The Honda S2000 is Beautifully Engineered
The Honda S2000 is a roadster that was manufactured by the Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company. It was launched in April 1999 and was created to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. The car was first shown as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995, following which it was launched in world markets in 1999. The S2000 is named for its engine displacement of 2 L, carrying on in the tradition of the S500, S600, and S800 roadsters of the 1960s.
The S2000 was introduced in 1999 for the 2000 model year and was given the chassis designation of AP1. It featured a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout with power being delivered by a 1,997 cc (122 cu in) F20C inline 4-cylinder DOHC-VTEC engine producing from 240 hp (179 kW) to 250 PS (184 kW), and from 153 lbf·ft (207 N·m) to 22.2 kg·m (218 N·m) of torque depending on the target market. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and Torsen limited slip differential. The S2000 achieved what Honda claimed as the “top level performance in the world” for a 2-liter naturally aspirated engine.
Features include independent double wishbone suspension, electrically assisted steering and integrated roll hoops. 16 in (41 cm) wheels with Bridgestone Potenza S-02 tires were standard equipment. The compact and lightweight engine, mounted entirely behind the front axle, allows the S2000 to obtain a 50:50 front/rear weight distribution and lower rotational inertia.
The 2004 model year incorporated several revisions to the S2000 and was given the chassis designation of AP2 (note: this designation was never used in the European markets although the improvements to the vehicle were applied). The 2004 model introduced newly designed 17 in (43 cm) wheels and Bridgestone RE-050 tires along with a retuned suspension to reduce oversteer. The spring rates and shock absorber damping were altered and the suspension geometry modified to improve stability by reducing toe-in changes under cornering loads. In the gearbox the brass synchronizers were replaced with carbon fiber.
The AP2 also included the introduction of a larger version of the F20C for the North American market. Designated F22C1, the engine’s stroke was lengthened, increasing its displacement to 2,157 cc (132 cu in). At the same time, the redline was reduced from 8,800 rpm to 8,000 rpm with a cutout at 8,200 rpm, mandated by the longer travel of the pistons. Peak torque increased 6% to 162 lbf·ft (220 N·m) at 6,800 rpm while power output was reduced to 237 hp (177 kW) at a lower 7,800 rpm. In conjunction with its introduction of the F22C1, Honda also changed the transmission gear ratios by shortening the first four gears and lengthening the last two.