2008 Honda S2000 - Introduction


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2008 Honda S2000 CR

Torrance, Calif. August 15, 2007; The Honda S2000 represents the purest expression of Honda fun-to-drive DNA with its 2-seat, open-topped roadster configuration and sophisticated front-engine, rear-wheel-drive platform. As a true sports car that can serve as a practical and fun daily driver and also feel equally at-home on a racetrack, this concept further evolves with the addition of a club racer-inspired S2000 CR to the Honda lineup.

The S2000 CR (CR for "Club Racer") introduces more track-oriented suspension settings, aerodynamic-enhancing bodywork, a removable hardtop, higher rigidity and reduced weight to the S2000 formula. The added features are designed to appeal to enthusiasts who enjoy open track day events and also provide a more ideal starting point for racers who modify the S2000 for competition in club racing events.

"Open track days and club racing events have rapidly gained popularity as new racing venues and dedicated organizations make track time increasingly more attainable," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The S2000 CR is designed as the ideal car to drive to the track, drive at the track and drive home from the track with minimal fuss."

S2000 Summary:

  • 2.2-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, VTEC 4-cylinder engine
    (237 horsepower @ 7800 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 6800 rpm)
  • Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission
  • In-wheel double wishbone suspension, front and rear
  • Lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels
  • High performance Bridgestone Potenza RE050 215/45R17 front and 245/40R17 rear tires
  • Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)
  • Electrically-powered soft top convertible (omitted on CR)
  • Leather-trimmed seating surfaces (except CR)
  • Standard air conditioning (available CR)
  • Standard AM/FM/CD audio system with 8-speakers (available CR)

S2000 CR Exclusive Features:

  • Firmer, track-oriented suspension settings for springs, dampers and stabilizer bars
  • Structural enhancements include rear body brace and steering gearbox brace
  • Quicker steering ratio of 13.8:1 (compared to 14.9:1)
  • Ultra-high performance Bridgestone RE070 tires, 215/45R17 front and 255/40R17 rear
  • Aerodynamic body kit for reduced coefficient of lift (Cl) and improved balance
  • Removable aluminum hardtop
  • Sport muffler
  • High-grip fabric seating surfaces with synthetic suede trim
  • Omitted items for weight reduction: convertible soft top, audio system (optional), air conditioning (optional), spare tire and jack, and sound insulation

S2000

As a quintessential roadster-style sports car, the S2000 is a performance icon for the Honda brand that combines racetrack-inspired performance with everyday usability. The front engine, rear-wheel-drive 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 an ideal 50/50 weight balance.

The renowned high-revving engine delivers 237 horsepower at 7800 rpm and 162 lb-ft. of torque at 6800 rpm. Perfectly complementing 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. Additional performance features include a front and rear double wishbone suspension, electric power steering and a torque-sensing limited slip rear differential.

The S2000 comes with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, ABS and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). (VSA is the Honda brand name for electronic stability control.) 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. Air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system are standard equipment on the S2000, optional on the S2000 CR for weight savings.

New for 2008, the S2000 has revised spring and damper tuning that subtly influences steering feel and high speed vehicle behavior. Inside, the minor changes include revised instrument panel meters and minor revisions to the seat design. Also, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been added.

S2000 CR

The S2000 CR is an entirely new trim level for 2008. 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. Compared to the S2000, the factory-tuned S2000 CR provides more aggressive and track-oriented suspension settings, increased body and chassis rigidity, overall weight reduction, and aerodynamic spoilers tuned for reduced lift and enhanced chassis balance at high speeds. A removable aluminum hardtop replaces the convertible soft top.

The aerodynamic package reduces lift through large and specially-tuned front and rear spoilers. Exclusive chassis features include a quicker steering ratio, more aggressive Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires (in place of RE050 tires), a larger rear tire size, firmer springs and dampers, larger stabilizer bars and the S2000's new wheel design in Kaiser Silver. A rear body brace has been added to the area previously occupied by the soft top, resulting in additional rigidity. Relative to the base 2008 S2000, cumulative weight savings total 51 pounds (hardtop installed) and 99 pounds (hardtop removed).

The exclusive interior is highlighted by black fabric seating surfaces with yellow stitching, a unique spherical aluminum shifter and carbon fiber-style trim panels. To save weight, air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system are only available as factory-installed optional equipment.

  2007 S2000 2008 S2000 2008 S2000CR CR Difference
(2008 to 2008)
Powertrain
Engine 2.2-liter DOHC VTEC 2.2-liter DOHC VTEC 2.2-liter DOHC VTEC --
Horsepower 237 @ 7800 rpm 237 @ 7800 rpm 237 @ 7800 rpm --
Torque (lbs- ft.) 162 @ 6800 rpm 162 @ 6800 rpm 162 @ 6800 rpm --
Compression Ration 11.1:1 11.1:1 11.1:1 --
Muffler Stock Stock Sports Muffler Tuned Exhaust Note
Transmission 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual --
Suspension        
Wheels (inches) Front: 17x7
Rear: 17x8.5
Front: 17x7
Rear: 17x8.5
Front: 17x7
Rear: 17x8.5
--
Tires Front: P215/45R17
Rear: P245/40R17
(Potenza RE050)
Front: P215/45R17
Rear: P245/40R17
(Potenza RE050)
Front: P215/45R17
Rear: P255/40R17
(Potenza RE070)
Front: --
Rear: Section Width
+ 10 mm
Steering Ratio 14.9:1 14.9:1 13.8:1 Quicker Ratio
Coil Springs -- Front: Stiffer by 7%
Rear: Stiffer by 9%
(from 2007 spec)
Sports Suspension Front: Stiffer by 37%
Rear: Stiffer by 17%
(from 2008 Spec)
Dampers -- Front: Damping Force
Increased 10%
Rear: Damping Force
Increased 5%
(from 2007 spec)
Sports Suspension Front: Damping Force
Increased 50%
Rear: Damping Force
Increased 32%
(from 2008 spec)
Stabilizer Bars (mm) Front: 26.5 x t4.5
Rear: 25.4 x t4.5
Front: 27.2 x t5.3
Rear: 25.4 x t4.5
Front: 28.6 x t4.5
Rear: 26.5 x t4.5
Front: +1.4 x -0.8
Rear: +1.1 x 0.0
Rear Body Brace Not Available Not Available New Increased Rigidity
Spare Tire Included Included Not Available
(replaced by repair kit)
Weight Savings
Body
Aerodynamics -- -- Complete Front/Rear Aero Package Coefficient of Lift (Cl)
Decreased by 70 to 80 Percent Overall
Body Rigidity   Same Rear Body Brace Added Rigidity Increased
Weight (lbs.) 2855 2864 2813 w/o AC and Audio
(2765 w/o hardtop)
AC/Audio +46
-51 (-99 w/o hardtop), Attributable to Hardtop, Removal of Sound
Deadening Materials and Spare Tire
Exterior Dimensions
L x W x H (inches)
162.2 x 68.9 x 50.0 162.2 x 68.9 x 50.0 162.2 x 68.9 x 50.0 Same
Interior
Instrument Panel -- Minor Update, Revised Meter Design Minor Update plus
Peak Power Indicator
Indicates Peak Engine Output

S2000 CR Weight Savings Summary

Reducing vehicle weight increases vehicle performance and, by design, the S2000 CR weighs less than the more civilized S2000. The following summary describes how the S2000 CR reduces weight while adding some performance components that increase weight.

Eliminated Components, Hardtop Installed (approximately -51 pounds)

  • Electrically-powered convertible soft top
  • Sound insulation
  • Spare tire and jack

Optional Eliminated Components (approximately -42 pounds)

  • Air conditioning
  • Audio system

User-Configurable Components (approximately -48 pounds)

  • Removable aluminum hardtop

Exclusive S2000 CR Components (approximately +42 pounds)

  • Front and rear spoiler
  • Rear body brace
  • Steering box brace
  • Roll bar cowlings and hardtop mounting covers
  • Heavier suspension components
  • Increased rear tire size
  • Tire repair kit

Powertrain

The 2.2-liter, DOHC VTEC 4-cylinder engine produces 237 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque while meeting California's Low-Emission Vehicle 2 (LEV-2) standards. Honda's innovative VTEC advanced variable valve-timing system operates the engine's 16 valves in both intake and exhaust modes. This system is compact and tailored to the high-output, high-rpm operating characteristics of the S2000 engine. Torque and horsepower are optimized over the engine's entire operating range to simultaneously provide low-end power and top-end performance near the engines 8000 rpm redline. The S2000 is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds.

The aluminum-alloy cylinder head maximizes space efficiency with a compact gear and chain-drive system for the dual overhead camshafts. The ancillary drive system for the alternator, water pump and air-conditioning compressor also use a space-efficient design.

The engine's highly rigid, aluminum-alloy cylinder block features long-wearing FRM (Fiber-Reinforced Metal) cylinder liners.

ightweight pistons are made of forged aluminum alloy and the forged-steel connecting rods and crankshaft are heat-treated for added toughness. Numerous friction-reduction techniques, such as, roller-bearing cam followers and advanced bearing materials, are used in the engine.

A large-capacity, low-restriction intake system and low back-pressure exhaust system contribute to the engine's overall efficiency and help create the S2000's audible performance demeanor. (The S2000 CR sport muffler is tuned for a more aggressive exhaust note.) The exhaust system uses a high-efficiency metal-honeycomb catalyst. A direct-ignition system and Honda-programmed multi-point fuel injection contribute to the S2000's engine achieving its LEV-2 status.

A 6-speed, manual transmission uses closely-spaced low gear ratios on gears one through five, and a "tall" sixth speed gear for relaxed highway cruising (65mph = 3500 rpm). The transmission is a compact design and features a direct mechanical shift linkage with short throws between each gear. A Torsen limited-slip differential distributes torque to both rear wheels simultaneously or variably as traction conditions permit.

Body

The S2000 is an open-topped, two-seat roadster with a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The S2000 uses steel body construction with the exception of the hood, which is aluminum. The body and frame are a hybrid monocoque structure. The "High X-Bone Frame" is formed by the body's high side sills, and diagonal (X) bracing underneath the body. A large central tunnel runs down the center of the cockpit. The tunnel serves as the backbone and main load-bearing structure for the vehicle, as well as a housing for the transmission and driveshaft.

The exterior styling of the S2000's body is designed to appear angular, modern and sleek. The long hood and flared front fenders create the impression of lowness and mass. High-intensity discharge (HID) projector headlights highlight the front of the vehicle, while the taillight design follows a similar theme with large, round multi-LED taillights set in clear-lens housings.

The S2000 CR adds extensive aerodynamic body work that functions to significantly reduce lift and enhance chassis balance at high speeds. An underbody front spoiler and a trunk lid-mounted rear spoiler combine to lower the Coefficient of Lift (Cl) by as much as 70-80 percent depending on the roof configuration. Downforce is created by the rear spoiler when the hardtop is installed as the contour of the roof is designed to influence aerodynamics at the rear of the vehicle.

Chassis

The S2000's front and rear double wishbone suspension systems are a compact in-wheel design, similar to the type used on racing cars. At each wheel, upper and lower A-shaped wishbone links carry suspension loads directly to the subframes. Front 215/45 R17 87W and rear 245/40 R17 91W (255/40 R17 94W on CR) tires are mounted on newly-designed and lighter weight 17-inch alloy wheels. The 11.8-inch vented front brake discs and 11.1-inch solid rear brake discs are calibrated to provide world-class stopping power and a solid, linear brake feel. Coil springs and mono-tube, gas-pressurized dampers (remote reservoirs in the rear) are used at each wheel. Front and rear stabilizers help keep body roll to a minimum.

Electronic stability control is provided through the VSA system, and an ABS system is standard equipment. An electrically-assisted power steering system provides more power steering assist at low speeds for ease-of-maneuvering. As vehicle speed increases, less power assist is supplied, giving the steering a more direct feel.

For 2008, the S2000 suspension has been tuned with new spring, damper and stabilizer bar settings to further enhance road-holding and steering feel. The S2000 CR suspension tuning goes even further by taking advantage of body rigidity enhancements made possible with the exclusive removable hardtop configuration and by adding stiffer springs and sway bars, and firmer dampers. Specially-developed steering gearbox stiffeners on the S2000 CR provides an even more direct, reflexive feel, and is further supplemented by a quicker steering ratio of 13.8:1 (compared to 14.9:1 for the S2000).

Interior

The S2000's driver-oriented interior is designed to be functional in much the same way as a purpose-built racecar with excellent outward visibility and simplicity of controls. High sides reinforce the cockpit-like feel of the interior. The seats contour to provide excellent lateral support during aggressive turns. Controls such as the steering, brakes and clutch, operate with a high level of precision and a direct, commanding feel. The aluminum and leather-wrapped shift knob, racing-inspired digital instrument display and engine-start button further highlight the vehicle's racing pedigree.

The list of comfort and convenience features includes a power-operated convertible top that opens or closes in approximately six seconds (replaced by a removable aluminum hardtop on the S2000 CR), power door locks, power windows, cruise control, Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System and keyless entry for the doors and the trunk. The following features are standard on the S2000 and available on the S2000 CR: air conditioning with micron air filtration and an AM/FM/CD audio system with eight speakers (including four speakers located in the roll bar hoops behind the seats) and remote-operated audio controls.

For 2008, a few noteworthy changes have occurred to the interior on all S2000 models. The instrument panel has a revised meter design for the fuel and temperature gauges, adding to the aesthetics of the display. Specifically, the fuel and temperature meters now reside along the arc formed by the tachometer instead of a semi-circle configuration below and to the right of the tachometer.

The S2000 CR interior follows traditional racecar themes with fabric seating surfaces highlighted by yellow stitching. Synthetic suede bolsters enhance lateral grip. A spherical aluminum shift knob on the S2000 CR rests 12.6 mm lower for a 6 percent reduction in shift stroke compared to the regular S2000 cylindrical shift knob (aluminum/leather wrapped). Additionally, shift load effort increases by 10 percent for even more direct feedback when engaging a gear. The S2000 CR instrument panel meters include a "peak-power indicator." When the engine is operating at peak power, a round, green light illuminates to the right of the digital speedometer.

Safety Features

The S2000 has dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags (SRS) for the driver and passenger, three-point seat belts with load limiters and pre-tensioners, roll bar hoops and reinforced windshield posts. For pedestrian safety, the hood hinges and windshield-wiper pivots are designed to collapse and minimize the severity of a head injury to a pedestrian. Vehicle Stability Assist, ABS and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard equipment.

S2000 Background

The design and engineering concept for the S2000 is to deliver race-car-like performance and handling-something an enthusiast driver could use and enjoy, even in everyday driving situations. In addition, the S2000 is intended to be a modern, socially-responsible automobile with low emissions. The S2000's roadster layout also captures the spirit of the legendary high-performance sports cars of the past, as well as Honda's very first sports car, the S500 roadster.

However, the S2000 makes no attempt to be a retro sports car. It is a unique, Honda interpretation of a modern sports car - with high performance, state-of-the-art technology, style, and Honda durability, quality and refinement.

Manufacturing

The Honda S2000 is manufactured at the Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Suzuka factory in Japan on an exclusive production line.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Based in Torrance, California, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. was founded in 1959 as the U.S. sales & marketing subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Honda currently produces automobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, lawn mowers, marine engines and portable generators at its 10 major U.S. manufacturing plants - with two additional plants currently under construction. Honda also maintains three major R&D centers in Los Angeles, Ohio and North Carolina that design and develop many of the products sold in America. Currently, Honda employs more than 25,000 associates in the U.S.

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