2006 S2000 New Car Test Drive
The Honda S2000 is a two-seat roadster with the size of the small Mazda Miata and speed of the Porsche Boxster. It's a technological statement from Honda, which has no equal when it comes to pumping big horsepower out of small engines. Witness Honda's domination in the Indy Racing League, including its victory in the Indy 500 with a 3.0-liter engine producing 650 horsepower at 10,300 rpm.
The S2000 has earned a reputation as the sports car with an engine like a superbike motorcycle. Big horsepower from small displacement, with a narrow powerband and extremely high RPM. Nothing could match the original S2000 for exhilaration.
With the 2005 S2000 that still might be true, although it's been tamed a bit. The '05 remains basically unchanged from the '04, which brought refinements to the engine and suspension. Those refinements make it quicker and easier to drive, although the unique and exceptional rush that comes from seeing the tachometer needle reach 9000 rpm has been tempered to seeing a mere 8200. Which is still more than any other car we can think of, except the Mazda RX-8 with its rotary engine.
Other recent changes to the S2000 include 17-inch wheels, up from 16s; changed transmission gear ratios to improve acceleration; more shoulder and elbow room; and some body tweaks, most notably new headlights with a triple-beam design.
One model is available, which retails for $32,950 (plus $515 freight). The S2000 is equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox; an automatic is not available. There are a few dealer-installed options available, including a removable hardtop, trunk spoiler, XM Satellite Radio and headrest speakers.