2008 Honda S2000

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18 CITY / 25 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • New lightweight 'Club Racer' edition

  • Revised spring and damper tuning

  • Updated instrument panel with Peak-Power indicator on CR model

  • Revised driver and passenger seating

  • Standard tire-pressure-monitoring system added
Celebrating Honda's 50th anniversary, the S2000 roadster was launched in 1999 (it was first sold as a 2000 model). Designed as a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat roadster only available with a 6-speed manual transmission, it was the most expensive Honda model at the time of its introduction. Enthusiasts adopted the model as a favorite amateur autocross and track racer. Essentially unchanged throughout its production cycle except for minor updates and a bump in engine displacement, the 2008 S2000 will be available in two models for the first time. Honda says the S2000 is aimed directly at the enthusiast, and that with racing-oriented performance upgrades, the 2008 Honda S2000 CR 'Club Racer' is essentially a street-legal track car.

Model Lineup
The two Honda S2000 models available for 2008 share the same basic chassis, the identical high-revving 4-cylinder engine, a manual transmission, and a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution.

The standard-version S2000 is equipped with an electrically powered convertible soft top, leather seats, power door locks, power windows, air conditioning, and an AM/FM/CD audio system. Wheels are 17-inch aluminum alloy, with performance tires. With various performance upgrades in the suspension, and an aerodynamic body kit, the S2000 CR 'Club Racer' comes without a folding convertible top: just a removable aluminum hardtop. Cloth seats, power door locks, and power windows are standard, but air conditioning and an audio system are both optional to save weight. Seventeen-inch wheels with higher-performance and slightly wider tires are standard on the CR model.

For 2008, the instrument panel has a revised meter design for the fuel and temperature gauges, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system has been added as standard equipment. While the S2000 CR is fitted with a revised suspension as part of the 'Club Racer' package, the standard S2000 also benefits in 2008 from revised spring and damper tuning for improved steering feel and high-speed stability, according to Honda.

All 2008 Honda S2000s, regardless of model, are equipped with the identical 2.2-liter, 4-cylinder engine. The powerplant is rated at 237 hp and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. Honda's innovative VTEC valve-timing system has been tailored to the high-output, high-rpm (redline is at 8000 rpm), all-aluminum motor. Capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds, the engine still meets California's Low-Emission Vehicle 2 (LEV-2) standards. The sole transmission offering is a close-ratio 6-speed manual sending power to the rear wheels through a Torsen limited-slip differential. EPA fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway. Honda provides a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty on the S2000, and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Every 2008 Honda S2000 features dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags for the driver and passenger. Restraints are 3-point seat belts with load limiters and pre-tensioners. Roll bar hoops and reinforced windshield posts add safety to this convertible. Pedestrian safety has been addressed with hood hinges and windshield-wiper pivots designed to collapse in order to minimize head injury to pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has crash-tested the 2007 Honda S2000, which is structurally identical to the 2008 model. Driver and passenger both received a 4-star rating in the frontal-impact test. A 5-star rating, the agency's highest, was earned in the side-impact and rollover test.

The 2008 Honda S2000 offers quicker-ratio steering and track-oriented suspension (the front springs are 37-percent stiffer than the standard model, while the shock dampening force has been increased by 50 percent, says Honda), while thicker sway bars are prominent features in the 'Club Racer' edition of the 2008 S2000. Body and steering box bracing adds rigidity to the platform, helping the suspension keep the tires in contact with the road, according to Honda. The maker also claims that new body aerodynamics reduce lift and enhance stability. To save weight, the convertible soft top has been replaced by a removable aluminum hardtop, the audio system and air conditioning is now optional, the spare tire and jack have been replaced by a mobility system, and the sound insulation has been reduced. New wider tires offer more road-handling grip, and Honda says the new sport muffler creates an audible performance demeanor.

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