RE: Honda S2000

Friday 9th August 2002

Honda S2000

Graham Bell tries out Honda's recently revised roadster.


Author
Discussion

aclucas

Original Poster:

22 posts

214 months

Thursday 8th August 2002
quotequote all
Given the number of these things I've seen stuffed into banks, or with both ends missing by the side of the motorway (despite Honda not selling that huge a number of them), I suspect that the rear-wheel drive handling is catching out a few people who bought to pose rather than drive... I wonder if the "new version" is supposed to fix that.

douglasr

1,092 posts

206 months

Thursday 8th August 2002
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quote:
Given the number of these things I've seen stuffed into banks, or with both ends missing by the side of the motorway (despite Honda not selling that huge a number of them), I suspect that the rear-wheel drive handling is catching out a few people who bought to pose rather than drive... I wonder if the "new version" is supposed to fix that.


Funny you should say that, I was talking to a guy who was in a bodyshop recently - inside was an S2000 and the owner of the shop said he did work for the local Honda dealer and had them in regularly. I have had no scares in my 2002 model yet, but since I've never driven it in winter I'll have to wait and see.

I think a lot of the problems are caused by the oem S02 tyres (not the same as the S02's on a Chim) - they are superb in the dry but crap in the cold and wet. I'm going to change mine to Good Year F1's when the time comes.

Another possibility is the fact that the S2000 is a stepping stone for a lot of MX5/MGF/Hot hatch owners that find a switch to RWD or an extra 100 bhp a little hard to manage...unlike the review above, I disagree that the power delivery is linear - it is anything but...the kick at 6000 is very noticable, and once the wheels start spinning in the VTEC zone, you would have to be quick to catch the tail. If it was easy to drive, then it could be said to be boring...right ?


>> Edited by douglasr on Thursday 8th August 22:43

aclucas

Original Poster:

22 posts

214 months

Thursday 8th August 2002
quotequote all
I've never driven one (the closest in geographical terms is a nissan sunny 1.6 LX) or any VTEC - but even the Puma 1.7's Vwhatevercamthingie(tm) had a slight shove so I would imagine something pushing well over 100bhp/l must do something similar (well if you want fuel economy as well). Pretty much all the stuffed ones I've seen have been on or near sliproads on the M27, I suspect they're just pushing it a little too hard in the wet - and not expecting the rear end response - as you say a step up from an MGF. Admittedly I've done a pretty good impression of a lighthouse off one of the same sliproads, but no cars around (except some surprised people coming the opposite way (dual carridgeway)) and me wondering how to explain sideways mudsplashes on the roof. Fortunatly no trees/lampposts etc were harmed, just pride.

moor deybe

3 posts

194 months

Thursday 8th August 2002
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Have to agree with douglasr about the tyres, heavily optimised for the dry by all accounts. I may be phoning into work sick if I open my curtains and find it snowing one winter morning.

Also have to disagree with the review regarding the VTEC engagement at 6,000+ RPM, its quite dramatic, just as other cars are gasping for breath and you hear them changing up a gear, the S2000 surges forward with a scream! Any other car and this would be abuse, the S2000 thrives on it.

The review also states that the 0-60 mph time is 6.2, thats actually the 0-100 kph time which is about 62 mph. IIRC the correct 0-60 I've seen quoted is 5.8. Some Americans have even quoted 5.2 (perhaps this is why their warranty is 36,000 miles rather than the UK's 90,000 )Not that you'd want to drop your clutch to achieve that anyway.

stevenrt

141 posts

204 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
Honda's achilles heels:

- low torque engines

- uninspiring chassis design and handling

Even the NSX didn't manage a proper longitudinal mounting, just transverse.

Incredible quality and value for money, but for the enthusiast they don't make anything worth looking at.

Stick with the Elise!
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douglasr

1,092 posts

206 months

Friday 9th August 2002
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quote:

Stick with the Elise!



I tried, but it was to tight a fit !
My Chiropractor bills would have gone up as well.

Podie

45,096 posts

209 months

Friday 9th August 2002
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quote:

And in the instrument binnacle is the interior's undoubted pi ce de r sistance, with its computer game graphics of illuminated orange bars for fuel, temperature and revs and red numbers for speed and mileage temptingly inviting you to 'play more'...



Actually, this is an example of poor Ergonomics... red and orange are colours most confused with colour blind people, so they would not be able to read the binnacle properly - if at all (a similar problem afflicts Audi's).

As for the digital instrumentation - research shows that it is quicker and easier to assimilate information from analogue dials, rather than digital ones.

If you want references, I can dig some out...

douglasr

1,092 posts

206 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
quote:

- uninspiring chassis design and handling



Since when was double wishbones all round uninspiring - it is a superior design to McPherson struts or trailing arms. Do you mean a traditional monocoque chassis as opposed to the ally/composite tub in the Elise? Technically advanced, but if you stuff it you have to throw it away and start again.

douglasr

1,092 posts

206 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
quote:


Actually, this is an example of poor Ergonomics... red and orange are colours most confused with colour blind people, so they would not be able to read the binnacle properly - if at all (a similar problem afflicts Audi's).

As for the digital instrumentation - research shows that it is quicker and easier to assimilate information from analogue dials, rather than digital ones.

If you want references, I can dig some out...



I'm not disputing your assertion, however, it is impossible to confuse the rev counter with any other display on the S2000...take a look if you get the chance.

As for the speedo - I find it much quicker to read my speed from the digital display on my S2000, than say my previous BMW. What it doesn't give me is the rate of the speed increase like an analogue display....which can be a problem in these speed sensitive times...!

Analogue V Digital ? - I'll take analogue I think.

S2 Giles

2,859 posts

209 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
stevenrt - your being a bit harsh...

do you disagree with every magazine in publication, including evo who give the Accord Type-r a 5 star rating and quote... "best handling front wheel drive chasis available" ???

I agree its not passionate and i wouldn't buy one as a weekend car but thats not the target market, compare them to Mundano's and Focus' or Vectra's. The S2000 looks good compared to the Cougar or even the Vaux VX thing

adeewuff

567 posts

204 months

Friday 9th August 2002
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quote:

Stick with the Elise!



I'd much rather have a car that didn't fall to bits, feel underpowered, leak, cost an arm and a leg to service, that can out accelerate a Vectra and generally not pay through the nose for 'heritage'. Enough said...




>> Edited by adeewuff on Friday 9th August 12:17

Podie

45,096 posts

209 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
quote:

quote:


Actually, this is an example of poor Ergonomics... red and orange are colours most confused with colour blind people, so they would not be able to read the binnacle properly - if at all (a similar problem afflicts Audi's).

As for the digital instrumentation - research shows that it is quicker and easier to assimilate information from analogue dials, rather than digital ones.

If you want references, I can dig some out...



I'm not disputing your assertion, however, it is impossible to confuse the rev counter with any other display on the S2000...take a look if you get the chance.

As for the speedo - I find it much quicker to read my speed from the digital display on my S2000, than say my previous BMW. What it doesn't give me is the rate of the speed increase like an analogue display....which can be a problem in these speed sensitive times...!

Analogue V Digital ? - I'll take analogue I think.



Douglasr - it's an interesting area of study (if you're into that sort of thing) but the results of numerous studies have concluded that analogue instrumentation is quicker and easier to read. The issue with digital speedos is that they give an exact speed, and it takes longer for the brain to process that information than to gather an approximation that you're doing "30-ish" (i.e. between 30 and 35)... do we REALLY need to know that we are travelling at 31mph, rather than 30?

Some people like the curvo-linear digital rev counters, but personally I am not a fan, I'd rather have a "clock" - although that's personal preference. It may be difficult to confuse it with another display / function, but again I refer to past research that analogue clocks are easier to read etc etc...

Podie

45,096 posts

209 months

Friday 9th August 2002
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quote:

...take a look if you get the chance.



I'd love too...! How about I borrow your car for the weekend sometime?

RCS2

19 posts

206 months

Friday 9th August 2002
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>>> )... do we REALLY need to know that we are travelling at 31mph, rather than 30? <<<

In the days of zero tolerance - YUP!

Podie

45,096 posts

209 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
quote:

>>> )... do we REALLY need to know that we are travelling at 31mph, rather than 30? <<<

In the days of zero tolerance - YUP!



I don't see how that follows... if you know you're doing 30mph then you are within the limits.. if you're doing more than 30mph you're breaking the law... hence you don't actually NEED to know you're doing 31mph - just the fact that you are not doing 30..!

Besides, just becuase a speedo is digital, does not necessarily make it any more (or less) accurate than an analgoue one... they still have a degree of error in them...!

ATG

15,769 posts

206 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
Don't know if they've sorted this in the revised model, but in the one I drove 18 months ago there was no telescopic adjustment on the steering column and I couldn't get my kness behind the wheel. The driving position was absolutely hopeless for me (I'm 6ft4, but it wasn't even close ... I'd guess 6ft2 and above will have big problems).

As to digital/analogue displays, trend data and rough absolute levels are easier to read on an anlogue style display ... but this doesn't mean you actually use analogue dials. If you look at modern flight control systems, they use nice hi-res, high contrast VDUs that display pictures of dials and bar charts. So you get all the benefit of digital systems a (fewer calibration issues, change instrument layout without having to get a drill bit out, etc) plus the benefit of analogue displays.

grahambell

2,695 posts

209 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
Hi douglasr and moor deybe,

Have to stand by my statement that the S2000's power delivery is linear - just look at the graph - you couldn't get much straighter from 1000rpm all the way to 7000.

Agree that the engine perks up noticeably above 6000rpm but it's far from an "all or nothing" situation.

Regarding the 0-60 figure quoted, OK, so I approximated the 0-62 figure given by Honda. Without timing equipment all we can do is use figures we're given, and as magazines often seem to come up with different figures to manufacturers (and each other!)they're never going to be 100% accurate anyway.

As for whether the digital display is ergonomic or not, that's obviously down to personal opinion. It does look flash though.

douglasr

1,092 posts

206 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
quote:

Don't know if they've sorted this in the revised model, but in the one I drove 18 months ago there was no telescopic adjustment on the steering column and I couldn't get my kness behind the wheel. The driving position was absolutely hopeless for me (I'm 6ft4, but it wasn't even close ... I'd guess 6ft2 and above will have big problems).




The seat has been lowered by about an inch. The wheel is still fixed. I'm 6'2" and I'm OK.

douglasr

1,092 posts

206 months

Friday 9th August 2002
quotequote all
quote:

Hi douglasr and moor deybe,

Have to stand by my statement that the S2000's power delivery is linear - just look at the graph - you couldn't get much straighter from 1000rpm all the way to 7000.

Agree that the engine perks up noticeably above 6000rpm but it's far from an "all or nothing" situation.

Regarding the 0-60 figure quoted, OK, so I approximated the 0-62 figure given by Honda. Without timing equipment all we can do is use figures we're given, and as magazines often seem to come up with different figures to manufacturers (and each other!)they're never going to be 100% accurate anyway.

As for whether the digital display is ergonomic or not, that's obviously down to personal opinion. It does look flash though.




Hey - I'm happy to see a good review for a change - ta very much...!

thirsty

724 posts

198 months

Friday 9th August 2002
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The car looks OK, but only OK. It's still just a Honda. (and way way way over priced.)

Funny... after just a couple years, it already looks very dated.

Give me a real sports car.