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All Torque!

by Murph

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Run that by me again - 1997cc, yet 240bhp??

Love them or loath them most will agree that the Japanese car makers have been responsible for the brightening up of the cars from Europe's leading manufacturers. Remember the days before the Toyota Corolla and Datsun Cherry - the British equivalent being the extremely boring Marina and Hunter. Even today our eastern friends still manage to excite the car enthusiast like nobody else can.
Just when you longed for that Boxster along came the Honda S2000. At nearly 10,000 of your hard-earned pounds less, this is a cheeky yet very serious sports car. Introduced as the SSM concept car in 1997, this baby has come from concept to reality with very few changes. Styling is not overstated, but you should not underestimate the abilities underneath. Powered with a 1997cc 16v VTEC unit, this cherub can muster up ..... wait for it 240bhp!!! Yes, two hundred and forty brake horsepower - from only 2.0 litres - all this at a scorching 8300rpm. This is good enough to give performance of 150mph and 0-60 in 5.5secs - not exactly a typical convertible, is it?
The gorgeous S2000 as it will be sold in the UK (with right-hand drive) Photograph provided by Honda UK
Never keen to promote eastern metal (Eh??! - Editor) - I must admit that this is a rather nifty little motor. The superb interior is a little compact but the high winged sports seats complement a near perfect driving position. One can't help but notice 6 on the stubby little titanium gear knob; yes, it's a six speed too - Honda has not cut corners. This commitment to creating a true driver's car has been rewarded. At this week's Geneva Show, the S2000 scooped the Cabrio of the Year award. This is the first time in the award's 6 years that a Japanese car has won.
The S2000 as it was unveiled in 1998 Photograph provided by Honda UK
Out on the road the S2000 is reported to handle superbly. It's even weight distribution enables the car to navigate the most testing corners with confidence and agility. The steering is light but accurate, and body roll is almost non-existent. Speaking of rolling, roll on October, when it goes on sale in the UK - this promises to wipe the smile from the faces of a few Boxster and Z3 owners, though only for the select few. The waiting list is already 18 months long.

Murph - 19 March 1999

    Honda S2000 Specifications

  • Engine: 1997cc 16v VTEC front-mounted
  • Gearbox: 6-speed manual - rear wheel drive
  • Power: 240bhp @ 8300rpm
  • Torque: 151lb ft @ 7500rpm
  • Performance: 150mph, 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds
  • Price: approx 25,000(available Oct '99)

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