Last post on Sep 08, 2007 at 11:04 AM
You are in the Honda S2000
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Honda S2000, Nissan 350Z, Coupe, Convertible
#160 of 183 this sounds sweet!
Jun 10, 2007 (3:45 am)
2008 Honda S2000 CR - Auto Shows
Honda builds a track toy as a retirement gift to its most revered engineer, and you can buy a copy.
BY MIKE DUSHANE, PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED HOLSTEIN
2008 Honda S2000 CR Video >>>
What’s your idea of retirement planning? At Car and Driver, our scribblers spend their golden years counting their air miles and grousing about the web interns. If you’re Shigeru Uehara, Honda R&D’s Executive Chief Engineer, you spend your last year on the job building a track-ready special-edition version of the S2000.
Lots of engineers build track toys, but not many get their cars approved for production. Uehara isn’t just any engineer, though; he’s credited as the father of the Honda S2000 and the Acura NSX and Integra Type R, the trio that convinced a generation of American tuners and enthusiasts that Honda is a legitimate performance car company. Uehara’s legacy is solid, so he doesn’t need to work on the NSX’s successor—he said through an interpreter that he’s leaving that to the next generation. Instead, his final gift to the enthusiast world is the S2000 CR.
Suspension and steering modifications
The S2000 CR has the same 237-hp, 2.2-liter engine as other S2000s, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s just a dress-up job. The most dramatic changes involve springs and shocks that Honda calls “significantly stiffer.” Although no figures are available, our experience with Uehara’s other creations like the Acura Integra Type R tells us that he knows the meaning of “significant.” Thicker anti-roll bars round out the suspension changes. A quicker steering ratio will allow drivers to avoid shuffling hands in tight corners. A limited slip differential and defeatable electronic stability control carry over from the regular S2000.
The S2000 CR’s biggest handling gain over the regular S2000 may come from gumball Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires similar to those used on the former Japanese-market NSX-R. The 215/45R-17 front and 255/40R-17 rear tires have a treadwear rating of 140, which means they’re barely able to be called conventional street tires.
Front and rear spoilers
A ludicrously large body kit and a rear cowl fairing behind the seats are claimed to smooth airflow over the S2000 CR. But the most over-the-top aerodynamic modification is the massive rear spoiler. The wing has three distinct horizontal surfaces: the upturned outside sections produce downforce while a flatter center section smoothes airflow over the car. The whole affair is affixed with black supports that look more like a back yard racer’s weekend concoction than factory pieces, but who are we to argue if it works? Honda claims overall downforce on the rear axle at speed, a rare trait for a street car.
Weight savings and chassis
Air conditioning and the sound system are jettisoned in the name of weight savings, but you can add them back in as options. The S2000 CR also loses its power folding softtop to shed a few pounds, and in its place it gains a beefy rear strut tower brace with four mounting points. This is said to enhance the already stellar rigidity of the S2000’s shell so it won’t flex when cornering. A removable aluminum hardtop provides shelter from the elements and admission to tracks where open-top cars aren’t allowed. With the top off, the S2000 CR will weigh approximately 2765 pounds, almost 90 pounds less than the regular S2000.
It’s significantly faster on a track, according to Honda
The result of these changes is a claimed two-second reduction in the S2000 CR’s lap time around Honda’s Tochigi test track. That’s a huge difference; you could add 50 horsepower to a regular S2000 and you might not see your lap time drop that much.
Every special edition needs to look unique, so the S2000 CR has a bunch of dress up features that distinguish it. The most obvious is the Apex Blue paint, which is a pearlescent bright blue evocative of Audi’s Sprint Blue. Black badges and gunmetal gray five-spoke wheels round out the exterior mods. Abundant yellow stitching on the doors, steering wheel, seats, and shifter (which has shorter throws than the already insanely short ones in the regular S2000) complements yellow woven seat inserts. Faux-suede seat bolsters and door panels replace the leather items on the regular S2000 in the name of grip, and they’ll also broaden the S2000 CR’s appeal to PETA members. Faux carbon fiber trim is a slavishly trendy addition, but we can forgive anything in a car this raw.
The S2000 CR goes on sale in the fall of 2007 as a 2008 model. The car shown at the New York show isn’t 100 percent production correct, but the body kit, spoiler, and wheels are accurate renditions of what you’ll see in dealers. Pricing isn’t confirmed, but it will certainly be more than the regular S2000’s $35k base price and probably less than $40k. Given the expected production volume of less than 2000 units (no limit was confirmed), Honda will lose money on the deal, a fact that company representatives actually admit. Such corporate honesty is rare, but Honda can afford it. The S2000 CR is a fitting tribute to the man who put “Honda” and “performance” together in the popular lexicon. Let’s hope it’s a harbinger of more great things to come and not a last hurrah.
Spied: 2010 Acura NSX
#161 of 183 Re: 350z test results [dat2]
Jun 23, 2007 (7:09 am)
Please explain how a LSD makes a car faster in a straight-line.
#162 of 183 Re: 350z test results [fedlawman]
Jun 23, 2007 (1:51 pm)
because you get more power to the ground with both wheels spinning at launch, revving quicker into the peak power band. the street start shouldn't make a diff though, hence the quarter is better than the g35 sedan with the same motor and 300 lbs more weight. But with a limited slip the 0-60 should be another couple tenths quicker
#163 of 183 Re: 350z test results [dat2]
Jun 23, 2007 (9:07 pm)
A LSD does nothing (acts like an open differential) when both wheels are gripping equally (either spinning or gripping). Only when there is a difference in traction between the right and left driven wheels does the LSD transfer torque from one side to the other.
So, unless you are drag racing with the left wheel on the road and the right wheel on gravel, a LSD will do nothing in straight line acceleration.
#164 of 183 Re: 350z test results [fedlawman]
Jun 24, 2007 (9:56 am)
i thought once a wheel was spinning with an open diff it send more power to the spinning wheel because there is less friction (resistance) at that wheel. that is why you usually only get one stripe on the ground with an open diff.
#165 of 183 Re: 350z test results [fedlawman]
Jun 24, 2007 (10:05 am)
it seems that, at least theoretically, you should get more power to the ground with a limited slip versus an open diff. and regardless the handling performance would have been greatly improved had CD used a 350z with limited slip, such as the unimpressive slalom speed. this ref also gives some supporting info about the lsd.
#166 of 183 Re: 350z test results [dat2]
Jun 24, 2007 (1:03 pm)
This disscussion is so funny!!
Ive recently just bought a 350Z GT(i think the US version would be the "track" edition). My previous car was a Honda Integra Type R... Like the S2000 it was driver focused, it was light weight, peak power was reached at 8600Rpm and could out handle car costing twice the price. In fact here in England its been recently reviewed at the best front wheel drive car EVER!!!, and voted as 1 of the top 10 car of all time along with the likes of the NSX, Mclaren F1, F40..liEVO artical.
So when i came to replacing it i looked at the S2000, but i my mind Honda will never produce another car as hardcore as the Integra Type R (mine had no air con and i had to fit a radio my self!!) Instead i wanted something more refined, more comfortable, with more torque but still drove well. The 350Z meets all those requirements and more, yes i would agree its over weight, but if am after a track day car i would have kept the Integra R....However had I not owned a Integra Type, I probably would have gone for the S2000.
Basically both the S2000 and 350Z are amazing cars which puts to shame much more expensive marques. But at the end of the day if i had the money i would be in a 911 or 360 in a flash...and i bet most of the other people here would too.
#167 of 183 Re: 350z test results [gzoom]
Jun 24, 2007 (7:07 pm)
GT is "Grand Touring," isn't it? That would be the same here. You've got the coupe version?
I HAD the money to be in a 911 if I wanted, and I chose the Z convertible. It's not just a question of money, although of course both initial costs and maintenance costs for the Z are likely to be less. I just like the car better.
Where in England are you?
#168 of 183 Re: 350z test results [gzoom]
Jun 24, 2007 (10:19 pm)
Does the English Z have a more upscale interior, and I think I read the suspension is tuned differently? Do you have the new '07 motor (the VQ35HR) with the higher redline and more power? Sounds awesome, would love to see what it looks like, enjoy. Can you still get a late model "200SX" in good shape over there?