Honda S2000

From Academic Kids

Honda S2000
Honda S2000
Body styles:2-door Roadster
Predecessors:Honda S360
Honda S500
Honda S600
Honda S800
Shares components with:none
Comparable models:BMW Z3
Porsche Boxster
Nissan 350Z Roadster
Mazdaspeed MX-5
Lotus Elise
Colors:Formula Red
Imola Orange
Lime Green
Phoenix Blue
Nrburg/Suzuka Blue
Monte Carlo/Navy Blue
Midnight Purple
Monza Red
Grand Prix White
Platinum White
Sebring Silver
Silverstone Silver
Moonrock Grey
Berlina Black
This article is part of the automobile series.

The Honda S2000 is a roadster automobile built by Honda. The S2000 continued Honda's tradition of lightweight roadster 'S' cars. Like previous 'S' cars, the name of the S2000 comes from its displacement of 1997 cm³, which is near 2000 cm³. Launched in the fall of 2000. From its inception in 2000 to 2003, S2000s were manufactured in Honda's Tochigi plant. S2000s since then have been manufactured in the Suzuka plant.



The rear wheel drive, or RWD, platform surprised many in the industry since Honda currently only produces one other RWD car, that being their flagship model, the NSX. The remainder of Honda's consumer cars are significantly front wheel drive. The S2000 does follow the tradition of Honda's previous 'S' cars, such as the S600 and S800 which were both RWD.

Notable in the S2000 is the X-Bone Monocoque Frame Suspension which provides a significant amount of stiffness to the frame of the car. This improves handling of the car under strenuous conditions. Also dependability of the steering is improved by improving the stiffness of the car itself.

Standard power amenities including an electric roof that took only 6 seconds to operate allowed the car to be daily driven with few problems. Decent luggage space by roadster standards and relatively low maintenance costs added to the flexibility of the two-seater sports car. The engine was started by the press of a 'start' button on the dash instead of a turning of the key ignition like normal cars.

A Torsen limited slip differential mated to a six speed manual gearbox delivered the power to the ground. Special Bridgestone S-02 Potenza tires featured a wider contact patch to improve cornering ability. Other technological features included a very stiff X-bone frame for chassis rigidity, double wishbone suspension, electronically-assisted steering, and integrated roll hoops.


The initial S2000 came equipped with a F20C engine block, 2.0 liter, inline-4 engine producing 240 horsepower (179 kW) at 8300 rpm and 153 ftlbf (208 Nm) torque at 7500 rpm. Because of its high-revving nature, it is one of the few naturally aspirated engines to produces over 100 hp/L (75 kW/L). Others include the 3.6 liter V8 engine in the Ferrari 360 Modena which produces 112 hp/L (84 kW/L) and the 1.5 liter inline-4 engine offered in the Radical SR3 which produces 168 hp/L (125 kW/L).

When operated like an ordinary car at low revs, the S2000 could be driven economically. However at low rpms the torque the engine could provide was limited until the car could be pushed beyond 6000 rpm in order to engage the VTEC system. This made driving under normal conditions more strenuous than in a more conventional car since rapid and frequent gear-changes were needed to keep the engine in the "power-band".

However, under the right conditions, the engine could be revved up to a limit of 9000 rpm. Honda's VTEC variable timing system activated at 6000 rpm, giving the car additional torque and power. Keeping the car within this 6000 to 9000 rpm range was the key to speed.

In 2004, Honda developed a variation of the engine for the North American market (designated F22C1) in response to complaints about a lack of low-down torque. They lengthened the stroke of the engine which increased the displacement to 2.2 liters and resulted in not only more peak torque but more low-down torque as well. Officially the torque was slightly increased (by 6%) to 162 ftlbf (220 Nm) from 153 ftlbf (207 Nm) and power output remains the same at 240 hp (179 kW). However, independent dyno tests have reportedly shown that the engine does produce more power than its smaller predecessor. The disadvantage of the redesign was that the much-promoted 9000 rpm redline had to be reduced by 11% (significantly more than the increase in torque output) to 8000 rpm because of the increased stress on the connecting-rods created by the lengthened stroke. The rest of the world retained the original 2.0 L engine with its 9000 rpm red-line. Some questioned Honda's decision to not make both engines available in both markets as options.

In addition to the extra torque provided due to increased displacement Honda also changed the gear ratios slightly - shortening the first four gears and lengthening the last two.


The S2000 was on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 2000 through 2002 and 2004. Its engine won the International Engine of the Year award in the "1.8 to 2 liter" size category for five years from 2000 through 2004.


Despite wide acclaim in several areas,

  • The specific-output of the engine. A power of 120 hp/liter (89 kW/L) was an impressive accomplishment.
  • The smooth and positive action of the six-speed transmission
  • The speed and ease of operation of the electric top

The S2000 was also criticized in others.

Despite the high power output of the engine, the torque of 153 ftlbf (207 Nm) in the 2.0 liter version and 162 ftlbf (220 Nm) in the 2.2 liter version, was quite low even compared to sports cars with four-cylinder engines (e.g. the 1989 Porsche 944's four-cylinder engine produces 206 ftlbf (279 Nm) as a result of its its higher displacement of 3.0 liters. In addition, many of the S2000's competitors offered engines with more cylinders and/or more displacement which meant almost as much power as well as more torque. The S2000s relatively low torque but high-revving engine meant that it produced a peaky power curve; an effect that magnified differences in acceleration felt depending on the engine speed.

Another area where the car was singled out for criticism was handling and roadholding. Many drivers commented on the car's tendency to dramatically oversteer, especially in wet or otherwise slippery conditions.

While the gearing allowed the car to accelerate reasonably quickly, it forces the occupants to endure high-engine revs (and levels of noise) while travelling at freeway speeds. In 6th gear, the car was only capable of around 18mph/1000rpm - at 75mph, the engine would be running at roughly 4200rpm.

External links

  • Car and Driver ( - S2000 Sports Comparison

Template:Hondade:Honda S2000 fr:Honda S2000 nl:Honda S2000 ja:ホンダ・S2000


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