The Honda S2000 – Every Collector’s Dream

Table of Contents

Learn about the Honda S2000, a mid-engine sports car with a high-revving engine and a simple, timeless design. But why did its engine get so much attention, and why is it every collector’s dream, we will find it out together in this article.

Overview of Honda S2000

We all know how reliable and practical vehicles Honda produces. This commitment even extends to its sports car segment. The adequate interior space and comfort in Honda’s sports car are proof of their reliability.

One such model is the Honda S2000, which was produced as a concept car in 1995. It took no time to become a legitimate modern classic car; all hail its engine and appealing design. Out of all its amazing features, the S2000’s engine was applauded the most and got the most awards.

Let’s dig in further to find out what the hype was all about.


The S2000 was introduced as a mid-engine sports car that was launched in 1999 on the 50th Anniversary of Honda and produced until 2009. The Japanese manufacturer Honda produced this vehicle as a concept car known as the SSM (Sport Study Model) in 1995 at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Its power output was the major feature that made the S2000 stand out. It was capable of producing 124 horsepower per liter, which was considered the highest for a naturally aspirated engine until 2010.

The S in the name S2000 stands for Sports, while 2000 represents the 2-liter engine it contains. Throughout the production of this vehicle, many revisions were made, with one major facelift. That said, this vehicle was essentially divided into two variants: the initial models had the chassis code AP1, while the later models were given the chassis code AP2.


The table below shows the summary of both the AP1 and AP2 models of the Honda S2000.

GenerationEnginePower0-60 mph (approx)Top Speed
AP12.0L inline-4240 hp5.8 seconds149 mph
AP22.2L inline-4237 hp5.5 seconds145 mph

There’s no doubt that the Honda S2000 was made to be an icon in the world of sports cars. This car underwent a significant facelift, which transformed it into the AP2 generation. This transformation resulted in changes to the gearbox, suspension, interior, exterior, and engine. There were also some special edition models that added unique flavors to the S2000 lineup like the S2000 Club Racer (CR) in 2008. This variant was more track-focused and featured better aerodynamic enhancements. Though the production of this vehicle was seized in 2009, its legacy still stands as a symbol of engineering excellence.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The four-cylinder engine that the Honda S2000 carries is probably the only engine that is non-turbocharged yet super powerful. It is a 2.0L DOHC VTEC inline-4 engine that produces an impressive 240 horsepower along with a thrilling 9000 RPM redline. This is enough evidence of Honda’s love for producing high-revving performance.

The second generation, AP2, was produced in 2004 and came with an upgraded engine, which is a 2.2L DOHC VTEC inline-4 engine that slightly reduced the power to 237, but enhanced the mid-range torque. However, both the engines in the first and second generation were known for amazing responsiveness.

Throughout the production from 1999 to 2009, the S2000 was offered in six-speed manual transmission. This gearbox further contributed to a better driving experience with precise gear changes. At the same time, the absence of an automatic transmission was a limiting factor that proved a bit off for those who prefer automatic.

Since the S2000 is equipped with a lightweight chassis, it turns out quite responsive and offers precise handling too. This also makes it easier for the car to go through corners and sharp turns. The 0-60 mph times for the S2000 are notably quick, with the AP1 achieving around 5.8 seconds, while the AP2 around 5.5 seconds. However, the top speed for both generations was approximately 145-149 mph.


The S200 would appeal to anyone’s eyes on the first look due to its timeless sportiness and aesthetic chassis. It is essentially a two-door, mid-engine, open-top convertible vehicle that features a power-retractable soft top. It’s the convertible design that also adds to the car’s allure. As for the front fascia, it has aggressive yet clean lines and a minimalistic front look in general.

The car is equipped with alloy wheels; however, its design varies with different model years and trim levels. Honda S2000 is generally clean and simple, which is also reflected in its tail lights that are integrated into fenders, sculpted side sills, and the rear spoiler.

The key feature of the S2000 is its convertible soft top, which can be deployed or retracted with just a single push of a button. Furthermore, this vehicle has been produced in such amazing exterior colors with many bright options too. The common ones include silver, red, black, and blue.

Inside the Honda S2000

Though it’s a sports car, the cabin of the S2000 is cramped. It has two sport bucket seats, which provide lateral support for a better driving experience. However, the cramped interior proves challenging for taller individuals. Seats also turn out firm when used for a long time. Its gear lever is placed a little high, while the seats are more low-slung. The other instrument setup is pretty straightforward, having main controls close to the steering wheel.

The seats provide support, but there’s no adjustment in the steering column. The interior material varies depending on the model year and trim, but materials like cloth or leather upholstery were common. Similarly, accents in aluminum or plastic were used inside. There’s even a removable hard top in the GT model, which keeps the vehicle quieter and warmer in the winter.

Since the Honda S2000 is a sports car, the focus was given more to the performance and design of the vehicle. There are no advanced infotainment features, but the basic ones like a radio and CD player can be found.

While the vehicle has a modest interior space, there’s only 143 l trunk space, which is enough only for everyday items. That’s obviously the convertible design, which impacts the trunk space when it’s down.

About 113,889 units of the Honda S2000 have been produced in total from 1999 to 2011. Its launch price was $32,000, which is pretty modest compared to its rivals. However, it’s a popular collectible car now due to its high-revving engine and classic roadster design.

Driving Experience

Turning the ignition and firing up this S2000’s engine is quite an amazing experience, particularly due to the revving nature of its engine. Accelerating is also quick and responsive. The vehicle is popular for its ability to quickly reach high RPMs. As for the handling and cornering, it is also truly agile and responsive, obviously due to its lightweight design. The rear-wheel configuration and the well-tuned suspension are what make the cornering composed.

And finally, its convertible design offers a unique experience during the night, especially as the occupants can fully enjoy the sights, sounds, and sensations of the road.

Though it wasn’t produced as a racing car, the powerful engine makes it a competitive option in the racing series. One notable figure who showcased the Honda S2000’s capabilities on the track is Jenson Button. The S2000 has been featured in many racing competitions and events and turned out successful. It was even considered one of Jalopnik’s Best 10 Cars of the Decade. Even its engine has been ranked as the best on many occasions and in competitions.


In the sports car segment, the S2000 stands as an iconic vehicle, which is popularly celebrated for its high-revving engine to this date. Its two generations, the AP1 and AP2, came with incredible features each time. The introduction of the limited edition models and limited production of the first generation increased its status as a collector’s car.


  • Super attractive and pleasing looks
  • Comes with an impressive engine
  • Minimalist design and agile chassis


  • It can be noisy on the road
  • no automatic transmission option

Automotive Journalist Verdict

Chris Harris is a well-known automotive journalist and presenter who has applauded the S2000 in his review of the BBC’s “Top Gear.” He not only loved the driving experience but also talked about the infamous high-revving engine while describing it as one of the greatest power plants. Chris Harris’s admiration for this vehicle is loved and shared by many other automotive experts and enthusiasts, which solidified this vehicle’s reputation even further.


What makes the Honda S2000’s engine special?

The presence of the VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system is a major feature that contributes to the responsiveness of this engine.

What were some common issues with the S2000?

The S2000 is known for its reliability, but many issues have been reported about a lack of low-end torque in its early models.

Is the Honda S2000 still in production?

No, unfortunately, its production ceased in 2009, and there haven’t been any direct successor of S2000 till now.

Written by: Motorcardata

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