The 2008 Honda S2000 represents the purest expression of Honda fun-to-drive DNA with its 2-seat, open-topped roadster configuration and sophisticated front-engine, rear-wheel-drive platform. As a true sports car that can serve as a practical and fun daily driver and also feel equally at home on a racetrack, this concept further evolves with the addition of a club racer-inspired S2000 CR to the 2008 Honda lineup.
The S2000 CR introduces more track-oriented suspension settings, aerodynamic-enhancing bodywork, a removable hardtop, higher rigidity and reduced weight to the S2000 formula. The added features are designed to appeal to enthusiasts who enjoy open track day events and also provide a more ideal starting point for racers who modify the S2000 for competition in club racing events.
"Open track days and club racing events have rapidly gained popularity as new racing venues and dedicated organizations make track time increasingly more attainable," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The S2000 CR is designed as the ideal car to drive to the track, drive at the track and drive home from the track with minimal fuss."
As a quintessential roadster-style sports car, the S2000 is a performance icon for the Honda brand that combines racetrack-inspired performance with everyday usability. The front engine, rear-wheel-drive S2000 rewards driving enthusiasts with a potent 2.2-liter, 16-valve DOHC VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and a precise, short-throw 6-speed manual transmission, along with tenacious handling and an ideal 50/50 weight balance.
The renowned high-revving engine delivers 237 horsepower at 7800 rpm and 162 lb-ft. of torque at 6800 rpm. Perfectly complementing the engine's high-output characteristic is a compact, longitudinally-mounted, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that features a direct linkage for precise shifting and quick throws. Additional performance features include a front and rear double wishbone suspension, electric power steering and a torque-sensing limited-slip rear differential.
The S2000 comes with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels (new wheel design for 2008), ABS and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), also known as electronic stability control. While VSA serves to effectively enhance driver control during acceleration, braking, and cornering, the system can be disabled with the touch of a button when conditions warrant. Air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system are standard equipment on the S2000, optional on the S2000 CR for weight savings.
New for 2008, the S2000 has revised spring and damper tuning that subtly influences steering feel and high speed vehicle behavior. The instrument panel has a revised meter design for the fuel and temperature gauges, adding to the aesthetics of the display. Specifically, the fuel and temperature meters now reside along the arc formed by the tachometer instead of a semi-circle configuration below and to the right of the tachometer. Also, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been added.
The S2000 has dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags (SRS) for the driver and passenger, three-point seat belts with load limiters and automatic tensioning system, roll bar hoops and reinforced windshield posts. For pedestrian safety, the hood hinges and windshield-wiper pivots are designed to collapse and help minimize the severity of a head injury to a pedestrian.
The S2000 CR is an entirely new trim level for 2008. The lighter, stiffer and more aggressive overall design is engineered to maximize the S2000's potential on a racetrack with the goal of substantially-improving track times, chassis balance and feel. Compared to the S2000, the factory-tuned S2000 CR provides more aggressive track-oriented suspension settings, increased body and chassis rigidity, overall weight reduction, and aerodynamic spoilers tuned for reduced lift and enhanced chassis balance at high speeds. A removable aluminum hardtop replaces the convertible soft top.
The aerodynamic package reduces lift through large and specially-tuned front and rear spoilers. Exclusive chassis features include a quicker steering ratio, more aggressive Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires (in place of RE050 tires), a larger rear tire size, firmer springs and dampers, larger stabilizer bars and the S2000's new wheel design in Kaiser Silver. A rear body brace has been added to the area previously occupied by the soft top, resulting in additional rigidity. Relative to the base 2008 S2000, cumulative weight savings total 51 pounds (hardtop installed) and 99 pounds (hardtop removed). A sport-tuned muffler adds to the vehicles heightened performance feel.
The S2000 CR interior follows traditional racecar themes. Fabric seating surfaces with yellow stitching help create a sporty appearance while synthetic suede bolsters enhance lateral grip. An exclusive spherical aluminum shift knob on the S2000 CR rests 12.6 mm lower for a 6 percent reduction in shift stroke compared to the conventional S2000 cylindrical shift knob (aluminum/leather wrapped). Additionally, shift load effort increases by 10 percent for even more direct feedback when engaging a gear.
The S2000 CR instrument panel meters include a "peak-power indicator." When the engine is operating at peak power, a round, green light illuminates to the right of the digital speedometer. To save weight, air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system are only available as factory-installed optional equipment.
The design and engineering concept for the S2000 is to deliver race-car-like performance and handling-something an enthusiast driver could use and enjoy, even in everyday driving situations. In addition, the S2000 is intended to be a modern, socially-responsible automobile with low emissions. The S2000's roadster layout also captures the spirit of the legendary high-performance sports cars of the past, as well as Honda's very first sports car, the S500 roadster. However, the S2000 makes no attempt to be a retro sports car. It is a unique, Honda interpretation of a modern sports car - with high performance, state-of-the-art technology, style, and Honda durability, quality and refinement.