s first foray into the sports car market since the 1960s when the company produced the roadsters S500, S600, and S800.

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About the Honda S2000

The S2000 really has its own niche within the roadster class. It offers more power and better performance than the Miata, but lacks the luxury and the expense of the more upscale Z4, TT, or SLK. That gives the Honda roadster its own place in the market for buyers who don’t want to commit the funds for a seriously priced roadster, but still want some modicum of performance beyond the basic handling and limited power of more modestly priced vehicles.

The S2000 is a pure performance machine despite the lower entry price compared to more extravagant machines. The interior remains minimalist and the suspension racetrack ready. The near-perfect weight balance of 49/51 affords outstanding handling. Even the inline four-cylinder has an impressive output for its size; it proves comfortable with constant high revving and offers great durability even with constantly high rpms.

With production halted, the S2000 now falls into the collectible category, and buyers must seek out well-maintained used options. The unusual place occupied in the roadster market by this Honda entry hasn’t been filled by another car in production. That makes used examples all the more valuable and causes the late and well-kept cars to hold values that rival original suggested prices.

Honda S2000 Features

Even the basic appearance of the S2000 stands out from other competing roadsters. It has a distinctive wedge shape unique for its class. A longer wheelbase for a two-seater helps with handling. Later in the production run a trim option beyond just the base car became available. Known as the Club Racer, or CR for short, this model shows off more aerodynamic styling and body effects. The base model from later production years has a powered retractable roof with a glass rear window that includes a defroster. The base model also features lightweight 17-inch wheels, stability control, and HID headlights. A lightweight (44-pound) aluminum hardtop provides an option for the standard car. The CR option actually removes or changes things unlike trim packages that add options. It deletes the power top to reduce weight and adds a removable hardtop, track-oriented suspension settings, and a beefed-up structure for higher rigidity.

For a power plant, the S2000 uses a race-tuned 2.2-liter, inline four-cylinder that redlines at 8200 rpm. Honda employs its variable valve timing and lift system (VTEC) to squeeze 237 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque out of this small four-cylinder—quite a feat without turbocharging or supercharging. This couples with a short-throw six-speed manual transmission. The S2000 never used an automatic transmission, since it focuses on performance.

The S2000 interior speaks to the performance goals. It leaves behind any feature that can add weight in return for comfort or luxury. The small and Spartan cockpit of this two-seater is best described as minimalist. The steering wheel cannot adjust and the driver seat adjustments must be done manually. The shift knob is aluminum and leather and the pedals are aluminum. Everything helps the car perform by saving on weight. The trunk has five cubic feet of capacity, and a small compartment between the seats offers a little more storage space.

The model includes some basics such as keyless entry, leather seats, air-conditioning, and an eight-speaker CD audio system with XM satellite radio and optional speakers in the headrest. Music goes well with high performance, after all.

Interestingly, the CR version removes the keyless entry and stereo, once again as a weight-saving and performance-enhancing adjustment.

Roll bars behind the seats increase safety and give the impression of race-ready performance. In between the roll bars sits a clear acrylic wind deflector to help reduce cockpit turbulence.

Any car that has a trim package that removes features and comforts to save weight is serious about performance. A fun time driving matters above all else. The S2000 impresses with its tight and responsive steering, quick shifts, and high-revving power; it still behaves well even with less than expert drivers. The weight distribution makes for great handling and offers a remarkable amount of giddy-up for a four-cylinder. All of this comes with standard Honda features such as ergonomic and comfortable seats, and a respectably sophisticated ride for a sporty roadster.

Honda S2000 Evolution

After debuting in 2000, Honda gradually made improvements to the S2000 until it ceased production in 2009. In 2002, this vehicle saw improvements with the addition of a glass rear window with a defogger and some design changes including chrome taillight rings, a new shift knob, and silver trim in the cockpit. In 2004, Honda introduced the 2.2-liter engine to the S2000.

Select a Honda S2000 Year

2009 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

Driving does not have to be another chore.

2008 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

2007 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

2006 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

2005 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

The 2005 Honda S2000 gets a couple of new features dealing mostly with looks and lighting.

2004 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

The 2004 Honda S2000 is a two-seat roadster based on a concept car originally shown at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show.

2003 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

The 2003 Honda S2000 is a two-seat roadster with classic British style.

2002 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

The 2002 Honda S2000 is an open-topped, two-seat roadster that reflects its racing heritage.

2001 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

The 2001 Honda S2000 offers sports-car performance and engineering without charging a sports-car price.

2000 Honda S2000

Convertible, Sports

The 2000 Honda S2000 is like an athlete who’s been through very intense training for the Olympics.