Last post on Sep 02, 2011 at 2:21 PM
You are in the Honda S2000
What is this discussion about?
Honda S2000, Convertible
Nov 17, 2003 (2:08 am)
I had the opportunity to test droive the new 2004 S2000 and chat with a Honda regional rep who is a serious enthusiast.
My take - echoed by him - is that the new S2000's impprovements, while looking good on paper, are almost indetectible. In my opinion, the "more torque" and "more useable power" were not as evident to me as the lower redline. The 2004 did not seem as quick as my 2002, but that may be because it only had 300 miles on it. I noticed no difference whatsoever in the handling. There probably is a difference, buut I suspect you need to take the car to a track or be a much more aggressive driver than me to notice.
Don't get me wrong, the 2004 S2000 is a nice logical refinement of the original. But it's no cushy sports car and it's torque won't be mistaken for a Boxster S. If I were in the market today, I'd buy it for exactly the same reasons I bought a 2002.
P.S. As far as the stereo goes, I never turned it on, so I can't comment on that.
#18 of 638 blacktalon
Nov 17, 2003 (6:38 pm)
I've got an '03 S. Haven't driven an '04 but read lots of posts elsewhere by those who have bought them. I think "much" better daily driver is an overstatement. I never really got the lack of torque issue. Sure it's not up to par with the competition torquewise, but it's a high reving engine with a 6 speed manual transmission. One expects to be shifting a lot. I think "lack of torque" was a mantra that got repeated so much that Honda felt they had to do something. It ain't that much more torque. The '04 is probably an improvement over earlier models but it's still got the original spirit and isn't a good daily driver for lots of folks.
But, boy is it fun and you can get a nice factory hardtop as an expensive option. I'm not a stereo buff but it wouldn't be hard to improve the stereo in my '03. And '03 was an improvement over the original.
You owe it to yourself to go try one.
Nov 22, 2003 (12:19 am)
I spent several hours with a '04 S2000 thanks to dealer kindness
There's significantly more engine grunt right around 3000 rpm. It was enough to open my eyes. I also like the wheels which really open up the design and give the car a less docile, more aggressive stance. The stereo's also a quality unit, finally. There's even a dealer-installed option for midrange speakers within the headrests!
Suspension definitely has been tweaked. The '04 is quite a bit smoother over bumps. I'd say the road feedback is as desirable as before, but less punishing. It's hard to explain. The revised model definitely felt "better" on bad roads. The RE050s certainly seemed more silent; I wasn't able to break their grip sanely on public roads so I assume their dry weather traction is comparable to the S02s.
'04 has switched to RE050s, I haven't seen a lot on s2ki.com about these tires. There are intimations that they are better wet, poorer dry tires... basically max performance summer tires with a slightly greater bent toward "all-season" than the S02s.
I found this to be a VERY attractive car... gorgeous to look at and more responsive than the original. As the previous poster mentioned, I think it's a much better daily driver than previous years, while retaining most of the spirit of the original. Honda did a good job of going through all the details; the thoughtfulness shows from the extra wiggle room to the S2000 logo'd master ignition key to the LED taillamps.
Nov 22, 2003 (5:44 pm)
I got some more seat time in the 2004 S2000 while we were shopping for a Pilot agian this afternoon.
On the "improved" stereo, I was unimpressed. The sales manager and every sales person came over to listen to the "fantastic" stereo in my 2002, courtesy of $225 Polk rear speakers from Lucid Automotive that were installed by me (an MBA) in less than 75 minutes. The 2004 still doesn't have rear speakers and sounded barely better than my 2002 with the fader adjusted all the way to the front. Balanced between front and rear, the Polk addition in the 2002 completely blows away the 2004 system (at least with Evanescence playing). For anyone with an 2002-2004 S2000 that gives a hoot about a good stereo, the rear speaker addition from Lucid is a must. Pre-2002 models didn't have sufficient amplifier power to run the rear Polks, so an improvement would require a new head unit.
On the aesthetic revisionsof the 2004, I generally like them with two exceptions. Although I like the 17" increase in wheel size, the new design looks too busy for my taste. It even looks a little after-market. Also, I don't think the center console, which is all leather in the 2002/2003, looks as good in the leather / plastic combination of the 2004. I could take or leave the aluminum trim look on the radio cover. I do like the new digital dash instrumentation better; but it's made partly possible because 1,000 rpm has been removed from the redline and tach range.
Which brings me to my next point. The 9,000 rpm redline of the previous S2000's vs. the 8,000 rpm redline of the new one. That's not a change I like. The "additional torque" of the 2004 would take a dynomometer to detect. Like I said before, anyone who didn't like the low torque high revving nature of the previous S2000, isn't going to suddenly mistake the new one for a Boxster S or 350Z. But the lower redline takes a bit of the high end edge off the car. Just my opinion.
Nov 22, 2003 (6:13 pm)
I think you're understating the torque difference... been following s2ki quite a bit lately and nearly everyone appears to feel the difference. The '04 felt quicker than my fully-broken-in '02, which bodes well. I feel a substantial difference.
In terms of times based on s2ki and vtec.net, the 2.2L seems to match up almost identically to the '00-'03; it gets to speed faster, but loses back that time by having to shift sooner due to the lower redline.
I have a '04 for the weekend (Suzuka blue - my saleswoman has a "demo" and loaned it to me so long as I promised not to destroy it!) so I've put a lot of seat time into one today. The biggest difference I'm finding is that the larger motor does not need to work nearly as hard to make the same power; hence, cabin noise levels are markedly lower, particularly with the top up. With the top up, the '04 is quieter than my old '80s Prelude coupe was... which is a huge step towards making the S a more palatable daily driver.
I was disappointed that the HIDs still aren't self-leveling... really the only "feature" I'd like to see added at this point. JDM models allegedly get nav, although for the life of me I wouldn't know where the screen could be mounted.
The '04 is still relatively new so I don't anticipate taking it past 6k RPM during my brief stay with it, so I can't speak to the VTEC transition. I understand from others that it is much less pronounced.
Nov 23, 2003 (3:55 pm)
Before I hand in the keys in the morning... *cry*
I'm really, really wowed by the change in NVH, particularly with the top up. Between the lower sound levels and the more point-and-shoot engine power, I'm finding my mouth watering for the S once again. Suzuka Blue Metallic is a lovely color, moreover, although I don't know how I feel about the blue interior.
I saw some pictures of Japan-market S2000s which feature Sebring and Silverstone silvers with the blue leather seating... looked very sharp. I wonder why we can't get that here!
Also, I definitely like the RE050s better. I did a few mid-RPM launches, both straight and turns, and find the tires to be far, far better. They stick tight, and when they do lose traction it's a quiet slip - like softly rubbing a sneaker on some loose gravel and sand, not a squeal at all. I also sense that they are quieter than the S02s. A combination of the tweaked suspension and lower profile tires somehow maintains or improves road feedback while dialing out the harshness on the really big potholes.
#23 of 638 What is the 2004 S2000 Going For?
Nov 25, 2003 (12:00 pm)
I'm in the market for an 2004 S2000 after returning the 2004 RX-8. The guy at the closest dealership to me (in Indiana) says he'll give me $500.00 of MSRP. No more. I was figuring that they could do a bit better since we are headed for winter. Is this a reasonable discount on a convertible?
On another note, I always find it a waste of time when people who have an older model of a car state the new one isn't much of an improvement over the 2 or 3 year old one they have. It's almost like they have to rationalize to themselves that their car is still cool. The 2004 may not be a leap over the previous S2000 models, but it sure is an improvement worth reconizing. It's still not an easy car to live with day in and day out, but the improvement that has been made with the 2004 IS significant.
Nov 25, 2003 (1:25 pm)
I'd go for $1k under sticker - just say that's your offer and you'll sign the dotted line right then and there if they agree to the price. Dealer makes good profit on the vehicle, even at $1k below sticker, and the '04 is newer and better but it's not that much newer and better so as to reset the entire dynamic.
That said, a dealer near me has a new '03 that they're willing to deal on for numbers closer to invoice than MSRP. I think '03s are going to become an even better bargain than they are now.
Nov 25, 2003 (8:54 pm)
Sorry to waste your time, but I stand by my statement that the '04 as a daily driver is not that much of an improvement over past years, in terms of a daily driver. Slightly softened ride, maybe, slightly more torque. By it's very nature, the S2000 will never be a good daily driver for most people. How many people even want to be bothered with checking the oil every fillup?