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Honda S2000

This months Road & Track confirms that the S2000 will be bumped up to a 2.2L for the 04 model.

Does anyone have any additional information?
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Comments

  • Search the web for S2000 forums. They have beat this subject to death. The general consesus seems to be yes, a 2.2, bit more torque lower down, and a red line around 8k as opposed to 9k. A few other changes too.
  • What I want to know is whether Honda will come out with an S2200 coupe for the 2005 model year.

    Hopefully, they'll unveil it at the Tokyo Motor Show in October...
  • You probably know there is a rather spendy optional hardtop for the current S2000. I think it looks good on the car. For me though, top down is the only way to go in this car.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree with geepers. I've briefly ridden in the S2000 with a hardtop installed and the added noise and confinement led me to conclude that I would never buy one, even for winter use.

    As a ground up coupe, I suspect Honda would do a better job with respect to sound deadening, etc. But IMO the beauty of the 9,000 rpm engine and go cart handling of the S2000 are best experienced with the top down. If a car were ever designed to be a roadster, the S2000 is it.
  • It depends on whether it's your second car or your only car. As sunny day toys, I agree that convertibles rule.

    However, as a daily driver sports car, I still think an S2200 coupe would be more tossable, responsive, and fun to drive than a 350Z or an RX-8. (Even though the Z and 8 are both great cars in their own rights.)
  • Does anyone know if Honda will be completely redesigning the S2000 in 2004 or 2005. I like the S2000, but I am 6'6" and I can barely fit in it. I recently heard that more room will be placed in the redesign. I hope that also comes with a telescopic/tilt steering wheel.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I doubt very much the S2000 will undergo a full model change any time soon. The upcoming 2.2L design is the 2004 model, so I wouldn't expect any significant changes for another three years.

    The 2004 is supposed to have more interior cockpit space, but I don't recall which dimensions have been enlarged. I'm well over 6' and barely fit in the original S2000, so I know where you're coming from. It's the only roadster I've driven with enough leg room. If I were any bigger, I'd be out of luck.
  • It's just a slight redesign for 2004. The frame stays the same but Honda says it has more interior room. I think that only means resculptured door panels for a little more elbow room. There's not much room for any other addition of space that I can see since they kept the frame identical. No mention of a tilt steering wheel.

    17" vs 16" rear wheels, 2.2 vs 2.0 engine with a bit more torque and 1k lower red line, same horsepower. Redesigned front and rear panels. Softened? or different suspension at least.

    I think you're still out of luck for more room. That's what you get for exceeding the 90 percentile limits of size. :-)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,617
    blacktalon---you'd be at home in Europe. They much prefer the coupe version of a car for sporting driving and for the track. You rarely see a droptop in European amateur racing.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    the s2000's can be had with a hard top....
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    but the name is still officially s2000 !!
  • From everything I've read, Honda has managed to do the near impossible -- make the S2000 a much better daily driver while keeping it just as fast on the track and through the twisties:

    - More torque
    - More usable power
    - Better ride
    - Greatly reduced tendency for snap oversteer
    - More rigid body
    - 17" tires
    - Similar or better 0-60, 1/4 mile, and track times
    - Similar or better roadholding

    Despite my preference for fixed-roof coupes, the S2K is rapidly climbing to the top of my must-drive list...
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Ditto - believe it or not, I am hoping to check one out the next time I have to visit the dealer for scheduled service.

    You forgot to mention the improved stereo :)

    Any idea when the '04s will be available, if not already?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I had the opportunity to test droive the new 2004 S2000 and chat with a Honda regional rep who is a serious enthusiast.

    My take - echoed by him - is that the new S2000's impprovements, while looking good on paper, are almost indetectible. In my opinion, the "more torque" and "more useable power" were not as evident to me as the lower redline. The 2004 did not seem as quick as my 2002, but that may be because it only had 300 miles on it. I noticed no difference whatsoever in the handling. There probably is a difference, buut I suspect you need to take the car to a track or be a much more aggressive driver than me to notice.

    Don't get me wrong, the 2004 S2000 is a nice logical refinement of the original. But it's no cushy sports car and it's torque won't be mistaken for a Boxster S. If I were in the market today, I'd buy it for exactly the same reasons I bought a 2002.

    P.S. As far as the stereo goes, I never turned it on, so I can't comment on that.
  • I've got an '03 S. Haven't driven an '04 but read lots of posts elsewhere by those who have bought them. I think "much" better daily driver is an overstatement. I never really got the lack of torque issue. Sure it's not up to par with the competition torquewise, but it's a high reving engine with a 6 speed manual transmission. One expects to be shifting a lot. I think "lack of torque" was a mantra that got repeated so much that Honda felt they had to do something. It ain't that much more torque. The '04 is probably an improvement over earlier models but it's still got the original spirit and isn't a good daily driver for lots of folks.

    But, boy is it fun and you can get a nice factory hardtop as an expensive option. I'm not a stereo buff but it wouldn't be hard to improve the stereo in my '03. And '03 was an improvement over the original.

    You owe it to yourself to go try one.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I spent several hours with a '04 S2000 thanks to dealer kindness :)

    There's significantly more engine grunt right around 3000 rpm. It was enough to open my eyes. I also like the wheels which really open up the design and give the car a less docile, more aggressive stance. The stereo's also a quality unit, finally. There's even a dealer-installed option for midrange speakers within the headrests!

    Suspension definitely has been tweaked. The '04 is quite a bit smoother over bumps. I'd say the road feedback is as desirable as before, but less punishing. It's hard to explain. The revised model definitely felt "better" on bad roads. The RE050s certainly seemed more silent; I wasn't able to break their grip sanely on public roads so I assume their dry weather traction is comparable to the S02s.

    '04 has switched to RE050s, I haven't seen a lot on s2ki.com about these tires. There are intimations that they are better wet, poorer dry tires... basically max performance summer tires with a slightly greater bent toward "all-season" than the S02s.

    I found this to be a VERY attractive car... gorgeous to look at and more responsive than the original. As the previous poster mentioned, I think it's a much better daily driver than previous years, while retaining most of the spirit of the original. Honda did a good job of going through all the details; the thoughtfulness shows from the extra wiggle room to the S2000 logo'd master ignition key to the LED taillamps.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I got some more seat time in the 2004 S2000 while we were shopping for a Pilot agian this afternoon.

    On the "improved" stereo, I was unimpressed. The sales manager and every sales person came over to listen to the "fantastic" stereo in my 2002, courtesy of $225 Polk rear speakers from Lucid Automotive that were installed by me (an MBA) in less than 75 minutes. The 2004 still doesn't have rear speakers and sounded barely better than my 2002 with the fader adjusted all the way to the front. Balanced between front and rear, the Polk addition in the 2002 completely blows away the 2004 system (at least with Evanescence playing). For anyone with an 2002-2004 S2000 that gives a hoot about a good stereo, the rear speaker addition from Lucid is a must. Pre-2002 models didn't have sufficient amplifier power to run the rear Polks, so an improvement would require a new head unit.

    On the aesthetic revisionsof the 2004, I generally like them with two exceptions. Although I like the 17" increase in wheel size, the new design looks too busy for my taste. It even looks a little after-market. Also, I don't think the center console, which is all leather in the 2002/2003, looks as good in the leather / plastic combination of the 2004. I could take or leave the aluminum trim look on the radio cover. I do like the new digital dash instrumentation better; but it's made partly possible because 1,000 rpm has been removed from the redline and tach range.

    Which brings me to my next point. The 9,000 rpm redline of the previous S2000's vs. the 8,000 rpm redline of the new one. That's not a change I like. The "additional torque" of the 2004 would take a dynomometer to detect. Like I said before, anyone who didn't like the low torque high revving nature of the previous S2000, isn't going to suddenly mistake the new one for a Boxster S or 350Z. But the lower redline takes a bit of the high end edge off the car. Just my opinion.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I think you're understating the torque difference... been following s2ki quite a bit lately and nearly everyone appears to feel the difference. The '04 felt quicker than my fully-broken-in '02, which bodes well. I feel a substantial difference.

    In terms of times based on s2ki and vtec.net, the 2.2L seems to match up almost identically to the '00-'03; it gets to speed faster, but loses back that time by having to shift sooner due to the lower redline.

    I have a '04 for the weekend (Suzuka blue - my saleswoman has a "demo" and loaned it to me so long as I promised not to destroy it!) so I've put a lot of seat time into one today. The biggest difference I'm finding is that the larger motor does not need to work nearly as hard to make the same power; hence, cabin noise levels are markedly lower, particularly with the top up. With the top up, the '04 is quieter than my old '80s Prelude coupe was... which is a huge step towards making the S a more palatable daily driver.

    I was disappointed that the HIDs still aren't self-leveling... really the only "feature" I'd like to see added at this point. JDM models allegedly get nav, although for the life of me I wouldn't know where the screen could be mounted.

    The '04 is still relatively new so I don't anticipate taking it past 6k RPM during my brief stay with it, so I can't speak to the VTEC transition. I understand from others that it is much less pronounced.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Before I hand in the keys in the morning... *cry*

    I'm really, really wowed by the change in NVH, particularly with the top up. Between the lower sound levels and the more point-and-shoot engine power, I'm finding my mouth watering for the S once again. Suzuka Blue Metallic is a lovely color, moreover, although I don't know how I feel about the blue interior.

    I saw some pictures of Japan-market S2000s which feature Sebring and Silverstone silvers with the blue leather seating... looked very sharp. I wonder why we can't get that here!

    Also, I definitely like the RE050s better. I did a few mid-RPM launches, both straight and turns, and find the tires to be far, far better. They stick tight, and when they do lose traction it's a quiet slip - like softly rubbing a sneaker on some loose gravel and sand, not a squeal at all. I also sense that they are quieter than the S02s. A combination of the tweaked suspension and lower profile tires somehow maintains or improves road feedback while dialing out the harshness on the really big potholes.
  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    I'm in the market for an 2004 S2000 after returning the 2004 RX-8. The guy at the closest dealership to me (in Indiana) says he'll give me $500.00 of MSRP. No more. I was figuring that they could do a bit better since we are headed for winter. Is this a reasonable discount on a convertible?

    On another note, I always find it a waste of time when people who have an older model of a car state the new one isn't much of an improvement over the 2 or 3 year old one they have. It's almost like they have to rationalize to themselves that their car is still cool. The 2004 may not be a leap over the previous S2000 models, but it sure is an improvement worth reconizing. It's still not an easy car to live with day in and day out, but the improvement that has been made with the 2004 IS significant.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I'd go for $1k under sticker - just say that's your offer and you'll sign the dotted line right then and there if they agree to the price. Dealer makes good profit on the vehicle, even at $1k below sticker, and the '04 is newer and better but it's not that much newer and better so as to reset the entire dynamic.

    That said, a dealer near me has a new '03 that they're willing to deal on for numbers closer to invoice than MSRP. I think '03s are going to become an even better bargain than they are now.
  • Sorry to waste your time, but I stand by my statement that the '04 as a daily driver is not that much of an improvement over past years, in terms of a daily driver. Slightly softened ride, maybe, slightly more torque. By it's very nature, the S2000 will never be a good daily driver for most people. How many people even want to be bothered with checking the oil every fillup?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I've been given a 2004 S2000 to drive for the next 3 days while the Honda general manager is out for the Thanksgiving holiday. I know the owners of the dealership and they still joke that it's their goal to get me to drop my spot (#2) on the Elise list and get an S2000 instead. Something about someone my age shouldn't be trying to get in and out of an Elise.

    I've only had the S2000 for 20 miles, but for all this debate over a "substantial" improvement, I don't see it yet. Nor do I think one was needed. As someone else mentioned, if you want a torquey, lower RPM car, just get a Boxster S or Z4 and leave the S2000 to those who like to shift.

    The next few days will allow me a fairer comparison. Fortunately, the car already has 2,000 miles on it, so I won't be afraid to rev it up. I might even get my neighbor with a 2002 to sneak out for a little "competition", at our local private airstrip.
  • I'd say go for the 2004 S2K. Then you can let me know how it works out as a daily driver in the snow belt... :)
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Here is the unadulterated bad news: I did!

    This sadly came with the condition (from my better half) that this would be my last present to myself for the remainder of the decade :( Now she controls the cash and the gifts!

    I like the car - those with several cars may be less impressed (they even may find it a step backwards due to the tamed redline) but if this is a daily driver then it's a step forward in my opinion. This is for a few reasons,

    1. Cabin noise definitely is lower. I think it's due to lower revs to maintain speed. My brand new, not-even-broken in '04 does 70mph around 3500rpm, which is noticably lower than the '02 did. I also think the RE050 tires are quieter than the S02s at speed.

    2. The stereo still sucks, but it sucks less!

    3. Suspension - my ride to work has some pretty bad stretches which were just horrific on the previous S. The new one seems more composed - you still feel the road, just not all the way to your dental fillings.

    4. The tires - I like 'em. As you know we've had a lot of rain and snow over the last few days. The RE050s cut through the rain like I wouldn't believe - I was very impressed. On damp road they are stellar. On standing water, uh, less so. I haven't had a chance to test out snow; the flurries we're getting haven't collected. The impression I get is that they will be awful - the tires are described as not recommended for snow by Tirerack. Thinking about getting a single pair of Blizzaks just for the rears.

    There aren't too many drawbacks to the latest version of the S, although two come to mind.

    One is the redline. 9000rpm was as high as you could get in a production car--beyond Ferrari, beyond Porsche, beyond BMW. 8000rpm remains high but it's a bit less dramatic. I guess it's the loss of a bit of flair. Day to day things seem a little spunkier, esp. in the midrange, but I've read that the '04 is pretty much in a dead heat with the '00-'03 on autocrosses b/c what's gained in torque and hp is lost through shifts that come sooner.

    Two, the old S had pretty ordinary, regular wheels - typical of your standard, oh, family sedan. The new S's rubber is much lower profile (245/40/17s) and has a strong aftermarket flair which makes me worry more about (a) cracking rims on potholes and (b) theft and/or attracting the wrong kind of people.

    Overall, I'd say the car is livable for dry and rain, wet or cold, short or long trips. Snow? Good question - I'll find out soon.
  • Congrats, sphinx!

    I'm thinking you might want to go with four winter tires instead of just two, though...
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Well, what I found in the past (with the '02 as well as now with the '04) is that the rear tends to be the one that cause the most problems in inclement weather. I wish I could speak to the '04 more intelligently but we haven't had any snow, however should it behave the same, then switching the rears certainly would be much less expensive than switching both. 245/40/17 winter tires are more expensive than I would have thought!

    Or, I never take vacation and have weeks upon weeks that I simply could burn up whenever the white stuff falls. Hmm.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm surprised you took the plunge after coming to your rational senses once before - but after all you only live once (or is it twice in your case).

    One request - find out if Lucid Automotive is still around and, if they are, order their easy to install Polk rear speakers pre-installed in replacement panels for behind the seats. It won't make your S2000 into Carnegie Hall, but at least it ends up higher than "sucks" on the audio scale.

    Color??
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Suzuka!

    Lucid still is around. I'm thinking about one of their $200 kits for the rear panels. However there's another option now, well, two options.

    1. Honda how has a set of OEM headrest speakers that reside behind the driver and passenger hoops. Each is a plastic casing that encloses two small speakers, to provide volume and stereo imaging to each seat position. Looks very nice and gets great reviews from the very few people who have it. Downside is $400 from hardtopguy.com or $420 from handaaccessories.com. Install looks easy.

    2. Some guy over on s2ki.com has been selling his own headrest speaker enclosure called "S-Pod" - it's an enclose for what looks like a single decent midrange speaker. Looks great (high quality kit) and supposedly sounds great since you control your speaker choice, and it's cheap; downside is no stereo and it's not OEM so who knows what support you get in the long run.

    What I'm thinking is that the Lucid panels as well as the Honda OEM headrest speakers (either now or in the long run) together would be ideal. The problem is that the stock deck barely has enough juice to power the four tiny speakers in the car as it is; adding another six out back, even small ones, will run you out of pinouts as well as juice. At that point people start to say "headunit and amp" but I don't know if it's worth it - the cost escalates dramatically and I'd either have to start tearing things up to wire the car, or I'd have to trust my shiny new pride and joy to some sound shop.

    On the other hand I have very little political capital left with Her, so I'm thinking I'd better spent what little is left in the next month, before it evaporates anyway. And, I really, really love listening to music on the way to work.

    So I'll probably go with Lucid. Which setup do you have, habitat?

    http://www.lucidautomotive.com/rssys/

    I have to get a seat of wheel locks too... geez. Any recommendations on wheel locks other than Honda OEM? (Since the Honda OEM locks all share the same key?!?!?)
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