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?
Does anyone have any additional information?
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Hopefully, they'll unveil it at the Tokyo Motor Show in October...
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.
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.)
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.
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. :-)
- 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...
You forgot to mention the improved stereo
Any idea when the '04s will be available, if not already?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm thinking you might want to go with four winter tires instead of just two, though...
Or, I never take vacation and have weeks upon weeks that I simply could burn up whenever the white stuff falls. Hmm.
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.
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?
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?!?!?)
Personally, I'm not enough of an audiophile to want to replace the factory head unit to seriously upgrade the system. I also like the fingertip controls alongside the steering wheel, which I have been told don't work with aftermarket systems. The Polk rear panel addition did the trick for me. They are very efficient speakers, as well, and put out a lot of clear sound at relatively low volume settings.
P.S. Can't help you on the wheel locks - my dealer threw them in for free.
Well, they didn't.
Let me put it this way: 1/2 inch of white stuff, 1000rpm (just above stalling) and about 4km/hr on the speedo, on a flat surface---and the rear is spinning. I'm not saying that there was very little traction. There was *no* traction. My colleague/travelmate in her GMC Yukon, just behind me, thought my antics in trying to get out of the parking lot was pretty amusing. I nearly begged her for a tow.
On the drive back, we had some flurries and let's just say it wasn't pretty. If it weren't for the convoy of semis in front of me, whose treadmarks provided a path for the RE050s to get some grip, I wouldn't be alive to post this right now.
Basically, the RE050s suck in the snow. They are spectacularly bad. Horrific, terrible, even heinous... I can't come up with enough colorful adjectives. But let's put it this way: they're even worse than the S02s.
For blacktalon since he was asking - I do not recommend driving an '04 in the snow belt during inclement weather without either (a) snow tires and/or (b) life insurance.
This generally is the case. There *are* some headunits, it turns out, that preserve the controls, with some wiring. Moreover, Alpine even has an OEM adapter to allow some of their HUs to work transparently with the side controls. The problem is that only their upper end headunits support the adapter, and I've never understood the four-figure-headunit thing.
2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe
0-60 time is harder to compare thanks to the revised gearing 2nd gear tops out around 55mph or so. I read that it even bounces off the rev limiter under 60mph. (Not that I am going to find out.) No wonder nobody's comparing 0-60 times, etc.
I found the 2002 very slightly more to my liking. While I can see where some would like the slightly greater low end torque of the 2004 and less highway cruising noise (lower rpm), I would only buy the S2000 as a sports car / roadster. The 9,000 rpm redline, lower gearing and (at least to me) slightly quicker feel of the 2002 would be my preference for a weekend car. I did not notice any significant difference in handling between the two, larger wheels and tires on the 2004 notwithstanding. In other words, both handle great, albeit not quite Boxster S level.
I still believe the S2000 is one of the best vehicles and values from Japan that can compete with much more expensive German rivals.
Just bought an '01 S2000 in excellent condition w/45K miles for $2K under KBB from a broker w/3-mo drive & power train warranty.
Vehicle now needs $3,500 work on the transmission--but it's covered under the broker's limited warranty. However, broker is resisting in repairing vehicle (even though we have a contract). They have suggested they want the car back (probably so they can fix it and re-sell for a higher). I'm not sure if I should give/sell car back to them, or have them fix it and keep the car. If I keep it, I'd basically have a brand new transmission and a good running car, but if I return the car to them, I would have to spend another $2-$5K for another used '01 or '02 and that's $$ I really don't have. Any thoughts or comments?
- I hope someone comments on this with more knowledge than me, but if the car needs a new tranny after 45K miles, wouldn't that indicate that the car might have been abused, and thus, other things might go wrong with it soon? This could be due to clutch drops or other anomalies, which puts wear and tear on the complete drive-train.
on another note, does anyone know if there's an analog replacement for the LED?
2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe
I have read that the 17" tire/wheel combo for '04 actually is 2 lbs lighter, overall, than the previous set. Not sure if I believe it but...
I actually miss one aspect of the old wheels: they were simple. The new ones are much more of a pain to clean, if you're truly trying to get all the grime out of the various little corners.
I'm not aware of any analog replacements for the dash. As the digital dash is considered one of the character traits of the S2000 I haven't heard of anyone in the S2K community attempting this...
Mine certainly feels quicker across the board, now that I'm a few thousand miles past break-in. Only real philosophical issue is with VTEC lasting for very little time between 6k and 8k on the tach. In first year you're there for about a second before shifting.