For many years now, the Mazda MX-5 has been viewed as the best Two-seater roadster and sports car In the world. The famous Japanese sports car is one of the best cars ever made. Its lightweight, compact body and bokeh engines have over the years seen it deliver a dynamic, smooth and impressive driving experience. For years, it was the pinnacle of roadster cars. But there was a period of time when this little Japanese icon had its main competitor.
Not long after we first saw the MX-5, Honda Came out with the S2000. This was also a dynamic two-seater roadster, providing a lightweight vehicle with a dynamic driving experience. The S2000 production run ended in the late 2000s, and hasn’t come back since. Despite this, it is still considered one of the best sports cars ever built, even nearly 20 years after the final car left the Honda factory. There are many who think it is actually better than the MX-5, and it has that oomph somehow that the MX05 doesn’t quite have.
Honda S2000 story
Honda first introduced the S2000 to the world in 1999, after launching as a concept, the SSM, at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The production version was launched to coincide with Honda’s 50th anniversary. The car’s name came from the displacement of its two-cylinder engine, in accordance with a tradition that began with the S500, S600 and S800 Roadsters in the 1960s. The first variant of the S2000 was the AP1 built until 2003, while the AP2 complemented the S2000 from 2004 to 2009.
Under the hood of the S2000 was the F20C’s 247-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and the transmission was a six-speed manual relationship. The AP2 model will see some changes from the previous AP1, such as the suspension retuned to reduce steering and spring rates and the damping of the shock absorbers being changed. It still offered a 2.0-liter inline-four, but in Japan and North America the S2000 was also offered with a 2.2-liter F22C1 four-cylinder engine. The AP2 was the form the S2000 took until the last one left the production line in 2009. Along the way, special editions like the 2008 Club Racer in the USA, and the 2008 Type S in Japan were created.
What makes the S2000 superior to the MX-5
What helps make the S2000 such a good car is that gearbox. The MX-5 itself, with its six-speed manual, already offers an impressive transmission for the road. But the S2000 offered a very unique gearbox experience. Described by many as the best gearbox in history, with a super-smooth shifting and experience and something smooth and seamless. But the way you got the best results may not have been what you expected.
The S2000 needs to rev up to the red line, at AP1’s 9,000 rpm, in order to get the most out of it. Perhaps that wasn’t quite what some people wanted, it meant that her driving in the most ideal rev range wasn’t quite the same. But nonetheless, this meant that the S2000 delivered an incredible driving experience. And the way it drove and handled, the way it would go through corners, was something even an MX-5 would struggle to match. This is probably the main reason why the S2000 is so much better than the MX-5.
The rarity and value of the S2000
Perhaps part of the reason the S2000 has been so desirable is the value the car now holds. Honda of course no longer makes the S2000, and they are getting rarer and rarer as they get older. The car is now considered a true modern classic, and its value is on the rise. It’s not easy to find it in good condition, and it’s probably this desire that helped lift the S2000 above the MX-5. This may sound trivial, but there is something to be said for owning a fairly rare and no longer produced car.
We look forward to the revival of the S2000
While this rarity is remarkable, there is a lot to be said for owning an all-new version of the S2000. Honda has gotten along just fine with the original, yet it’s Mazda that continues to produce the two-seater roadster. Not Honda. The last regular S2000 left Honda’s factory in Suzuka in 2009. Will we see the S2000 again? Maybe so. Perhaps there will be an electric version as well. But who knows what might happen in the future. Perhaps it would be better in some ways for the S2000 to back up the allure it has had all these years.
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