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Honda S2000 Roadster Performs with the Touch of a Button

29 December 1998

Honda S2000 Roadster Delivers High-Tech Performance at the Touch of a Button

Honda S2000

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29 -- The all-new, high-tech Honda S2000 roadster prototype made its worldwide debut today at a press conference prior to the opening of the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.

With the push of a racecar-style starter button, the Honda S2000's high-revving, 240-horsepower DOHC VTEC engine comes to life. The lightweight, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine produces 120 horsepower per liter -- more than any other mass-produced normally aspirated engine on the market. The engine also meets California's strict Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards.

"The Honda S2000 is a real driver's car," said Dick Szamborski, assistant vice president of marketing operations, Honda Division. "It is a true world-class, high-tech, high performance roadster."

The S2000 incorporates technological advances developed by Honda engineers over the past four decades of racing on circuits around the world. Honda's racing accomplishments include six consecutive Formula One Constructor Championships from 1986 to 1991, and two of the last three CART Manufacturer Championships, in 1996 and 1998.

"The S2000 is a reflection of Honda's heritage, much of which was learned on race tracks around the world," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of corporate planning for American Honda. "The S2000 is at once a reminder of the open-air fun provided by two-seat roadsters of our youth, and a look ahead at the technology of tomorrow."

The S2000 features optimum 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, along with a highly rigid body construction and newly designed in-wheel double-wishbone front and rear suspension that combine to achieve sure-footed driving performance.

An electric variable power assist steering system provides ease of handling at low speed and great road feel at higher speeds. An all-new close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission provides crisp, short throws and positive engagement.

S2000's styling represents Honda's interpretation of an advanced sports car with its chiseled angular lines and elegant appeal. The cockpit conveys the feel of a pure sports car with its contoured seats and electronic instrument panel that features a digital tachometer and speedometer.

Standard convenience and safety features include contoured leather seats, AM/FM stereo with CD player, cruise control, air conditioning, a power soft top, HID headlights, dual airbags, anti-lock brakes and roll bars behind the seats. In addition, the frame is designed for high resistance to side and offset-frontal impacts.

Best known for technological leadership, performance and low emission products, Honda built Japan's first mass-produced sports car, the S500, in the early 1960s.

The S2000 will be produced at Honda's Takanezawa plant in Tochigi, Japan where the Acura NSX is built. Chief engineer Shigeru Uehara, project leader of the NSX, also is responsible for the S2000.

The S2000 is scheduled for a fall 1999 release as a year 2000 model.