The Honda high-performance team has created a 2006 model with 240 horsepower, a 2.2-liter, 4 cylinder VTEC engine and six-speed manual transmission, inspired by Honda's victories racing F1 race cars and victories in the 2004 and 2005 Indy 500s. The new model of the Honda S2000 sport car also features new alloy wheels, sportier seats and the trademarked Drive-by Wire Throttle system. The main addition to this model is the anti-skid system which was previously unavailable but now a standard feature. Torque output has also been improved from prior models of this Honda high-performance vehicle.
In addition to the basic specs, the Honda S2000 sport car offers several benefits. These include excellent all-out performance, rear wheel drive handling prowess, fantastic braking operation and a great deal of stability. There are several negatives, however. These include a tremendous amount of engine noise (even taking into consideration the reduction in NVH from previous model years), low ride comfort due to the same NVH, a very tight cockpit, very little cargo space and the fact that the car is most responsive at high RPMs. Even with this in mind, the vehicle still earned a 5-star rating from J.D. Power.
With competition such as the Nissan 350Z, the Audi TT and the Porsche Boxster and the model's roots in F1 racing, it is no surprise that the Honda 2000 sport car drives more like a race car, with 162 pounds per foot of torque at 6,500 RPM. Honda makes the claim that the car can accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in less than six seconds, and that has been the experience of most reviewers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has rated the Honda S200 sport car very well in safety tests. The car rated a four in both front impact driver and front impact passenger crash tests, meaning that there is a 10-20% risk of serious injury in such crashes, and fives in rollover resistance and side impact driver crash test, which shows a less than 10% chance of injury. These are great scores for a two-door convertible.
Consumer Guide has given this model high ratings compared to class average on performance, but low on comfort. Earning an 8 in acceleration (compared to a class average of 6.4) and a 10 in steering/handling/braking (compared to a class average of 8), the S2000 is definitely ahead of the class in these two areas. However, the total score is brought down by low ride quality, lots of tire noise, a small cockpit and practically no cargo room. This brings the score for the Honda S2000 sport car down to a 47 compared to the total class average of 49 - somewhere between a low score and an average score. Still, Consumer Guide does recommend the model as a good option for a high-performance vehicle.
With a base price of $34,050 and a $550 destination fee, the Honda S2000 is a more affordable option than the Porsche Boxster and a somewhat comparable ride - if you can handle the noise!