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Old 08-26-2007, 07:54 AM   #1
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Drove a buddy's S2000 last night

And I'm impressed.

First the negatives: It feels rougher than the Boxster. It's definitely noisier, both from the road and the engine. You can feel a lot more engine vibration, even cruising at 35mph through a neighborhood.

The positives:

The clutch throw is maybe 3", and the shifter also has a very short throw and is very solid! I was impressed, as those both make the car feel more like a racer. (makes me want a STS!) Buddy's car had a trumpet intake, so when winding it up through the revs, at about 6k, it opens up the second cam profile and the engine roars! It sounds like a Ferrari! And DAMN, revving that thing to 9000rpm and shifting is amazing! People talk about the S2000 not having any torque until higher revs.. well, you GET to those higher revs SO damn fast, you'd never know that there was less torque! I have to say that little car HAULS ASS!

It also has a pushbutton start, and the top goes down in 4 seconds!

The fun part of the drive - We're heading back to my buddy's house since he's kinda drunk (I was fine, never drink and drive kids!). So I'm winding it out, feeling the pull of the engine... He tells me to take a curve like I would in my car... So I come up on a right turn lane from a four lane road to another four lane road, and go into the turn at maybe 40 something MPH. It's turning great, but as I get to the apex, the back tires lose grip! I beautifully countersteer and catch it, but the tires don't grip!! I can't remember if I gave it throttle or not, but the back end reversed it's swing and I tried to countersteer again, but it was over, the car went around. I hit the clutch, but I think the engine already stalled... the attitude of the front wheels had the car do a J turn after the back became the front, and we ended up pointing pretty much the way we needed to be.

The problem was the rear tires on the car are almost gone! With good tires, I bet that car would have gripped and ripped through that turn! Buddy swore right there that he was ordering new tires TODAY! He also complemented me on how I handled the car through that event. I just wish I had been able to throttle out after the first oversteer event! It was also good that there was NO ONE around. I wouldn't have taken that turn if there were anyone around.


All in all, the S2000 is a pretty good little roadster. I'd rate it more toward the track use end than the Boxster, because it's noisier and there's more vibration from the engine. I now have some serious respect for that car!
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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Good write-up, Fray. I've always liked the S2000's. Honda makes a good roadster. Props to you saving the car, too. I hope that I'd be able to do the same thing in a similar situation.
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Old 08-26-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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I dont like em. Its an overpriced 4 cylinder honda IMO
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Old 08-26-2007, 04:12 PM   #4
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s2000's suddenly loose grip and spin out. Ive seen them on skid pads and slaloms going all hunky dorry, then a sudden spin. Its the cars design, not the tires IMO, or the driver.
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Old 08-26-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boggtown
s2000's suddenly loose grip and spin out. Ive seen them on skid pads and slaloms going all hunky dorry, then a sudden spin. Its the cars design, not the tires IMO, or the driver.
Well, I bet fresh rubber wouldn't HURT!

Maybe there's something goofy with the suspension? I did feel the car pull to the right a little under WOT. Felt like torquesteer to me, but it's RWD. hmm...
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Old 08-26-2007, 05:22 PM   #6
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I've never driven (or owned) a Honda/Acura that I didn't like. They're always light, responsive and fun, oh and build to last too.
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Old 08-26-2007, 05:29 PM   #7
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My brother has a beautiful s2000 and I must say it is a great car. It could use alittle more tire and alittle more interior space. If I didn't drive a car that had the porsche factor built in I would buy the honda.
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Old 08-26-2007, 05:29 PM   #8
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My impression is that they generally handle very well and the precision of the gear box is great (probably the cars greatest strength) - much more precise than my Porsche's.

However, they are buzzy and there is no torque. They're absolute dogs unless you like living above 6,000rpm and drive it like you stole it all the time it's not a particularly enjoyable car (for me anyway). But, when you get it in it's sweet spot it goes quite well (although I'd never compare/confuse it's sound to that of a Ferrari's, nor do I think anyone else would). Then there is the styling, which, to me, is the basic equivalent of a Civic convertible. The styling looks like that of a cheap car.

Bottom line, they are pretty capable cars but they'd never make it to a short list for me.
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Old 08-26-2007, 05:47 PM   #9
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Fine car and a good value too!

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Old 08-26-2007, 07:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-RAD
although I'd never compare/confuse it's sound (s2000) to that of a Ferrari's, nor do I think anyone else would.
I agree a 4 cylinder honda doesnt sound anything like a v8-v12 ferrari.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:29 PM   #11
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i was gonna comment on the ferrari sound too....
i like those cars as well
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:17 AM   #12
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I bought a new 2005 S2000 and put about 12,000 miles on it. The 2004+ were retuned a bit and had a little more torque and a slightly lower redline than the earlier S2K's, but it was still very much like a high-performance motorcycle engine.

There were a few things I loved about the S2000.
-build quality
-handling (with one exception)
-clutch and shifter were the best I've ever used
-fast (as long as you keep the tach in the VTEC range)

What I didn't like:
-Cockpit was too snug. OK for commuting and spirited drives, but not very comfortable for long trips. It was very tight and claustrophobic with the top up.
-Noise. Engine sounded great when you're shifting at 7500 RPM and playing Michael Schumacher, but it got tiresome when you're not flogging it. The tires were also noisy, particularly with the top up.
-Stereo sucked. I think it's even worse than the Boxster
-No traction control (became standard in 2006)
-Handling (the exception). Even with new tires, the rear tires would break away without much warning. I bought mine in December, and the first morning I drove it to work it was about 40 degrees outside. I had driven about one mile, and I made a left turn at fairly high speed...not a dangerous speed, but about as fast as I would have taken the turn in other vehicle (an Acura MDX).

I made it half-way around the turn and the rear tires kept going . I spun it 180 degrees right in the middle of the road. I was EXTREMELY lucky.... didn't run off the road, didn't hit anything. The only damage was the sphincter wrinkle in the driver's seat.

I never spun it again, but I certainly understood that this was a serious car that was in desperate need of a stability management system.

The Honda was fun, but I like my Boxster (2001 S) more. The Porsche is much more comfortable and attracts more attention. The only thing I really miss about the S2000 is the shifter.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:08 AM   #13
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I knew i wasnt crazy, thanks for confirming dave. You should buy an ebay short shifter for like 60 bucks, it really makes a difference if you install it correctly.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:13 AM   #14
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I used to own a 2005 S2000 and really enjoyed the car. I thought it was a very well built car and pretty much a bargain for what it cost.

A few folks have commented on the lack of torque and I guess I have a different opinion on that. It does have to be driven hard to be enjoyed, but that can be said of almost any 4 cylinder or small 6 cylinder variant sports car.....they like the revs. I thought the car had plenty of torque if driven properly. I see the issue come up from time to time on the net and I'm just about convinced it comes from those that have never spent much/any time behind the wheel of one or those that are accustomed to bigger motored cars that can be shifted at really low rpms......what's the fun of that.

On the handling, yes, the car is prone to snap oversteer at the limit. It's designed that way. That's the fast way to get around the track in the hands of an excellent driver. The S2000 is in it's element there. I can see how someone not paying attention or just plain inexperienced on how to handle something like that could have trouble. Of course, there's another car that's legendary for it's race-track prowise and it's need for an excellent driver to keep the snap oversteer away at the limit.......it's called a 911. Completely different cars but similar in that regard.

If I had more garage space, I'd still have my S2000.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:31 PM   #15
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I love the shifter in the s2k. I thought it was broken when I first sat down.

You need to drive the car like a maniac to really enjoy it. It's not a z06, so don't expect that roller coaster feeling when you floor it.

Now if only it didn't look like a Civic with the roof cut off.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:39 PM   #16
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A friend I'm staying with in San Antonio during Boxstoberfest has an S2000. He's very comfortable driving the car way too fast and he knows how to extract every little bit from it. In fact, he's comfortable enough with the oversteer that he induces it on purpose. What can I say? The guy can drive.

I've tried replicating the power-on oversteer in the Boxster and can't really do it properly.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:30 AM   #17
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Our cars are just too well balanced. Damn!

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Old 09-01-2007, 02:47 AM   #18
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You write is an accurate account of the s2000 i owned one 2 cars ago and i have nothing but total admiration for them. They are not the fastest car in the world (then neither is the boxster) but it made every journey feel like an event, you were constantly on guard for the rear kicking out, i never 360'd mine or spun out but even on a dry turn the tail was going out and you really did feel like a king of a driver when you held the drift.

Its noisy, its mechanical noises scare you thinking its broken but really there are very few cars that make you laugh out loud like the s2000. The reliability is incredible and you truly do enjoy every second of owner ship.

I made mine sound like a Ferrari by running an invidia exhaust and J's racing de-cat with an american patent pending induction kit, i cant remember its name but was one that every s2000 driver is after it was so loud.

I sold mine 1) cause i dont keep cars long 2) the noise was getting embarresing 3) long journeys were a no, you were generally f**ked when you arrived


To be fair overall the Porsche Boxster s is an all round much better car, but it is 10k more.

Every boxster owner should try an s2000, it will either make you appretiate or question your car.

I'd choose Porsche everytime though

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Old 09-01-2007, 04:15 AM   #19
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So the car that makes more, louder mechanical noises, has more touchy handling, has a harder suspension, is more high strung and has more satisfying controls is the Honda? The Porsche is more qiuet and better on long trips? Suddenly I'm thinking that Honda's the company building the true sports car.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
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So the car that makes more, louder mechanical noises, has more touchy handling, has a harder suspension, is more high strung and has more satisfying controls is the Honda? The Porsche is more qiuet and better on long trips? Suddenly I'm thinking that Honda's the company building the true sports car.

So what is a TRUE sports car anyway?
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