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:
2009 Will Be Final Model Year of Production for Honda S2000
The 2009 Honda S2000 will be the final model year produced of the award-winning roadster, Honda announced today. First introduced in 1999 for the 2000 model year, the S2000 helped define its segment with class-leading handling, engine technology and value. Originally envisioned as a limited-edition tribute to Honda’s 50th anniversary, S2000 production was extended in response to customer demand and critical acclaim.
“The S2000 is a sports car designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “It raised the bar for all future roadsters, and it’s already considered a classic by many Honda fans.”
As a true sports car that can serve as a practical and fun daily driver yet feel equally at home on a racetrack, this concept further evolved with a club racer-inspired S2000 CR trim, first offered in the 2008 model year. The S2000 has been honored with multiple awards through the years, including four appearances on Car and Driver Magazine’s coveted “10-Best” list.
The S2000 is sold in 64 countries around the world with cumulative world-wide sales of over 110,000 since its introduction in 1999. Over 65,000 S2000s have been sold in the United States since 1999.