By Classic Yorkshire Correspondent: Tony Lofthouse
Is the Honda S2000 heading to be a future classic?
With its eye-catching lines, throaty four-cylinder VTEC engine, lightweight chassis and compact cockpit interior it is one heck of a sports car.
Now enthusiasts in West Yorkshire are keen to share their passion by being part of the UK S2000 Owners Club – S2KUK – of drivers and form their own local group.
Launched to celebrate Honda’s 50th birthday the first of these special two-seater roadsters rolled off the production line in 1999, four years after a concept version had debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The car went on to prove a huge success for Honda and was produced largely unchanged until it was given a facelift in 2004 which combined a number of upgrades including improved suspension.
The S2000 continued in production until 2009 but declining sales from 2006 and impending changes to EU and US emission standards would lead Honda to pull the plug on the model.
To mark the end of the line, Honda would produce a special limited edition for the UK market – the Edition 100 – with only 100 built. Each one came in Grand Prix White with an all red leather interior, graphite alloys and a numbered plaque on the kick-plate.
The US versions of the S2000 included a larger 2.2 litre engine from 2004 and over the years stateside sales would reach 66,000. In Europe nearly 20,000 were sold with 8,000 making it onto UK roads.
Its loss would soon leave a huge gap in the market.
Tim Simpson, UK S2000 Owners Club representative for West Yorkshire and Member Discount Lead for S2KUK is a Honda fan through and through and bought his Berlina Black 2004 facelift model with hard top nine years ago.
He explains: “I’ve been brought up on Hondas, love the engineering and have had a Prelude VTEC, Accord and Civic.
“The S2000 was designed as a classic roadster with timeless styling inside and out. It is rear wheel drive with LSD and has a two-litre engine mounted behind the front axle. The car comes with an impressive six-speed gearbox.
“Inside my car I have the rare option of a red leather finish with matching red dashboard. I have also added front and rear spoilers, a carbon radiator cooling plate and changed the exhaust slightly with the popular ‘ukmod’, but all the time being careful to keep to the styling of the model.
“The S2000 model gives a wonderful performance – producing 237 bhp at 8,300 rpm – and what’s great is it’s a car that Honda designed and built all new from the bottom up.”
Tim adds: “If the car has an achilles heel it’s the rear wheel arches which are prone to rusting and might involve replacing. Also look out for seized suspension bushes if the weather gets at them and faults with a failing timing chain tensioner.
“But all in all what a car!”
As an investment the S2000 has seen a steady year-on-year price rise with demand high. You can find a nice early example for between £10,000 and £15,000 but prices rise for a facelift model to £18,000 to £20,000 and more. For a rare Edition 100 you would be paying over £25,000.
It’s a car that continues to be enormously popular and so much so that there is growing speculation that Honda could revive it in 2024 – the car makers 75th anniversary. Watch this space!
If you are interested in being part of a new West Yorkshire sub group of the UK S2000 Owners Club and come along to local meetings contact Tim on 07939 524464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
For more information on clubs near you, owners events, chatting on an online forum about all things S2000 and membership offers with suppliers go to http://www.S2KUK.com