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Finally drove my first S2000, AP1. It is a quintessential sports car.

Old 12-31-2010, 03:19 PM
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Finally drove my first S2000, AP1. It is a quintessential sports car.

Honda definitely needs to get back into the market of RWD roadsters. I have been looking around for a while for my next car and I would definitely choose the S2000 any day over a 2000-2003 Porsche Boxster.
Interior quality is better, the fit and finish of every detail is too. And I finally got to drive one. A yellow 2001 s2000. I was very very impressed.

Sitting into the car and closing the door definitely makes you feel as though your in a sturdier car than the 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata. Though the interior seems more smaller, everything is centralized around the driver and I love the cover for the radio, genius idea. I can't say anything bad about its MotoGP style instrument cluster. It is well illuminated and easy to glance at. I didn't know how I would like the smaller diameter steering wheel, but upon driving it I was very impressed at the response rate and feel through the steering wheel. This was a definite improvement over the hydraulically actuated powersteering in the Mazda Miata. Braking feel is as expect, linear and firm, and the transmission has very tight gates.

But the best score so far for me is the chassis and the engine. Definitely a 152 lb-ft and 238 horsepower is enough to make this car a thrill to drive. The satisfaction of the VTEC transistion at 6500 alone is enough to make the test driver consider a purchase. (Though I bet lowering it another grand would take the afterburner thrill away, but deliver more usable torque.) The engine has a very fluid and smooth note, no harness to it, despite the high rpms you have to pull in this car.

The chassis is, I can't describe what an improvement it is over a Mazda miata. The twin tuning forks x-bone design definitely makes the Miatas' frame feel like a wagon.

One thing I can say positive about the Mazdaspeed miata is this. It has significantly more torque. At 4000 rpms, the turbo spools to 9.5 psi and you get 190-200 lbs-ft of torque. At 4000 rpms in the S2000...its kinda just sitting there, lol. The S2000 strong pull comes in around 6500 rpms. My car's rev limiter cuts fuel and timing entirely at 6600 rpms...

Finally, the S2000 to me may not be the fastest of the two, but it is exceptional in so many aspects, and its pretty darn quick still, and did I say the chassis is as rock solid as it gets?

I would love to see this car with a LS4 5.3 liter aluminum V8 engine. 300 horsepower and 328 lbs-ft of torque and i'm confident this chassis could hold every bit of it without significant flexing...

I'm very happy with the experience, and I hope to have a 2000 model formula red 2000 in my garage by next week.

Last edited by Cody Strife; 12-31-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:38 PM
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Awesome! Red's a good color. Good luck. I remember the first time I drove an S. I always thought convertibles were really weak and didn't perform well(which is true for many) but I have never driven a car that felt this rigid and responsive. It was so much fun to drive and I had wanted one ever since then.

I drove a Mazdaspeed Miata right before thanksgiving just for fun and I really wasn't that impressed. Turbo is fun, and it has more torque which I really like but it felt much softer, significantly less responsive, the steering wheel in my opinion was too big and the steering wasn't nearly as responsive and quick as the S. It didn't feel nearly as rigid and it was missing 3,000 rpms! haha Miata was still fun though, great car, but the S is a much better car. And stock vs stock the S2000 is a lot faster.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AP1S2000 View Post
Awesome! Red's a good color. Good luck. I remember the first time I drove an S. I always thought convertibles were really weak and didn't perform well(which is true for many) but I have never driven a car that felt this rigid and responsive. It was so much fun to drive and I had wanted one ever since then.

I drove a Mazdaspeed Miata right before thanksgiving just for fun and I really wasn't that impressed. Turbo is fun, and it has more torque which I really like but it felt much softer, significantly less responsive, the steering wheel in my opinion was too big and the steering wasn't nearly as responsive and quick as the S. It didn't feel nearly as rigid and it was missing 3,000 rpms! haha Miata was still fun though, great car, but the S is a much better car. And stock vs stock the S2000 is a lot faster.
A stock MSM Miata definitely won't hold to an s2000, but a full intake, manual boost controller set at 9.5 psi and a 2.5 inch full exhaust system and you usually pick up 50-60 horsepower and 50 ft-lbs of torque. Then its pretty darn fast like mine... Its not a bad performer, its just not as satisfying as an S2000. And if you want a Miata to respond better, then you have to revalve those bilsteins or replace the entire suspension. The chassis is really the limiting factor in the Mazdaspeed Miata, you can only do so much...
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:52 PM
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Yeah, that's why I said stock vs stock. The miata would be easier to mod. But I was surprised how cheap the Miata was. They're going for so little. This one I drove was in perfect shape, no accidents, 2004, 23k miles and they wanted 11,900 at the mazda dealership. They're still good cars, but the way I see it is the S2000 is more a performance oriented Miata on steroids haha
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:05 PM
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That's 240HP for the AP1...son

Don't rob us of those remaining 2 HP. It would be, a travesty!

Last edited by yashooa; 12-31-2010 at 04:06 PM. Reason: CAUSE I COULD BEOTCHS!
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cody Strife View Post
Honda definitely needs to get back into the market of RWD roadsters. I have been looking around for a while for my next car and I would definitely choose the S2000 any day over a 2000-2003 Porsche Boxster.
Interior quality is better, the fit and finish of every detail is too. And I finally got to drive one. A yellow 2001 s2000. I was very very impressed.

Sitting into the car and closing the door definitely makes you feel as though your in a sturdier car than the 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata. Though the interior seems more smaller, everything is centralized around the driver and I love the cover for the radio, genius idea. I can't say anything bad about its MotoGP style instrument cluster. It is well illuminated and easy to glance at. I didn't know how I would like the smaller diameter steering wheel, but upon driving it I was very impressed at the response rate and feel through the steering wheel. This was a definite improvement over the hydraulically actuated powersteering in the Mazda Miata. Braking feel is as expect, linear and firm, and the transmission has very tight gates.

But the best score so far for me is the chassis and the engine. Definitely a 152 lb-ft and 238 horsepower is enough to make this car a thrill to drive. The satisfaction of the VTEC transistion at 6500 alone is enough to make the test driver consider a purchase. (Though I bet lowering it another grand would take the afterburner thrill away, but deliver more usable torque.) The engine has a very fluid and smooth note, no harness to it, despite the high rpms you have to pull in this car.

The chassis is, I can't describe what an improvement it is over a Mazda miata. The twin tuning forks x-bone design definitely makes the Miatas' frame feel like a wagon.

One thing I can say positive about the Mazdaspeed miata is this. It has significantly more torque. At 4000 rpms, the turbo spools to 9.5 psi and you get 190-200 lbs-ft of torque. At 4000 rpms in the S2000...its kinda just sitting there, lol. The S2000 strong pull comes in around 6500 rpms. My car's rev limiter cuts fuel and timing entirely at 6600 rpms...

Finally, the S2000 to me may not be the fastest of the two, but it is exceptional in so many aspects, and its pretty darn quick still, and did I say the chassis is as rock solid as it gets?

I would love to see this car with a LS4 5.3 liter aluminum V8 engine. 300 horsepower and 328 lbs-ft of torque and i'm confident this chassis could hold every bit of it without significant flexing...

I'm very happy with the experience, and I hope to have a 2000 model formula red 2000 in my garage by next week.
Awesome dude thats what I have only mine is white. I love the AP1. 100% hardcore sports car. No luxuries at all. I love it

Be sure to post us some pics.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by yashooa View Post
That's 240HP for the AP1...son

Don't rob us of those remaining 2 HP. It would be, a travesty!
Don't forget the 153tq, not 152!
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Cody Strife View Post
Honda definitely needs to get back into the market of RWD roadsters. I have been looking around for a while for my next car and I would definitely choose the S2000 any day over a 2000-2003 Porsche Boxster.

I'm very happy with the experience, and I hope to have a 2000 model formula red 2000 in my garage by next week.
i'd take the s2k over any year boxster period. and you can include Z3/Z4 also. for what it is, the s2k is awesome.

good luck with your search and purchase.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Cody Strife View Post
The satisfaction of the VTEC transistion at 6500 alone is enough to make the test driver consider a purchase. (Though I bet lowering it another grand would take the afterburner thrill away, but deliver more usable torque.)
God I LOVE high rev'ing Honda engines! 7000-9000rpm is addicting...

Strange that nobody lowers the VTEC switchover point on S2000's. Is it hard to do or bad for the engine?

When I had my Integra Type-R(think 1.8L S2000 engine) it was common for people to install VTEC controllers to lower where the VTEC kicks in. I didn't do it to mine since I was happy with the car the way it was, but it was common. I haven't come across anybody doing that with their S2000 in the brief time I've been reading S2000 forums. Maybe somebody can answer that question.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:39 PM
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S2000 is quite a beast. Keep it below 6k and it feels kinda like a Miata. But push the rpm's up there and it turns into a totally different animal!!!
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:58 PM
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Congrats on the drive. Now you need to drive a boosted and geared one. You will ask "Mazda what?"
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:31 PM
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Oh i'm sure a turbocharged or supercharged S2000 would be a handful.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Switchblade View Post
S2000 is quite a beast. Keep it below 6k and it feels kinda like a Miata. But push the rpm's up there and it turns into a totally different animal!!!
For sure and let me be honest this is one of the hardest cars to find that hasn't been riced out. Alot of beautiful low mileage s2000's are being reduced to a box of rice on four wheels because of the stupidity of some folks... So much that oem s2000's seem to command a premium price...
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:15 AM
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Indeed. A well modded s2K cant be picked out of the crowd so easily. You couldn't pick mine out other than the wheels.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Silverstone_Ryan View Post
God I LOVE high rev'ing Honda engines! 7000-9000rpm is addicting...

Strange that nobody lowers the VTEC switchover point on S2000's. Is it hard to do or bad for the engine?

When I had my Integra Type-R(think 1.8L S2000 engine) it was common for people to install VTEC controllers to lower where the VTEC kicks in. I didn't do it to mine since I was happy with the car the way it was, but it was common. I haven't come across anybody doing that with their S2000 in the brief time I've been reading S2000 forums. Maybe somebody can answer that question.

I messed around with the vtec like 6 years ago but didnt like it. Its right just where its at.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Silverstone_Ryan View Post
God I LOVE high rev'ing Honda engines! 7000-9000rpm is addicting...

Strange that nobody lowers the VTEC switchover point on S2000's. Is it hard to do or bad for the engine?

When I had my Integra Type-R(think 1.8L S2000 engine) it was common for people to install VTEC controllers to lower where the VTEC kicks in. I didn't do it to mine since I was happy with the car the way it was, but it was common. I haven't come across anybody doing that with their S2000 in the brief time I've been reading S2000 forums. Maybe somebody can answer that question.
Its a common thing to do with 06-09 models because its easy and a medium price (700). The earlier models you need to swap for the RSX ecu to tune the vtec wich is more expensive. I have been considering dropping mine down to 5000ish. The kit to do it costs 1800 though.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 0tyrael0 View Post
Indeed. A well modded s2K cant be picked out of the crowd so easily. You couldn't pick mine out other than the wheels.
Absolutely. My saying has always been, put functionality first, looks can come second. The JDM Rice crew, its one in the same, has an *** backwards approach. They can be summed up in three distinct things, Zero-offset, coilovers, and tur-blow...

...They ruin the cars' suspension and handling by using these gawdy-*** wheels that have deep dishes and stick out so much that they are like rollerskates, but I call them LOL-lerskates. I've driven a Miata with zero offsets, and the steering over the bumps is just...ah its a wreck. Then they go to these "coilovers" where they don't bother counter balancing or adjusting the rebound and compression, they just slam the car so its riding on the bumpstops and bouncing around on the road. The last, or zenith, is the Tur-blow. A cheap turbo kit, a poor tune, 10,000 miles of lean mixture and predetonation they have taking a good engine and reduced it to a shadow of its former self...

When it comes to wheels, I can appreciate a good set of volks, BBS, enkei, or another reputiable oem or aftermarket vendor. But "zero-offsets" deep dish wheels, totally off limits...

Here is an example of what not to do with your car...



I would call the cops on that crap for sparks flying everywhere...

Here is a picture of what to do with your car. (Not the clean look, factory offsets, 225/50/15's all around. Nice reliable turbo, decent sport alignment with about 1.5 degrees negative camber)



We can agree, that is one sharp looking first generation. Btw those are 949 racing wheels, a very reputable designer of wheels. They are awesome rims.

Last edited by Cody Strife; 01-01-2011 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Silverstone_Ryan View Post
God I LOVE high rev'ing Honda engines! 7000-9000rpm is addicting...

Strange that nobody lowers the VTEC switchover point on S2000's. Is it hard to do or bad for the engine?

When I had my Integra Type-R(think 1.8L S2000 engine) it was common for people to install VTEC controllers to lower where the VTEC kicks in. I didn't do it to mine since I was happy with the car the way it was, but it was common. I haven't come across anybody doing that with their S2000 in the brief time I've been reading S2000 forums. Maybe somebody can answer that question.


lol, people do this all the time MY 06+...
just search for it, if not here, s2ki. you will find all of the info you want and thensome on crossover for Vtec Vs. Hondata flashpro and where people decide to set the crossover...
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