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 26, 2003 (3:37 am)
I've been given a 2004 S2000 to drive for the next 3 days while the Honda general manager is out for the Thanksgiving holiday. I know the owners of the dealership and they still joke that it's their goal to get me to drop my spot (#2) on the Elise list and get an S2000 instead. Something about someone my age shouldn't be trying to get in and out of an Elise.
I've only had the S2000 for 20 miles, but for all this debate over a "substantial" improvement, I don't see it yet. Nor do I think one was needed. As someone else mentioned, if you want a torquey, lower RPM car, just get a Boxster S or Z4 and leave the S2000 to those who like to shift.
The next few days will allow me a fairer comparison. Fortunately, the car already has 2,000 miles on it, so I won't be afraid to rev it up. I might even get my neighbor with a 2002 to sneak out for a little "competition", at our local private airstrip.
Nov 28, 2003 (3:54 pm)
I'd say go for the 2004 S2K. Then you can let me know how it works out as a daily driver in the snow belt...
Nov 29, 2003 (8:35 am)
Here is the unadulterated bad news: I did!
This sadly came with the condition (from my better half) that this would be my last present to myself for the remainder of the decade Now she controls the cash and the gifts!
I like the car - those with several cars may be less impressed (they even may find it a step backwards due to the tamed redline) but if this is a daily driver then it's a step forward in my opinion. This is for a few reasons,
1. Cabin noise definitely is lower. I think it's due to lower revs to maintain speed. My brand new, not-even-broken in '04 does 70mph around 3500rpm, which is noticably lower than the '02 did. I also think the RE050 tires are quieter than the S02s at speed.
2. The stereo still sucks, but it sucks less!
3. Suspension - my ride to work has some pretty bad stretches which were just horrific on the previous S. The new one seems more composed - you still feel the road, just not all the way to your dental fillings.
4. The tires - I like 'em. As you know we've had a lot of rain and snow over the last few days. The RE050s cut through the rain like I wouldn't believe - I was very impressed. On damp road they are stellar. On standing water, uh, less so. I haven't had a chance to test out snow; the flurries we're getting haven't collected. The impression I get is that they will be awful - the tires are described as not recommended for snow by Tirerack. Thinking about getting a single pair of Blizzaks just for the rears.
There aren't too many drawbacks to the latest version of the S, although two come to mind.
One is the redline. 9000rpm was as high as you could get in a production car--beyond Ferrari, beyond Porsche, beyond BMW. 8000rpm remains high but it's a bit less dramatic. I guess it's the loss of a bit of flair. Day to day things seem a little spunkier, esp. in the midrange, but I've read that the '04 is pretty much in a dead heat with the '00-'03 on autocrosses b/c what's gained in torque and hp is lost through shifts that come sooner.
Two, the old S had pretty ordinary, regular wheels - typical of your standard, oh, family sedan. The new S's rubber is much lower profile (245/40/17s) and has a strong aftermarket flair which makes me worry more about (a) cracking rims on potholes and (b) theft and/or attracting the wrong kind of people.
Overall, I'd say the car is livable for dry and rain, wet or cold, short or long trips. Snow? Good question - I'll find out soon.
Nov 29, 2003 (2:50 pm)
I'm thinking you might want to go with four winter tires instead of just two, though...
Nov 29, 2003 (7:30 pm)
Well, what I found in the past (with the '02 as well as now with the '04) is that the rear tends to be the one that cause the most problems in inclement weather. I wish I could speak to the '04 more intelligently but we haven't had any snow, however should it behave the same, then switching the rears certainly would be much less expensive than switching both. 245/40/17 winter tires are more expensive than I would have thought!
Or, I never take vacation and have weeks upon weeks that I simply could burn up whenever the white stuff falls. Hmm.
Nov 30, 2003 (3:02 am)
I'm surprised you took the plunge after coming to your rational senses once before - but after all you only live once (or is it twice in your case).
One request - find out if Lucid Automotive is still around and, if they are, order their easy to install Polk rear speakers pre-installed in replacement panels for behind the seats. It won't make your S2000 into Carnegie Hall, but at least it ends up higher than "sucks" on the audio scale.
Nov 30, 2003 (8:17 am)
Lucid still is around. I'm thinking about one of their $200 kits for the rear panels. However there's another option now, well, two options.
1. Honda how has a set of OEM headrest speakers that reside behind the driver and passenger hoops. Each is a plastic casing that encloses two small speakers, to provide volume and stereo imaging to each seat position. Looks very nice and gets great reviews from the very few people who have it. Downside is $400 from hardtopguy.com or $420 from handaaccessories.com. Install looks easy.
2. Some guy over on s2ki.com has been selling his own headrest speaker enclosure called "S-Pod" - it's an enclose for what looks like a single decent midrange speaker. Looks great (high quality kit) and supposedly sounds great since you control your speaker choice, and it's cheap; downside is no stereo and it's not OEM so who knows what support you get in the long run.
What I'm thinking is that the Lucid panels as well as the Honda OEM headrest speakers (either now or in the long run) together would be ideal. The problem is that the stock deck barely has enough juice to power the four tiny speakers in the car as it is; adding another six out back, even small ones, will run you out of pinouts as well as juice. At that point people start to say "headunit and amp" but I don't know if it's worth it - the cost escalates dramatically and I'd either have to start tearing things up to wire the car, or I'd have to trust my shiny new pride and joy to some sound shop.
On the other hand I have very little political capital left with Her, so I'm thinking I'd better spent what little is left in the next month, before it evaporates anyway. And, I really, really love listening to music on the way to work.
So I'll probably go with Lucid. Which setup do you have, habitat?
I have to get a seat of wheel locks too... geez. Any recommendations on wheel locks other than Honda OEM? (Since the Honda OEM locks all share the same key?!?!?)
#33 of 638 Dealing with the Better Half
Nov 30, 2003 (3:32 pm)
Just wait, sphinx -- in a couple years, you'll pull up to the house in a new NSX, saying, "Hi honey! Remember that home equity loan we talked about..."
Nov 30, 2003 (4:21 pm)
I have Polk EX3's (model 352 if I'm not mistaken). It doesn't appear that Lucid offers the Polks anymore. You may want to ask them how the current offerings comapare - I am very pleased with the Polks.
Personally, I'm not enough of an audiophile to want to replace the factory head unit to seriously upgrade the system. I also like the fingertip controls alongside the steering wheel, which I have been told don't work with aftermarket systems. The Polk rear panel addition did the trick for me. They are very efficient speakers, as well, and put out a lot of clear sound at relatively low volume settings.
P.S. Can't help you on the wheel locks - my dealer threw them in for free.
#35 of 638 snow + RE050 = death
Dec 02, 2003 (6:16 pm)
I just returned from a business trip to Toronto. It seemed like a good opportunity to put a few miles on the car and see how it fares. While in Toronto, we got a nice sprinkling (about an inch or two) of the white stuff, and I got to see how the '04 and its new, wider tires fared.
Well, they didn't.
Let me put it this way: 1/2 inch of white stuff, 1000rpm (just above stalling) and about 4km/hr on the speedo, on a flat surface---and the rear is spinning. I'm not saying that there was very little traction. There was *no* traction. My colleague/travelmate in her GMC Yukon, just behind me, thought my antics in trying to get out of the parking lot was pretty amusing. I nearly begged her for a tow.
On the drive back, we had some flurries and let's just say it wasn't pretty. If it weren't for the convoy of semis in front of me, whose treadmarks provided a path for the RE050s to get some grip, I wouldn't be alive to post this right now.
Basically, the RE050s suck in the snow. They are spectacularly bad. Horrific, terrible, even heinous... I can't come up with enough colorful adjectives. But let's put it this way: they're even worse than the S02s.
For blacktalon since he was asking - I do not recommend driving an '04 in the snow belt during inclement weather without either (a) snow tires and/or (b) life insurance.