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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?


  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    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.

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  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    the s2000's can be had with a hard top....
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    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 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, 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.
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