Honda S2000 knowledge, then you probably know two things: The first is that this high-revving roadster, first sold in late 1999 for the 2000 model year, was originally envisioned as a limited-edition model to commemorate Honda's 50th anniversary. The second is that after a 10-year model run (which, by the way, far exceeded the company's expectations — over 12,000 were sold worldwide in calendar year 1999, with 110,673 sold worldwide through 2008), the S2000 will cease production this year, the final car scheduled to roll off the assembly line at the end of June.
Due to a curb weight of just 2755 lb. and rear-wheel drive, the S2000 was a terrific twisty two-lane and track-day machine, with quick, well-weighted steering and a fairly neutral handling balance. But early cars gained a reputation for being a bit nervous at the limit, resulting in the occasional unintended oversteer.
The S2000's interior was both unique and sporting (also Spartan), focused solely on the art of fast driving. Interesting features included its half-moon bar-graph tachometer display, a large digital speedometer readout as well as bar-graph displays for fuel level and coolant temperature. This instrument panel was ahead of its time in 1999, and many thought it was the wave of the future. Honda kept this electronic setup throughout the S2000's 10-year model run, although the tachometer's graph was reworked into more of a quarter-moon for the 2004 model. The car also had supportive seats and a grippy, small-diameter leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel.
Although little changed on the S2000 throughout its 10-year run, 2004 saw updates to the engine and suspension. Addressing the S2000's anemic torque, Honda increased the engine's stroke to 90.7 mm for a gain of 181 cc, making it a 2.2-liter. High- and low-speed VTEC cam lobes were adjusted to make more productive torque, while the engine's redline was lowered to 8000 rpm. Peak power remained at 240 bhp, but was generated 500 rpm lower at 7800 rpm. Torque was increased from 153 lb.-ft. at 7500 rpm to 161 lb.-ft. at 6500 rpm. The ratios of the first four gears were also lowered to further improve acceleration. To address the S2000's nervous tail, the '04 model received softer rear springs, a softer rear anti-roll bar and altered geometry. Wider tires (215/45R-17s up front with 245/40R-17s at the rear, versus the original car's 205/55R-16 front, 225/50R-16 rear setup) improved grip, especially at the rear.
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