A wonderul sportscar from Honda. Two seat convertible - looks a bit like a Civic on steroids from the front, but unique from the back. It has a certain Honda look about it, but most people find the car good-looking. The name derives from the old Honda S800, a little sportscar in the British tradition, from back in the 60's. This new car is anything but retro, however - the only concession to tradition is the push-button starter.

Honda used quite a bit of their experience in F1 racing in the 80's in the production of this car, most notably in the engine, which is designed to red line at 9000 rpm. This is about 30% higher revving than other car engines. And very few other cars make as much horsepower per cylinder than this car, especially when you consider that there is no forced induction in this engine. It does, however, have the VTEC system like other Honda engines (allowing different valve timing at different engine speeds).

Another great thing about this car is the handling. Rumours have it that it had the best slalom times ever when tested by car magazines. Another indication is its popularity at SCCA Autocrosses, where it competes in the A Stock class, with M-series BMWs, Porsche Boxters, and Turbocharged MR2s.

Also has what seems to me a bizarrely short shifter.

One of the major claims to fame of Honda's wonderful little S2000 roadster is that it boasts the highest specific output of any production car manufactured-- more than 120 horsepower per liter (240hp/1.997 liters = 120.18). The VTEC system mentioned above switches to the higher lift, longer duration cams at 6,000 rpm.

The handling is beyond belief as well. Since most of the engine is behind the front wheels, the car achieves a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, a feat not even mid-engined cars manage to pull off. This, coupled with the excellent Bridgestone Potenza S-02 tires, translates to truly impressive grip. It generates 0.91g of lateral acceleration on the skidpad, right up there with the world's finest sports cars.

The brakes are incredible, too-- its braking distance is a mere 114 feet from 60mph to 0mph. Not a single Ferrari or Porsche can beat that.

The S2000 is assembled by hand in a factory in Tochigi, Japan, right alongside its elder sibling the Acura NSX. It is affectionately referred to as the "baby NSX". Since it is hand built, its production numbers are limited-- just 15,000 per year, of which the U.S.A. only gets 5,000.

The S2000 annihilates Porsche Boxsters and the M and Z-series BMW roadsters in both the speed and handling departments. And it costs about US$20,000 less than the Boxster or the BMW M-series. It is comparably priced with the cheapest Z3, with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of about US$32,000.

Because of its hand built nature and its limited availability, Honda offers no factory options-- the few available options are installed by the dealer, although the car comes with virtually everything you could want straight from the factory.

For 2000, its first model year, only four colors were available: Red, White, Silver, and Black. For 2001, I think they are also offering Yellow. Quite possibly the greatest car ever produced, words cannot describe how much fun this car is to drive.

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