Before heading out to last week’s Honda press event, I went over the “What’s New for 2007” list. Nowhere on it was the S2000 roadster. So noticeably absent was the vehicle from the materials we were given that when I asked around the office, a few people thought it had actually been discontinued. We’re not being mean or anything, Honda only sold 676 of them in July.
Then I was confronted with a brand new, bright yellow 2007 S2000. The last time I tested an S2000 a few years back I found it one of the most uncomfortable, worst-
handlingriding roadsters I had ever driven. My colleague Joe Wiesenfelder said I should give it a second chance since it underwent tweaks to the engine and chassis since then. I brushed aside my reservations and hopped into the convertible.
With the top up, you are wedged into the cockpit like a tight pair of loafers. The steering wheel is tiny and fixed so there’s no room to adjust it. You’re also confronted with an interior that has not been majorly updated since the car’s debut in 1999 — and it shows.
The drive itself was nice. On smooth and rough surfaces the S2000 now feels more planted then the older version I remember. I did manage to loosen the rear-end more than I would like, but it didn’t ruin the drive. The 237 hp all come at high revs and that will throw off people used to muscle car lurches. Overall it was fun, like a roadster should be.
Looking at the S2000 doesn’t do much for me though. It doesn’t appear as dated on the outside as it does on the inside, but it’s no longer cutting edge. Another staffer here thinks it’s attractive and he’d buy one, especially in Laguna Blue Pearl shown above. The S2000’s price remains $34,050 despite those slow sales. That seems high to me, when you can get a BMW Z4 3.0i for $35,600. Its premium interior alone makes up for any cost difference.
In the end I’m glad I got rid of those negative feelings I had about the S2000, but it might be too little too late.