2009 Honda S2000
2009 Honda S2000 – Purest Mass-Market Driver’s Car Ever?
For many drivers and sports car fanatics, the Honda S2000 epitomizes exactly what an open-top sports car should be. No where south of a Lotus Elise are buyers offered a car more pure a performance machine.
When Honda released the first-generation S2000 in 1999, automotive journalists everywhere gave it universal praise. Though it is much more expensive than the similar, though much less powerful, Mazda MX-5, the S2000 has evolved over the last several years though stayed true to form.
The only RWD car in Honda’s current lineup, the 2009 S2000 carries over the DOHC VTEC 2.2 Liter motor and body style from the 2008 model. Changes are limited to paint and interior options, and a new vehicle stability control system (VSA), which is as sophisticated as cars costing double the S2000’s $34k price point. Much to the delight of track racers everywhere, the S2000’s VSA system can be defeated.
While it perhaps prices itself above the heads of many of its intended buyers, the 2009 Honda S2000 is as pure a driver’s car as any of the major auto manufacturers offer. For those seeking even more, the track-prepped 2009 Honda S2000 CR, called the Type-S in Japan, will soon be available. Read on for all the official details, direct from Honda.
2009 Honda S2000 Defines Racing-Inspired Performance
Official Honda Motor Company Press Release
08/27/2008 – Torrance, Calif. –
Widely considered the quintessential roadster-style sports car, the S2000 is the performance icon for the Honda brand and combines uncompromising racetrack-ready performance with everyday usability. 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 is further evolved with a club racer-inspired S2000 CR trim, first offered in the 2008 model year.
The S2000 rewards driving enthusiasts with a potent 237 horsepower, 2.2-liter, 16-valve DOHC VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and a precise, short throw 6-speed manual transmission, along with tenacious handling and a perfect 50/50 weight balance. The S2000 includes an electronic Drive-by-Wire (DBW) Throttle System. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®), Maintenance Minder, system, standard headrest speakers, an outside temperature gauge and an engine start button.
Air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system are standard equipment on the S2000, optional on the S2000 CR for weight savings.
The Honda S2000 is a true performance vehicle that provides customers with an exciting experience behind the wheel, said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc. Because the S2000 is a car designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, it can easily satisfy daily driving needs without sacrificing track-worthy performance.
The S2000’s renowned high-revving, 2.2-liter, 16-valve DOHC VTEC 4-cylinder engine remains the pinnacle of naturally aspirated performance technology, delivering 237 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and 162 lb-ft. of torque at 6,800 rpm. Perfectly complimenting the engine’s output characteristics is a compact, longitudinally-mounted, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that features a direct linkage for precise shifting and quick throws.
The S2000 comes equipped with a Drive-by-Wire throttle control system eliminating the need for a mechanical connection between the throttle pedal and the engine. This enables continuous electronic monitoring and adjustment of throttle pedal sensitivity to create an ideal match between throttle response and driving conditions. The system also manages the S2000’s cruise control function for greater precision.
Honda’s VSA makes the S2000 more stable and forgiving during street driving or in inclement weather conditions. Working in concert with the Drive-by-Wire system, VSA continuously monitors yaw rate, steering input, throttle input, and braking pressure to determine if the car is following the driver’s intended path, and can independently coordinate each of the disc brakes through the 4-channel anti-lock brake system, along with the throttle, to enhance vehicle stability.
While this 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 it. To help provide optimum stopping power, the braking system also features Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
The S2000’s rear-wheel-drive chassis and powertrain layout results in a 50/50 front/rear weight distribution for perfect balance when cornering, while its hybrid monocoque body and high X-bone frame results in exceptional structural rigidity. Combined with a front and rear double wishbone suspension, precise electric power steering, and a torque-sensing limited slip differential, the end result is a complete, no compromise performance package for the enthusiast driver.
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.
Standard features for the S2000 include a power retractable convertible top, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, leather trimmed seats and High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with daytime running lights. An aluminum hardtop and XM® Satellite Radio are available as dealer installed options.
The lighter, stiffer and more aggressive overall design of the S2000 CR 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 suspension on the S2000 CR provides more aggressive track-oriented 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 a darker shade of gray on the wheel design. A rear body brace occupies the area previously occupied by the soft top on the S2000, resulting in additional rigidity on the S2000 CR.
Relative to the base 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. To save weight, air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system are only available as factory-installed optional equipment.
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 resides 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.
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.
For 2009, the S2000 is available in six colors, including, Laguna Blue Pearl, Chicane Silver Metallic, New Formula Red, Rio Yellow Pearl, Berlina Black and Grand Prix White. The S2000 CR is available in four colors: Rio Yellow Pearl; Grand Prix White; Berlina Black; and the CR exclusive, Apex Blue Pearl.
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