New York Auto Show: Honda's hardcore S2000 is a fitting send off

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Honda decided to make our roving band of blogger's lives easier by not holding a press conference and instead just plopping the Club Racer version of the S2000 onto a stand for all to see.

The "track-worthy" variant of the S2K gets enough structural and body mods to make any time-attack junky weep, beginning with a quicker steering rack, stiffer springs and dampers and larger sway bars. Newly designed wider rear rollers gets shod in the finest Bridgestone Potenza RE070s and the new aero bits, comprised of a redesigned front clip, side skirts, rear bumper and spoiler, have been wind tested and racer approved.

In an effort to drop the pounds and low the center or gravity, Honda decided to nix the folding roof altogether and instead, replaced it with an aluminum hard top. The former home of the soft top gets remodeled with plenty of bracing to increase the S2K's chassis rigidity.

Sales of the S2000 CR will begin this fall and no production numbers were mentioned.

You can view all the debuts and galleries from the New York Auto Show here.

Check the gallery below and the press release below the fold.
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04/04/2007 - NEW YORK -

The club racer-inspired 2008 Honda S2000 CR Prototype making its world debut at the New York International Auto Show introduces a higher level of track-worthy performance and style to the S2000 roadster, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.

The S2000 CR will be available as an entirely new S2000 trim level when it goes on sale in the fall of 2007. 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. The factory-tuned roadster provides highly-aggressive suspension settings, increased body and chassis rigidity, overall weight reduction and an aerodynamic body kit dialed-in for reduced lift. An aluminum hardtop replaces the convertible soft top as standard equipment.

"The S2000 CR is the closest thing you can get to a Honda-built racecar with license plate holders and a horn," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Its features and equipment are designed to appeal to weekend club racing enthusiasts."

The full-body aerodynamic package reduces lift through large and highly-tuned front and rear spoilers. Exclusive chassis features include a quicker steering ratio, Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires, a wider rear tire size, firmer springs and dampers, larger stabilizer bars and a new wheel design in a dark gray color.

Substantial structural bracing has been added to the storage area previously occupied by the soft top, resulting in additional rigidity. The aluminum hard top replaces the soft top of the conventional S2000, resulting in an overall weight savings of approximately 90 pounds when removed (relative to the current S2000).

The exclusive interior is highlighted by unique cloth seating surfaces with yellow stitching, a unique spherical aluminum shifter and carbon fiber-style trim panels. Air conditioning and an AM/FM Stereo with CD player are optional equipment. Standard features for the S2000 include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, ABS and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). 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 it.

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. The 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 a perfect 50/50 weight balance.

The renowned high-revving engine delivers 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. 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.

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