A true driving machine – JIMS 2008
The Honda S2000 is a new-generation open sports car that redefines driving pleasure. The current model benefits from engineering fine-tuning for outstanding stability, sharp responses and great comfort – complemented by detail improvements to make it even more attractive as a complete driving experience.
It comes with Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assistance (VSA) as standard, tuned to intervene only at a late stage - in line with the S2000’s philosophy of offering a purist driving experience.
A distinctive blend of purist sports car layout – a rear wheel drive, front-engined two seater roadster with a sturdy chassis frame and potent 177 kW 2,0-litre race-bred VTEC engine mated to a six-speed gearbox – have made the S2000 highly desirable around the world.
It epitomises Honda’s racing heritage, with the DNA of a thoroughbred racer and a lineage depicting the independent Japanese company’s engineering milestones.
Built with conventional methods, most open sports cars sacrifice lightness and driving performance to realise these goals. Overcoming such constraints, Honda created totally new technologies to deliver a superb driving experience while meeting the evolving needs of society.
The most significant aspect is the dynamic characteristics of the S2000 chassis. Sharp, predictable handling for an enjoyable driving experience is the result of the suspension set-up and body structure.
Part of the outstanding ride and handling package are stylish 17-inch alloy wheels with a twin 5-spoke pattern, for an aggressive appearance – shod with wide 215/45 R17 tyres at the front and 245/40R17 at the rear for impressive grip.
The Electrical Power Steering (EPS) system has a slow gear ratio and a rigid mounting to give precision, feel and response. The S2000’s advanced ABS system features software that deals effectively and intelligently with situations in which levels of surface grip differ momentarily between one wheel and another, for added stability.
The overall result is a dynamic capability that enables the exhilarating performance of the Honda S2000’s race-bred 2,0-litre VTEC engine – 240 km/h top speed and 0-100 km/h dash in 6,2 seconds – to be exploited to the full.
The traction control and stability control system (VSA) has a dedicated electronic control unit that receives signals such as wheel speed, yaw rate, lateral acceleration rate, steering angle, engine speed, and brake activation.
When it senses that any of these indicators don’t conform to a map of standard driving conditions, it assumes that the vehicle is about to become unstable and starts to intervene – gently at first and then more rapidly depending on the degree of control required.
This could include adjusting the fuel supply, retarding the ignition timing and adjusting the hydraulic pressure on each individual brake calliper. In an oversteer situation – where rear wheel slippage is forcing the nose of the car inwards – VSA will delicately apply braking force to the outer wheels. This affects the outward movement of the rear of the vehicle, and at the same time reduces the cornering force on the front wheels.
In an understeer situation, engine torque is reduced and braking force gently applied to the inner rear wheel - increasing tractability by reviving grip at the front of the vehicle.
The driving experience also benefits from careful attention to the drivetrain. There is a smooth, positive feel to gear shifting thanks to the use of carbon fibre-type synchromesh components on all forward gears.
Externally, the Honda S2000’s distinguishing arrow-like nose with its sweeping headlamp covers has a distinct sporty appearance with its triple beam headlamp assembly. The style of the rear bumper portrays a powerful presence from behind and its lower edge reaches down to twin chromed and oval-shaped exhaust tailpipes.
The Honda S2000 is available from selected Honda Auto Dealerships countrywide.
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