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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
CR is quicker than the standard S2000”
Offering more punch than a Mazda MX-5 Miata and costing less than a Porsche Boxster, the S2000 lets the average Joe have his cake and eat it too
Kelley Blue Book
The S2000's 2.2-liter four is basically maxed out.
Car and Driver
One look at the 2008 Honda S2000 is enough to realize its mission in life: high-performance driving. The S2000 Honda doesn’t disappoint driving enthusiasts either, offering razor-sharp handling and precise steering.
Despite the fact that two distinct versions of the 2008 Honda S2000 are available, Edmunds reports that the only available engine is a “2.2-liter four-cylinder that churns out 237 hp at a lofty 7,800 rpm and 162 pound-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm.” Honda has tuned the engine on the Honda S2000 almost to the breaking point, with Car and Driver commenting that “the S2000’s 2.2-liter four is basically maxed out.” Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the engine is happiest when running flat-out. Cars.com notes that “once it reaches 5,000 rpm or so, the S2000 lunges forward like a rocket,” and Edmunds adds that “piloting the 2008 Honda S2000 takes some getting used to, since peak power is delivered at almost 8,000 rpm.” ConsumerGuide reviewers love the engine and find that the Honda S2000 “provides a surprising supply of usable power across a broad rpm range, combined with ultrahigh-revving excitement.”
The transmission also fares very well in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com for its smooth shifts and short throws. Cars.com states that the four-cylinder engine on the S2000 Honda “mates with a six-speed manual transmission” that ConsumerGuide says will offer “manageable clutch action” and a “slick, short-throw gearbox.” Kelley Blue Book claims that the engine and transmission combination makes for “startlingly-quick performance,” while the chassis adds “remarkable nimbleness” to the 2008 Honda S2000 package.
Most cars as potent as the 2008 Honda S2000 pay a significant penalty at the gas pump, but the small engine combined with lightweight construction on the Honda S2000 yields a relatively frugal performance machine. The EPA estimates that the 2008 Honda S2000, whether in standard or CR form, will get 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway—no word yet on what those numbers look like on the track, though.
While reviewers rave about both the engine and the transmission on the 2008 Honda S2000, the real performance on the 2008 Honda S2000 comes in the handling department. Cars.com holds nothing back in praising the “razor-sharp steering, disciplined handling and athletic cornering ability” of the 2008 Honda S2000. Kelley Blue Book reviewers rave about the “nearly flat cornering behavior and extremely crisp response that allows” the 2008 Honda S2000 “to negotiate the corners with sure tenacity.” The Club Racer is even more impressive, with Car and Driver reporting that it “is simply harder and sharper, with less body roll and tire scrubbing and more corner composure and stability under braking.” Unfortunately, the price for all that performance is poor ride quality, and ConsumerGuide points out that “nearly every small bump and tar strip registers through the seats.” On the positive side, ConsumerGuide also comments that “braking is swift and easily modulated” whether you are driving on the street or the track.
The 2008 Honda S2000 enjoys better handling due to the quicker steering ratio and new tires, and the CR model is a track-worthy contender that can hold its own against more expensive European and American competition.