AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Battle of the well balanced rear-wheel drivers
We are back with this week’s installment of AutoGuide’s newest, interactive weekly feature ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.
Automakers are always looking for an edge over the competition. Any spec-sheet advantage, no matter how insignificant, is fair game. Engine output is often something they brag about. One vehicle may have more horsepower but a competing car could offer more torque. What’s the difference between these two measurements? What do they mean? Surprisingly these terms are totally different but related.
In keeping up with the Corvette video we showed earlier today, we have a Honda S2000 trying its hand at the drag strip.
Of course, with a little help from Real Street Performance, this S2000 really flies. Witness the car lift it’s front wheels at just about the 1:07 mark of the video.
The description of the video shows off the full range of the modifications, which interestingly enough retains its stock engine block.
Watch the whole clip right here.
After years of Citroen dominating the World Rally Championship, Fiat is getting ready to challenge the French automaker’s dominance with their own entry, based on the Punto Abarth.
The Abarth has been racing in the International Rally Challenge and national rally championships with the Punto S200. The S2000 has done considerably well in a number of lower-tier motorsports campaigns, and a WRC campaign would mark the first time the Punto Abarth has competed in a high level race series.
If the Punto Abarth does compete, it will likely be adapted to WRC specifications, which now closely mirrors the S2000 spec used in the IRC.
The old age debate of imports vs. domestics, four-cylinders vs. V8s, high-revving horsepower vs. low-end torque… the argument continues to rage on despite a whole new era of simple hybrids. And while we won’t see many GM enthusiasts swapping in a Honda S2000 powerplant into their domestic machine, there have been plenty of import enthusiasts taking big V8 muscle and shoving it into their engine bays.
Over the years we’ve seen plenty of engine-swapped hybrids from the Honda camp, from GS-R B18′s into Civics to Prelude H22′s into CRXs. Of course with the only popular RWD application from Honda being the S2000, it would only be a matter of time before enthusiasts began swapping in American V8s under the hood of the high-strung two-seater.
So here’s one of the cleanest builds we’ve ever laid our eyes on. Jason, the owner of this Honda S2000 on S2ki, did one hell of a project from the bottom up. Under the hood is a V8 LS1 powerplant while the rest of the car gets subtle upgrades to kept it extremely clean and functional. While some enthusiasts would probably go overboard with the aesthetics, this S2000 is conservative, giving no indication at what’s underneath the hood.
The initial dyno run turned out 317-hp and 333 ft-lbs of torque, a serious increase in power and more than double the factory block’s torque. Plus, it sounds like a beast.
GALLERY: LS1 Powered Honda S2000
[Photo Credit: Chad Lunn, Source: S2ki]
Check out two videos of the S2000 after the jump.
Part of the job here at AutoGuide is scouring the Web for cool content that interests any car enthusiast. While we try our best to stay on top of the news, it’s always nice to check out various builder’s creations, especially those we’d have a hard chance catching in real life. While sorting through some of our favorite blogs, we ran across this Austin Healey Sprite that sports a Honda S2000 motor under the hood!
For those that don’t know much about Austin Healey’s Sprite, it was in production from 1958-1971 and was intended to be a low-cost vehicle, but now we just love them for being a classic roadster with a real clean, vintage design. But spotting one with a new-age Honda S2000 motor under the hood is simply awesome. Considering that over four generations of Sprite models, the most powerful engine ever offered was a 65-hp 1.3-liter 4-cylinder, the 237-hp Honda engine should make this British roadster really go!
Sure some Sprite owners will probably find it sacrilegious, but we’d be lying to say we wouldn’t mind having one of these in our own garage.
GALLERY: Honda S2000-Powered Austin Healey Sprite
[Source: Jason's Grain of Salt]
While many Japanese aftermarket tuners are taking on the newest models including many of them turning towards European applications, J’s Racing has stuck to what they know best: Hondas. The company’s booth wasn’t overwhelmingly large, but it was clear that J’s Racing is aware of the new Hybrid-tuning craze, displaying its own version of a tuned Insight, complete with light-weight RAYS wheels, an aero kit, lowered suspension and some nice Recaro seats inside. It even featured a unique combination of decals that gave it a widebody look.
Next to this Insight sat a car that represents the other extreme at Honda, the now out-of-production S2000. This model featured the J’s Racing widebody kit that is anything but subtle and has appeared on more than a few cars and more than a few magazine covers on this side of the Pacific.
GALLERY: J’s Racing Honda Insight and S2000
s2ki.com... we feel your pain
Honda has just announced that after 2009 the S2000 will no longer be produced. First launched in 1999 as a 2000 model, the S2000 has only received one major minor update since then. In 2004 the AP2 model replaced the AP1 and brought with it a few minor changes. Most significantly the new S2000 received a slightly larger 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine which produced 237hp but at a noticeably lower 7800 rpm (as opposed to the 8300 rpm max power level of the AP1). The redline was also reduced from 9000 to 8000 rpm. In 2007 the 2008 S2000 CR (or Club Racer) was unveiled, much to the disappointment to the S2000 faithful.
The S2000 was the car that forced the German sportscar manufacturers to take a good look at their products. After the S2000 introduced auto journalists (and then the world) to what unadulterated driving enjoyment is all about companies like Porsche, BMW and Audi were forced to return to the drawing board. Arguably, we can thank Honda for how good the current Boxster, Z4 and TT are.
The S2000 (aka, the Miata on steroids) also ushered in an era of Japanese sportscars, like the Nissan 350Z, Mazda RX-8 and Toyota.. oh wait… forget about Toyota.
Honda sold just 2,538 S2000′s in December, down from 4,302 in 2007. In total 110,000 of the little roadsters made it to market. Interestingly, Honda seemed to force the S2000 down the NSX’s path by never offering owners a new model all the while driving up prices.
At least we know the top-up/top-down debate will rage on at s2ki.com for all eternity.
In this eulogy we’re compelled to point out that when the S2000 came out it laid claim to having an engine with the most horsepower per displacement of any naturally aspireated engine (120hp per liter of displacement). This rating actually made Honda’s little 240hp four-banger a more sophisticated piece of machinery than the exotic powerplants coming out of factories in Germany and Italy.
Official (depressing) release after the jump: