LETTER | Should Honda revive the S2000? YES, but here's what the new one would need

Honda S2000.
Honda S2000.

• Wheels24 reader shares what a new Honda S2000 should be

• One of the best roadsters from Japan

• Why this car makes sense as a downgrade

The Honda S2000 is one of the most thrilling roadsters anyone would think of when you say the word. A modern-day classic, if you will. 

It has a cult status, and has become a collector's item in recent years because they're becoming so difficult to find in mint condition. 

Earlier In May, Wheels24's Charlen Raymond took a vote on our social media platforms to find out what locals are willing to pay for an S2000 in South Africa. While most people said they would not pay over R100 000, others said they wouldn't mind paying in excess of R300 000 for one of these gems.

I remember driving an S2000 almost two decades ago as a test vehicle, my first roadster at that. It's one of those cars you have to experience to understand what the hype is all about. I also recall waking up many of my HondaBoy forum friends one night, asking them how on earth one opens the fuel cap? Not many people knew the answer to that. A great memory nonetheless.

Madness? For a car the automaker has stopped production on eleven years ago? Of course not. The S2000 is an absolute classic, and there are very cars that can give you this kind of dynamics and open-air excitement behind the wheel? And, hello? VTEC, yo!

Wheels24 reader Neil Hamilton shares some valid points and would want to see Honda revisiting the drawing board and revive the sporty little car.

Here's Hamilton's Letter to us:

honda s2000 ap1

Image: Honda

Should the S2000 be revived? That's like asking if South Africans like biltong, braais, koeksusters and melktert! Its an emphatic – YESSS!!!

The S2000 may be an old car now, but in an age where downsizing is rigourous, and small-capacity cars are the in thing, there is nothing that comes close to the chills that a high revving VTEC screaming at 9000rpm gives you.

The S2000 was (and for many, still is) THE droptop coupe to be seen in. Not only did it sound epic and enjoy being thrashed to within an inch of its life, but it also handled beautifully. I doubt anyone who saw one in the metal has ever forgotten how it looks, or how it SOUNDS!

Honda may have the Civic Type R in their ranks, but there is nothing that really stirs the blood in their line-up – and unless you're 80, who really wants a Jazz, in my opinion? 


Do you agree? Should the Honda S2000 make a comeback? If so, what else should it entail that it was missing in the past? Or, do you own one? Please email us your thoughts/stories with images.


We have seen rivals before: Toyota revived the Supra, albeit on BMW underpinnings and engine, and they also have the 86/BRZ collaboration with Subaru with which they have been luring young buyers with a want for proper RWD hooliganism. Nissan revived the GTR with the R35 years, and it's still a stunning car to this day – it makes sense then that Honda should, no, MUST have a decent performance car in its line-up.

Image: Wheels24

An S2000 redesign would be significant, but with a few provisions, according to Hamilton: 

1. Free-revving, high-output naturally aspirated engine – no turbos – at least a 2000cc twincam 16-valve 4-pot that will rev to the moon and back and have the power to match, if it must be 'blown', at least two small twin-scroll turbos to reduce lag would be needed. VTEC needs to KICK IN!

2. It should be rear-wheel drive only. Front-wheel drive may be cheaper, but real enthusiasts will always want RWD.

3. Close-ratio six-speed manual please – no auto boxes or dual-clutch setups – yes, it sounds old-school, but the best bit of a high revving engine is that when matched to a manual 'box, the driver feels part of the experience.

4. It needs to handle as if it's on rails, with a bit of leeriness built-in when pushed hard. Ideally, a neutral setup, with decent 50/50 weight distribution would be great, but with the engine in front, some natural understeer would be likely…all good if it can gradually shift to controlled oversteer, for hooning if needed. What you don't want is a jumpy thing that has snap oversteer and has you pointing back where you came from at the earliest opportunity.

5. Proper styling: Something edgy, not all rounded and jelly mould-like. Sweeps, strakes, and edges, please!

6. Active/passive safety – yes, it adds weight, but we don't always want to clench our butt cheek on the run to the shop

7. NO cupholders. You didn't see them drinking coffee in the car in Fast and Furious, did you? NO, and I mean no cupholders.

I reckon that covers it; the S2000 is an iconic car, and it needs to be reborn.I'll have mine in hot pink please with a dragon down the side…and pink undercar lighting…relive my youth again!

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists, and or readers published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Wheels24.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest Wheels news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Do you think Lewis Hamilton deserves to be knighted by the Queen?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, he is an incredible athlete
37% - 11 votes
No, he hasn't done anything special
13% - 4 votes
He is good, but doesn't deserve the honour
50% - 15 votes
Vote