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The Legacy of the Honda S2000 

  • Car News
  • Aaron Marshall
  • 7 minutes

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The automotive world has witnessed the rise and fall of many iconic cars, but few have left an indelible mark like the Honda S2000. From its introduction in 1999 to the end of its production in 2009, the S2000 has stood the test of time as a symbol of driving excellence. In this exploration, we delve into the legacy of the Honda S2000, getting to know its captivating design, exhilarating performance, and enduring appeal. 

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Honda S2000 – A Design that Captures Hearts 

Honda S2000 White Color

The S2000’s design is a fusion of sportiness and elegance, a testament to Honda’s commitment to automotive aesthetics. The sleek, low-slung body with sharp lines and curves creates an iconic silhouette. The long hood seamlessly flowing into the cabin emphasizes its rear-wheel-drive dynamics, making the S2000 instantly recognizable. 

Honda S2000 – Performance 

S2000 on a track

Beyond its aesthetics, the S2000 is a performance marvel. The high-revving, naturally aspirated VTEC engine is the heart of this roadster, giving an unmatched driving experience. The engine’s eagerness to rev, combined with precise handling and responsive controls, transforms the S2000 into a driver’s haven. It effortlessly carves through corners, creating a visceral connection to the road. 

A Legacy of Enduring Appeal – Why People Love the Honda S2000

A Black s2000

The S2000’s legacy extends far beyond its production years. It has transcended the realm of a mere vehicle, becoming a coveted collectible and a symbol of automotive passion. Enthusiasts worldwide appreciate its ability to offer a pure, unadulterated driving experience that is both exciting and engaging. 

A Journey Through Honda S2000 Variations 

The S2000 evolved over its production run, with distinct iterations catering to enthusiasts’ evolving preferences: 

  1. AP1 (1999-2005): The original, known for its raw and unfiltered driving experience.
  2. AP2 (2006-2009): The second generation, refining drivability, comfort, and interior while preserving the core driving dynamics.

Customizing the Honda S2000: A Canvas for Expression 

A Blue S2000

Enthusiasts have long embraced the S2000 as a canvas for personalization. From subtle aesthetic enhancements to performance-oriented modifications, the S2000 offers a versatile platform for creative expression. This customization culture has added a unique dimension to the S2000 community, fostering a sense of individuality among owners. 

Preserving the Legacy: Maintaining and Restoring the S2000 

As the S2000 ages, its status as a collector’s car continues to rise. Proper maintenance and restoration are pivotal to preserving these icons for future generations. The dedication of owners to keep the S2000 in prime condition reflects the profound connection enthusiasts share with this timeless roadster. 

The Honda S2000: A Symbol of Automotive Passion 

The S2000 isn’t just a car; it’s a symbol of Honda’s engineering skill and commitment to creating vehicles that are both exhilarating and rewarding to drive. Its enduring appeal lies in its ability to provide a pure, unadulterated driving experience that resonates with enthusiasts worldwide. The S2000 stands as a testament to the idea that the joy of driving is not only alive but thriving. 

The Heartbeat: F20C and F22C1 Engines 

Powering the Legend 

At the core of the S2000’s legend are the high-performance inline-four engines, the F20C and F22C1. Let’s dive into the specifications that make these engines the heartbeat of this classic. 

F20C Engine (1999-2003) 


  •  Displacement: 1,997 cc (122 cu in) 
  •  Power output: 177–184 kW (241–250 PS; 237–247 hp) 
  •  Torque: 208–218 N⋅m (153–161 lbf⋅ft) 
  •  Rev limit: 9,000 rpm. 

 F22C1 Engine (2004-2009) 


  •  Displacement: 2,157 cc (131.6 cu in) 
  •  Power output: 191–198 kW (257–266 PS; 253–262 hp) 
  •  Torque: 220–245 N⋅m (162–180 lbf⋅ft) 
  •  Rev limit: 8,200 rpm. 

Key Features of the F20C and F22C1 Engines 

Honda VTEC Engine

High-performance VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control): This system optimizes valve timing and lift at different RPMs, ensuring maximum power and efficiency throughout the rev range. 

Lightweight Aluminum Construction: The use of aluminum for the engine block and cylinder head reduces weight, contributing to improved handling. 

Balanced Crankshaft: Designed for smooth operation and minimal vibration, the balanced crankshaft enhances the overall driving experience. 

Close-tolerance Machining: Precision machining ensures tight tolerances, contributing to consistent and reliable performance. 

High Compression Ratio: The high compression ratio is a key factor in the engines’ impressive power output, adding to the S2000’s exhilarating performance. 

Honda S2000 – CR

Think of the Honda S2000 as a sports car on steroids. It’s already a blast to drive, but Honda took things to the next level with the S2000 CR, a limited-edition version that’s stripped down for maximum performance.

Honda s2000 CR

They shed the fluff like power windows and AC to make it lighter and more nimble. They tuned the engine to deliver an even more exhilarating surge of power. And they tweaked the suspension to make it handle like a dream. The result is a car that’s an absolute riot to drive. It’s quick, agile, and responsive, and it always puts a smile on your face. It’s the kind of car that makes you want to take long, winding roads just for the sheer joy of it.

What Makes the Honda S2000 CR Special?

CR stands for Club Racer, a fitting moniker for this stripped-down variant of the Honda S2000. Introduced in 2008 as a swan song for the S2000, the CR embodied Honda’s commitment to pure driving excitement.

Compared to the standard S2000, the CR shed 90 pounds, thanks to the removal of non-essential components like AC, a stereo, and sound-deadening material. This weight reduction, combined with a stiffer suspension, quicker steering, and stickier tires, transformed the CR into a scalpel-sharp driving machine.

A Honda s2000 CR

The CR’s 2.2L F22C1 engine, the pinnacle of Honda’s VTEC technology, remained largely unchanged from the standard S2000. However, subtle tweaks to the ECU and intake system resulted in a slightly sharper power delivery, with the CR producing 237 horsepower, matching the standard S2000’s output.

The CR’s true brilliance lay not in its power output but in its overall driving experience. Its lightweight chassis, responsive steering, and stiff suspension made it a joy to toss around on winding roads or attack the racetrack. The CR was a car that demanded to be driven hard, rewarding its pilot with an exhilarating connection to the road.

Orange Honda s2000

While the CR was a limited-production model, its impact on the car world was undeniable. It served as a testament to Honda’s engineering capabilities and its commitment to creating cars that inspire passion and excitement among driving enthusiasts.

A Legend Among Sports CarsHonda’s Engineering Beauty

The F20C and F22C1 engines have cemented their place in history as some of the best production engines ever made. They reflect Honda’s commitment to innovation, showcasing the brand’s engineering prowess. These engines are integral to making the S2000 not just a sports car but a legend. 

Price of Honda S2000

When it first came out in 1999, the Honda S2000 was a pretty affordable sports car. The base price was around $32,000, which is about the same as a brand-new Honda Accord today. But these days, the S2000 is a collector’s item, and prices have gone up.

If you’re lucky enough to find a clean S2000, you could be looking at paying anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 for an early AP1 model. For a later AP2 model, you’re looking at more like $40,000 to $60,000. And if you want the ultra-rare S2000 CR, you’re gonna have to cough up $90,000 to $120,000.

That’s a lot of money for a car that’s over 20 years old, but the S2000 is still a seriously fun and engaging car to drive. If you’re looking for a pure driving experience, the S2000 is definitely worth considering. Just be prepared to pay up.

Summing It Up 

The Honda S2000 is more than a car; it’s an embodiment of automotive passion and engineering excellence. From its captivating design to its exhilarating performance, the S2000 has etched itself into the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide.

As we reflect on its legacy, one thing becomes clear—the Honda S2000 is a timeless classic that continues to inspire a love for driving that transcends generations. The enduring appeal of the roadster attests to the idea that the joy of driving transcends time. It perpetually resides in the hearts of those privileged to experience the magic of the S2000. 

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