Last post on Dec 08, 2007 at 6:35 PM
You are in the Coupes & Convertibles
What is this discussion about?
Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari F430, Lotus Exige, Lotus Elise, Coupe
#205 of 531 Re: That's just the problem, price ... [Mr_Shiftright]
May 24, 2005 (12:21 pm)
At the risk of sounding argumentative, I respect your right to personal preferences, but you I can't agree with your assessments. They make me think you've dreamed of Ferraris, but have never actually driven a modern one. May have never driven a Honda S2000 or Bosxter S or 911 TT for that matter.
There are only two cars in the aforementioned group or, for that matter, sold in America, that are meant to be driven at between 7,000 and 8,500+ rpm - the Ferrari 360/430 and the (pre 2004 model) S2000. And, although the Ferrari is rear engine, both of those cars are among the most nimble handling and steering in their peer groups. Driven at 8,000+ rpm, the Honda sounds exactly what I would expect a 2.0 liter Ferrari engine to sound like, based upon my experience in 308's, 328's and a 360. IMO, the innovative chassis and in-wheel suspension system of the Honda is better than the more traditional Boxster design in terms of structural rigidity and lack of cowl shake.
I should point out that I have never personally owned a Honda. Probably never will. I have no axe to grind or personal agenda. But when I see comments suggesting that the Honda S2000's closest cousin is a Mazda Miata, I can't help but call a spade a spade. That comment smacks of snobbery, or engineering ignorance, take your pick. Would be like me stating that a 911 or Boxster S is nothing more than a gussied up Toyota MR2, simply because they are all mid/rear engine layouts.
Porsche makes some of the finest cars in the world. As does Ferrari. But the Honda S2000 is perhaps the best sports car ever to come out of Japan. If you are anti-Japanese, that's your perogative. But as much as I am a BMW owner and fan, I'd have to go back to the 1972 M1 to find something that could compete with the S2000 in innovation and engineering. Certainly the Z3, Z4 and even $130k Z8 don't.
So the fact that I could comfortably pay cash for a 360 or 430 doesn't cause me to thumb my nose at a 9,000 rpm Honda S2000 that costs a mere $32,000. And I will take the Honda 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine over the Lotus Elise's Toyota Celica borrowed engine anyday. Sorry "Honda" doesn't sound sexy to you, but in Formula One, they need to make no apologies.
#206 of 531 Shifty
May 24, 2005 (12:30 pm)
"I'd love to put an S2200 driveline into an RX-7 twin turbo coupe....."
Actually, I REALLY want one of these:
S2000 drivetrain in a 1400 lb. Lotus 7. Now THAT'S a sportscar.......
#207 of 531 Re: That's just the problem, price ... [spiritinthesky]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 24, 2005 (2:24 pm)
Sure I've driven an S2000. Ahhhh......you know, I'm tryin' hard here, but I just don't see any correlation to the Ferrari experience, sorry. Even if I squint. I don't see where you are coming from on this one. Where is the "connection" exactly between an S2000 and a Ferrari? Is there anything substantial there?
Are you saying an S2000 looks more like a Ferrari than it does a Miata? Or has more room than a Miata? Or is radically different in drivetrain layout? I don't personally think it has much connection with the Ferrari "concept" at all but a helluva lot of connection to a Miata "type" of car. Really, Miatas and S2000s are modern re-iterations of the MG and Austin Healey. They are not re-iteration of powerful & exclusive European GT or race cars.
It's a small fast Japanese sports car and the price is about right for what you get, maybe a $10,000 bargain. A Boxster is a small fast German sports car and is not a bargain.
So-- a Mustang is heck of a bargain too, but it isn't a Ferrari either. If it revs to 5,500 is it then 80% of a Ferrari? And if a Boxster revs to 6,000, same thing. It's nothing like a Ferrari.
In fact, no car is remotely like a Ferrari, which is why everybody wants one. It's really not too much more complicated than that (of course, you add mystique and heritage, blah blah, but really what people want is the total uniqueness of it).
I'm just not getting the logic here. Hopping from an S2000 to a Ferrari is two completely different universes. It's not like anyone would "confuse" one for the other IMO. It's not like people "cross-shop" them or anything.
People always accuse those exercising discrimination as "snobs" or "elitists" because I guess they want everything on a level field. But with cars it's not like that. That's what makes them so interesting. They are all so different.
(We aren't arguing, we are having fun! )
RORR -- ooooh, that's nice. Interesting they offer TWO engines, a Honda S2000 and.....a Miata!!
May 24, 2005 (7:03 pm)
I have purchased a new 2005 911 Carrera S and experienced a huge problem with the overall comfort of the seats. Although it has a comfortable lower portion, the upper portion hits me directly in the shoulder blades making for a very unpleasant ride. Does anyone know whether or not Porsche or an after market company is planning on offering an adjustment to this problem?
May 24, 2005 (10:50 pm)
And I'm sorry, but Honda could never build a Ferrari for regular production...
You're obviously unaware of the fact that, and I quote, "Honda has enjoyed record sales of cars and light trucks in each of the past six years—surpassing one million vehicles sold in every year since 1998."
"Worldwide unit sales of motorcycles, automobiles and power products all increased and set new records for the fiscal first half. Consolidated operating income increased mainly due to increased revenues and cost reduction effects which offset the negative effect from depreciation of the U.S. dollar."
In short, this means they have money. Lots of money. Regardless of your alleged "snobbery," Shifty, money talks. Honda has a lot of it. Last I checked, Ferrari was busy digging itself out of financial purgatory, albeit with a steady modicum of success. So regardless of who makes cars like this or like that, Honda's the bigger dog in the global market. It's unfair to assume that they can't do a Ferrari challenger. Cachet aside, it's obviously not the direction Honda's headed.
Because of the type of components needed to go flat out at redline for 24 hours,
I'll quickly let you know that if there were a Ferrari fighter in the Honda camp, the owners of the Hondas would be the ones hanging out at redline without fear of depreciation and resale. They'd be the ones speaking excitedly of their much repeated adventures in the hallowed blurry zone (above 130mph from what I can recall on the drive home, hehe). I've been up to the high 180's in a slightly modded NSX at the owners request.
the limited production necessary to maintain the "cache",
The numbers mean nothing. This is a case of value vs. cachet. No reason to start this fire again. Besides, cache isn't necessary when building a supercar. If it's a good enough value, it will sell. This is what keeps the Vette sales strong and also what killed the NSX.
and the enormous cost of customized lightweight castings for multi-cylinder engines and transmissions--
Did I hear the word cost? Are we forgetting who's got more dough?
to say nothing of paying a design team to make an outrageously good--looking supercar, which Honda has yet to do.
If form follows function as it did in the HSC concept a couple of years ago, good looking isn't that far of a stretch.
It's not as if we're trying to run a head to head comparison between the S2K and an F430. That's not it at all. Try not to be so ignorant to the fact that Honda knows just as much about racing as the Europeans do. If sports cars are representatives of racing cars on the consumer level, as most members have painstakingly agreed, then it's a safe to say that they know just as much about sports cars as well.
This fact is nothing new. In the sixties, there were exactly 2 car companies in the entire world that employed production engines with specific outputs north of 80bhp/liter, Honda and Ferrari. Honda even had an F1 victory in 1965. These facts may not have much to say about Honda's cachet, but it does show that Ferrari isn't the only player in the game with a history of building sports cars.
Remember that Honda is consumer oriented. They have to appeal to a wide range of people, not just the select few as Ferrari does. I think it's amazing that despite their plebeian entries into the market, Honda is still mentioned in sports car conversations worldwide.
#210 of 531 honda vs. ferrari vs whatever
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 25, 2005 (7:35 am)
I don't think you are reading what I am saying, UD.
Car designers are, as Road and Track said "cultural architects", that is, they reflect their country's culture. Ferraris are very romantic cars, Hondas are simply not at all like that. The Japanese are pragmatic, and much enamored of gadgetry and modernity but also a very conformist culture and very homogeneous. The very chaos and individuality of Italy clashes mightily with the orderliness of Japan and Germany.
Honda couldn't build a Ferrari with a hundred gazillion dollars, unless they hired Italians to build it for them and gave them carte blanche. it's not in their culture to build such a car. They would revolt at the sheer craziness of a Ferrari.
They can duplicate the performance of a Ferrari, they can copy the style of a Ferrari but not the soul of it. I don't think so anyway.
But why would they want to duplicate another country's cars? The suggestion is rather pointless. Hondas need to be Hondas. What could be more perfect?
Ferraris are for people who don't want Hondas, that's the whole idea. And what possible benefit could it be to Honda to steal the Ferrari market?
Liking Ferraris more than Hondas isn't "snobbery". It's discrimination in one's tastes. The more a person knows about something, the more he discriminates between one thing and another. That doesn't make him "right", that only means he recognizes a difference and is willing to pay for it. To presume the lover of a certain car has no educated levels of discrimination but is merely a slave to fashion or his own vanity or a tool of advertising is to suggest that all these enthusiasts with their passion for whatever car they choose have all made meaningless and erroneous choices.. You like crafted microbrews, I like wine, he likes ports, she likes cognacs. Why should I switch to sake -- because it costs less and gets me just as drunk? Not good reasons, just like buying stats on paper isn't a good reason to love a car.
The love of a certain car is extremely complex and no amount of statistics will explain it any more than it does love among humans IMO.
#211 of 531 Perspective, Shifty. Perspective.
May 25, 2005 (6:47 pm)
I'm not sure you're picking up what I'm putting down, Shiftmeister.
If that's the kick you were on from the beginning, then you should've said so. First of all, I doubt Hondas will ever possess the soul of Ferrari at all. I've never questioned the almighty Ferrari mystique. Not in the slightest. I was merely stating that Honda possesses the resources to produce a Ferrari fighter, cachet aside (I hope I don't have to say it again).
However, when the downplaying one of the greatest sports cars in the world occurs, it reeks of a blatant refusal to acknowledge the car for what it is. It seems as if this perspective is looking down from the top, sipping wine (hehe), laughing at the S2000 perspective.
To put the effort of Honda and the S2000 on the same level of the Miata is a slanted view of the automotive landscape. True, the ethos behind the two is the same, but that only reinforces how correct the Japanese have on what true sports cars are.
Don't take it the wrong way, as to say that the other sports car makers in the world have the definition wrong. They don't. It's just that the MX-5 and S2000 have a unity about them that really screams "sports car" more so than it speaks of their individual identities. When I drove the S2000 with the top down and the engine humming and screaming (depending on my preference) along the Florida coast, the thought came to mind that, "this is a great sports car." During the rental of a 360 in Miami--engine screaming or humming depending on how I felt--I thought, This is an awesome Ferrari."
It's just what separates the two. The Honda staying true to all of the elements of a sports car while offering a user-friendly interface, the Ferrari further evolving the elements of it's own great sports cars with each generation, getting more user-friendly with each generation.
I'm going to repeat, this isn't to say that anyone else has it wrong. I'm just speaking from the perspective of a person in the market for both cars, but holds value over cachet as priority (which is why I'm also in the market for a Ferrari). Shifty is merely the opposite and that's fine.
It'd be nice if the host of "The Definitive Discussion" had a more holistic view of the automotive landscape. But the fact that this is a forum, and the host doesn't have that view, makes for awesome debate. Thanks, Shifty.
May 25, 2005 (7:12 pm)
I'm not the host here actually, just visiting.
I'm not sure where we're going with this at all, so maybe others have something they'd like to say?
May 25, 2005 (9:19 pm)
Just a difference in 2 opinions. Nothing more. As long as I'm me, and you're you, this debate is perpetual. No need to stretch it out anymore.
#214 of 531 The Village People
May 26, 2005 (5:22 am)
Well they say the best way to speed is via RPM. However part of the RPM mystique is the noise that comes with it. Noise is macho. Lack of comfort is macho. You get a enough of both with the S2000. Cue… pound chest, yodel like Tarzan… think… my car is a Ferrari.
In defense of the bargain darling… I think the S2000’s RPM takes you into the testosterone zone. When you are sticking it into the torque peak it is screamin-mimi fun, even if you have to parry with it as the Edmunds reviewer put it. And you nearly have to redline it because peak torque and redline are not too far apart. So the Ferrari… I mean the S2000… definitely has the machismo factor.
I also disagree with any notion that S2000 styling is Japanese-derivative. In my opinion it’s one of the best-looking sports cars around and the newer 2.2 interior is drop-dead gorgeous. As far as cachet I could care less. The smallness of any sports car plus the inherent qualities are enough for me. Just don’t make it ugly like a Z4 and you have a friend here. Spinning an S2000’s engine with wind in hair goes a long way with any true sports car lover. Impressing the valets and snobs? They can kiss my cantaloupes. Now, go easy with this cachet business or I’ll spoof you again with Eustace Tilly. Sports cars are mostly about the elements and the roller coaster ride.
What I want to know is, what is everyone going to do when electric motors come to the performance world? They have maximum torque at 1 RPM, maintain it throughout the rev range and can spin up to 12K. The problem? No noise. Not very macho.