Back in the day, most automakers had some sort of fun sports car they made, and most sold like hotcakes, like the Mazda Miata. But today we’re not looking at a lot of different sports cars, we’re looking at the holy grail, the Honda S2000.
It was available between 2000 and 2009, and only two generations of the S2000 have ever been built (well, sort of), though we’re hankering for a modern version of that. They came in different shapes, sizes and of course performance options, but to this day it remains one of the best topless sports cars to ever exist because of its uniqueness, analog feel and most importantly the VTEC infused heart under its hood that does. think about the rear wheels.
10 A powerful naturally aspirated engine
Unlike modern turbocharged sports cars, the Honda S2000 was equipped with: a beautiful sounding naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine called the F20C, and eventually the F22C. Two different generations of the S2000 were built, one was called the AP1 and the other was called the AP2, and they both looked almost identical.
The AP1 was built between 2000 and 2003; it was less mature than the AP2, engulfing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. The AP2 was built between 2004 and 2009 and the displacement grew to 2.2 liters and produced the same amount of power but 6 lb-ft more torque. And how could we forget that the AP1 S2000’s powertrain had an incredible 9,000 rpm red line – that’s comparable to supercars like the Lexus LFA.
9 One of the best manual transmissions ever
Modern sports cars with a manual transmission and becoming scarce – well, with the exception of the new MK5 Toyota Supra and Nissan Z, of course – but back in the day it was almost a rarity to see one without it. There have been many great stick shift transmissions over the years, but all transmissions have come to the conclusion that the S2K has one of the best in the business.
The feeling when working through gears is like nothing else. It’s notchy, but in a good way, and once it settles into your chosen gear it’s almost glued to it, as if it blindly trusts your input – it’s also worth mentioning that there are 6 gears , and the throw in between is short, so not only can you hit that 9,000-rpm red line anytime, but it can actually be economical if you care about that sort of thing.
8 The magic recipe
There’s a saying that goes, “If it has a stick and sends its power backwards, you’re in the right car.” That’s actually an understatement regarding the Honda S2000, because it goes beyond that statement. It has perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a retractable top, and since it weighs less than 3,000 lbs, it’s light on its feet too.
Of course, there were other cars from the same era that followed the same contours as the Honda S2000, but they knelt before them for comparison. Speaking of…
7 Beat his competition
As we mentioned in our introduction, the S2000 was released in the mid-2000s and had some stiff competition like the Mazda Miata NB, but no doubt it didn’t stand a chance against the Honda. The Miata was definitely a fun car to drive, but the S2000’s great powerplant made it faster in a straight line and cornering.
Now the S2000 wasn’t incredibly cheap when it was first unveiled, costing over $30,000 at the time (although they sell for more these days), but even then it packed well above its weight class and dethroned cars like the Porsche Boxster.
When you set foot in the cab of the S2000… well, there’s not a lot of fancy technology if we’re honest – but that’s a good thing. The S2000 was meant to be a driver’s car and its sole purpose in life was to put a smile on your face.
The cabin was plastered in plastic, the leather sports seats looked quite normal, were thin and only manually adjustable. The handlebars were also fixed, but it was purposely built and kept small so that all your view wouldn’t be blocked from witnessing its digital gauge cluster. Even the track width was minimalist. Sure, it showed all the essentials, like your fuel level and temperature, but its focal point was to show how fast you were going and what level your tachometer was at.
5 Nice, timeless feeling
Compared to modern cars, the S2K can still hold its own. It could hit 60mph from a standstill in 6 seconds, which is quite respectable, but sadly not nearly as fast as today’s performance SUVs.
Either way, the S2000 constantly blessed you with a sense of ecstasy, no matter the speed.
As you could have judged from the interior layout of the Honda S2000, this Japanese sports car wastes no time with unnecessary gimmicks or party tricks. It gets to the point and diverts your attention where it is needed.
It follows the same formula when we look at the engine – aside from Honda’s VTEC technology, of course – and the retractable roof, albeit electronically, is also extremely easy to use. Oh, and who can forget Honda’s bulletproof engineering so you know it will last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance?
3 Special Editions
Over the years, there have been three strikingly unique versions of the Honda S2000, namely the Type V, the CR, the GT, and the Type S. The most popular of the bunch was the CR, which stood for Club Racer.
Built for the United States only, the S2000 CR was a track version of the S2K with a sportier body kit, removable hardtop, giant wing and stiffer suspension while keeping the engine unchanged.
2 The symbol of a forgotten time
It looks like a 2000s sports car, it drives like a car, it sounds like one, and that’s all why it’s loved to this day – it’s a timeless piece of automotive ingenuity.
We cannot emphasize this enough; if you can afford to buy an S2000, do it, before the prices get too absurd.
1 Endless aftermarket potential
In their stock form, the S2K was perfect, but being a Japanese sports car at heart, tuners couldn’t keep their hands off them. This resulted not only in owners building their S2000s to meet their exact requirements, but also for some tuning companies to sell their own body kits for it.
Just look at the black Honda S2K of Johnny Tran from Fast & Furious for example. There really is an S2000 for everyone.