Caught in the classifieds: 2007 Honda S2000
In this weekís ďCaught In The ClassifiedsĒ section, Iím highlighting one of the most interesting cars Honda has ever built: the S2000. Next to the iconic Honda NSX developed with the help of F1 legend Ayrton Senna, the S2000 is one of those rare cars which takes your breath away as you simply donít see them coming.
Developed by the same company which makes the rather mundane Accord and a whole plethora of ordinary crossovers, the S2000 was a breath of fresh air when it first made its debut back in 1999. Suddenly, Honda was back in the game of making a fun, somewhat affordable roadster that proved you donít need a ton of power to have fun.
As far as generations go, the S2000 was built between 1999 and 2009. In its decade-long production run, only two models ever existed: the first-gen AP1, and the facelifted AP2. Even though exterior changes were relatively minor, the AP2 featured improved handling which made it much more predictable.
When I first saw this listing on our website I couldnít believe what I was seeing. Scrolling through the classifieds I stumbled upon an AP2 S2000 with just 35,000 miles on the clock. Given how reliable Hondas are and how tough the S2000 is, this particular example has barely been worn in yet.
Itís a 2007 model year with next to no signs of wear and tear. It looks like itís just been driven off the showroom floor. Currently listed at £16,499, it represents amazing value for money compared to a brand-new S2000, which at one point had a starting price of £28,050.
The S2000 is a car which exudes massive amounts of charisma and character. Believe it or not, the S2000 turns a lot more heads than something like a Porsche Boxster or an Audi TT. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, looks the way an S2000 does. Itís impossible to mistake it for something else.
Itís a really compact car as well. Pictures donít do it justice. When you see one in the flesh for the first time, youíll be amazed at just how low and short it is. Itís 2 inches shorter than a Toyota GT86 and double that compared to a 1-Series.
All S2000s are roadsters, and this is one of the few cars which look equally good with the roof down as they do with the roof up. I absolutely love the way the S2000 looks, especially that long, sleek bonnet.
The rear is just as gorgeous as the front. The AP2 has different lights compared to the AP1, which are more transparent and Ďnew-techí, sort of like those found on the Mazda RX-8.
I love the wheels as well, especially these AP2-gen ones. Overall, I think this is an amazing-looking vehicle. Despite being 14 years old, it hasnít aged one bit
Inside, the S2000 has all the trademark features which make it a Honda. It feels sturdy and well-built. You can tell it was meant to last for decades and decades without deteriorating. Although this is a low mileage example, even cars with high miles appear to have interiors in amazing shape.
The design is equally as impressive too. The dashboard, for instance, lacks any sort of controls in the middle which would clutter it. Instead, thereís a cockpit-like section neatly surrounding the steering wheel area, giving the driver access to all the controls within armís reach. The steering wheel is superb too, and I especially love the sporty three-spoke design.
Then thereís the completely-bespoke digital cluster which was completely revolutionary back in the early-to-mid 2000s. The rev counter is located at the top of the cluster and itís stretched out from one side to the other. Underneath it is a digital screen with all the necessary info such as speed and road trip data.
The driving position is amazing as well. Because you sit so low in the car, you feel like an extension of it and its controls. Even cars like the BMW M3 donít feel this sporty because theyíre built on top of regular saloon cars, and not on a one-off bespoke chassis. The seats are simply superb, it has to be said. In many ways, they feel better than a lot of sport seats youíll find in newer cars.
Engine and Performance
If you scroll through various forums and magazines online, youíll probably read that most people thought the S2000 is slow. The reality is slightly different though. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder, producing roughly 237 horsepower and a modest 153 lb-ft of torque. Power is, obviously, sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual, but the best thing about the S2000 is that it has a Torsen limited-slip differential as standard.
I realize that on paper, those figures donít sound too impressive. The acceleration 60 mph takes exactly 6 seconds, making it as quick as a modern Fiesta ST, and the top speed is more than adequate 149 mph. In reality though, itís the way the S2000 makes you feel that makes it such a great driverís car rather than outright numbers.
The S2000ís crowning jewel is the engine, which is a proper screamer. It revs all the way to 9,000 rpm, and youíll have to regularly exercise it to its limits if you want any kind of performance. At 6k the VTEC opens up and the car changes tune and character completely.
The gearbox is a real work of art as well. Itís one of the best manuals currently on the market. Itís so smooth and crisp many people still use it as the benchmark for what gear changes should feel like.
Model: Honda S2000
Why buy one?
The S2000 is all about feel and having fun, not numbers or bragging rights. If you want open-top motoring wrapped around one of the best driverís cars money can buy, then start your search for used Honda S2000 cars for sale on DesperateSeller.co.uk right now.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10