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Honda S2000: Buying guide and review (1999-2009)

Honda S2000 Honda S2000 Honda S2000 Honda S2000
Many manufacturers claim to produce performance cars that cater for the driving enthusiast, and while they may have a sports car or two in their line-up, they inevitably fall short on some crucial points. With rear wheel drive, 50:50 weight distribution, double wishbone suspension and a short shift manual gearbox, the Honda S2000 ticks all of the necessary boxes, and as a bonus added one of the greatest naturally aspirated engines of all time into the mix.
 
Maximum power of 237bhp from 2.0-litres may not sound like a lot when today’s turbocharged hot hatches comfortably exceed that figure, but to achieve this with a naturally aspirated engine was nothing short of techno wizardry. With a 9000rpm redline and two stage VTEC valve gear the S2000 had the highest specific power output of any naturally aspirated engine ever sold at the time (and has only recently been beaten by the likes of the 991 GT3 and Ferrari 458 Speciale)
 
As long as the revs are kept above 6000rpm to take advantage of the variable timing valve gear it provided rapid acceleration. Initial impressions highlighted twitchy on-the-limit handling but numerous suspension tweaks over the years yielded one of the best all round drivers cars ever sold.
 
Today the S2000 remains a highly desirable modern classic, with a mix of attributes that are still unique in the sports car world.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Externally there is little to differentiate a 1999 car from a 2009 one, bumpers and wheels where revised in 2004 and an optional hard top, standard on the GT was introduced midway through production. 
 
The majority of changes were carried out to the suspension and dampers, initial complaints of twitchy on-the-limit handling meant that Honda kept tweaking the underpinnings to improve the cars dynamics throughout the production run. The biggest changes took place in 2004 and cars built from this year on were easier to handle when pushed. A stability system become an option in 2006 and was standardised from the 2008 model year.
 
The most impressive aspect of an S2000 is its 9000rpm 2.0-litre engine. The US and Japanese markets received a 2.2 litre engine with the 2005 model year update which traded the hard edged top end of the 2-litre engines for a torquier low rev response. UK-spec cars used the smaller powerplant throughout, and while they do perform best at high revs the latter cars seem to have a bit more torque throughout the rev range than the very early examples.
 
The GT versions launched in 2002 came standard with a hardtop so make sure this is included with the car. A run out Edition 100 example was introduced in 2009 and these cars were only available in white with graphite alloy rims and red leather interiors. As the name suggests only 100 were built which makes these the rarest versions. 
Limited edition Club Racer models and S type cars were made available in the US and Japan respectively. These featured numerous changes to suspensions and featured unique body kits.
The electronic steering is a weak point in the otherwise engaging driving experience and tall drivers should check if they can fit comfortably behind the wheel, post 2004 models had height adjustable steering columns. 
 
Performance and specs
 
Engine 1997cc 16 valve DOHC I4 
Power 237bhp @ 8300rpm 
Torque 153lb ft @ 7500rpm
Top speed 150mph 
0-62mph 6.2 seconds 
Fuel consumption 28.5mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2400mm
Length 4135mm
Width 1750mm
Height 1285mm
Weight 1260kg
 
Common problems

• Despite the 9000rpm rev range, the 2 litre engines are durable. They tend to use a lot of oil, requiring a top up every 1000miles or so. Low oil levels and irregular oil changes are the biggest cause of engine problems.

• The timing chain tensioner can fail. A rattle on start-up is an early indicator, and if it does break can cause some serious damage to the engine, so have this checked out.

• VTEC systems are known for their reliability however infrequent oil changes can result in sticky hydraulic pins. Bearing shells can also wear out prematurely.

• The interior is not as robust as the rest of the car, and the roof can leak around the screen pillars. Seating position is a bit high and tall drivers may struggle to get comfortable.

• The gearboxes are strong with the post-2004 cars getting upgraded carbon fibre components helping extend the synchromesh ring lifespan.

• Suspension bushes tend to require replacing after 70,000 to 80,000 miles with the lower control arms being the weakest component.
 
Model history

1999: Honda S2000 (AP1) is launched with 237bhp 2.0-litre engine
2002: GT version with removable hardtop launched. Plastic rear window is replaced with glass item and suspension upgrades carried out to improve handling
2004: AP1 face lift version introduced, with major changes carried out to running gear. Additional suspension changes including structural bracing to further improve handling, and standard wheel size increased from 16 to 17-inches. Steering ratio reduced by 7 per cent. US markets receive 2.2-litre engine and receive AP2 label
2006:  Stability system becomes optional extra. Seats upgraded with speakers integrated into headrests and Japanese market receives 2.2-litre engine
2008: Stability system standard fitment and suspension receives further revisions. Club Racer model introduced for US market – numerous changes made to imrpive on track performance. 699 units built in total. Type-S version introduced in Japan featuring lighter body and high down force body kit. – 1755 units built
2009: Edition 100 versions launched in UK, limited to 100 units. Ultimate Edition released for European market. Final S2000 manufactured with just over 110,000 units built over ten years
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.s2kuk.com
• www.s2000.com/forums
 
Summary and prices
 
S2000s start at around £5500, which will get you one of the early cars with 100 000 miles on the clock. Full service histories are more important than ultra-low mileages as these cars are as reliable as any other Honda, as long as they are properly maintained.
 
The best value to be had is nearer the £10,000 mark, which is where the facelifted 2004 models can be found. The changes to their suspension and updated alloys make them a well-balanced option. At the top end of the scale the Edition 100 and very low mileage 2009 models, which are still currently trading for £17,000. 
 
There is no doubt that the S2000 will become a future classic. It combines the core aspects of a pure drivers car with a characterful engine, all without compromising reliability. With the future of sports cars moving towards forced induction and hybrid technology the high revving naturally aspirated S2000 will become a rare pleasure which is sure to increase its desirability.
 
Words: John Tallodi
Honda S2000 Honda S2000 Honda S2000 Honda S2000
Last updated: 17th Dec 2015
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Honda S2000 cars for sale

38 Search results
Honda S2000
4995 19750 GBP
  • Honda S2000

    £7,490 £7,490

    UK Supplied, Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Sports Seats, Alloy wheels, Full service history MOT 11/9/17

    • Mileage: 62000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
    Martyns Car Sales
  • Honda S2000

    £8,950 £8,950

    Air Conditioning, Traction Control, Power Steering, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Twin Air Bags, ABS, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, CD Player, Metallic Paintwork, Front Fog Lamps, 17'' Alloys, Full service history Full Up To Date Service History (6 Stamps In Book) Genuine Low Mileage - Only 3 Previous Owners, 12 Months New MOT. This Is Stunning Car In A Perfect Colour Combination. Gorgeous 2 Tone Red + Black Leather Interior., Air-Conditioning, Alarm, Alloy Wheels (17in), Electric Windows (Front), Airbags, Electric door mirrors, CD Player, Remote central locking, Traction control, Anti-Lock Brakes, Power-Assisted Steering. 2 seats, Silver, These Superb Cars Have Bullet Proof Engines + Put Such A Smile On Your Face When You Drive Them. This One Is No Exception. They Have Been Steadily Increasing In Value Of The Last Few Years And This One Is Sure To Be A Great Investment With Such Low Genuine Mileage + Such Fantastic All Round Condition. This Car Has Been Priced over £2000 Below RRP Due To Being Cat D Recorded ( It Had A Minor Dent On Rear Arch And A Small Crack On Front Bumper) Very Insignificant Cosmetic Damage With Photo's To Prove. ANY INSPECTION WELCOME. Please Call Us Today To Book Your Test Drive You Certainly Won't Be Disapointed. Extended Warranty Options Available.

    • Mileage: 45000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £9,995 £9,995

    Air Conditioning, Bluetooth, Full Leather, Alarm, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Remote Central Locking, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Sports Seats, Power Steering, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Colour Coded Body, Factory Hard Top, Front Fog Lamps, Headlamp Jetwash, Metallic Paintwork, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, CD Player, Radio, Alloy wheels, Full service history

    • Mileage: 79000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £16,995 £16,995

    Service history Anti-Lock Brakes,Climate Control,Alarm,Drivers Air Bag,Alloy Wheels,Traction Control,Engine Immobiliser,Headlamp Wash,Electric Windows,Central Locking,Trip Computer,Rev Counter,Leather interior, Call us today about the finance options on this vehicle. Part exchanges welcome.

    • Mileage: 43257 mi
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £17,995 £17,995

    Variant name:16V ,Derivative:MK1 (AP1) ,Variant: 2.0i 16v 2003 (03) Finished in Nuremberg Blue with Blue Leather Interior, Speciation Includes 17” Alloy Wheels, Air-Conditioning, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD Player), Electric Windows (Front), Remote Central Locking and Security System.

    • Year: 2003
    • Mileage: 8608 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £10,995 £10,995

    Air Conditioning, Trip Computer, Power Steering, Remote Central Locking, CD Player, Push Button Start, Power Hood, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Adjustable Steering Column, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Premium Cloth soft top, 17'' multispoke alloys, Height Adjustable Seat, Immobiliser, Full Leather, Radio Cassette, Xenon Headlamps, 17'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history THIS VEHICLE HAS ONLY COVERED 46,000 MILES AND COMES WITH HONDA SERVICE HISTORY. AS WITH ALL OUR VEHICLES IT COMES FULLY HPI CLEAR AND MILEAGE WARRANTED, SPEC INCS AP2 EDITION, FIRE RED OVER BLACK LEATHER TRIM, 17'' POLISHED ALLOY WHEELS, POWER ROOF, REMOTE CENTRAL LOCKING, ELECTRIC WINDOWS, BI-XENON LIGHTING, LED REAR TAIL LIGHTS, RED VELOUR CARPET MATS, PUSH BUTTON START, RADIO CD PLAYER, AND LOTS MORE, A TRULY STUNNING EXAMPLE IN OUTSTANDING CONDITION THROUGHOUT

    • Mileage: 46000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £7,990 £7,990

    Due In Soon, Full Service History, Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Factory Hard Top, Multi-Disc CD Player, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels, Headlamp Jetwash, 6 speed 2003 Honda S2000, 6 Speed. Only 85.000 Miles. Full Service History. Black Leather Interior and fitted with Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels in as new condition. The car also has a Factory Hard Top in Matching Monte Carlo Blue, which is one of the best colours for an S2000. In all round excellent condition and now becoming very rare. A wonderful opportunity to buy a car that is increasingly becoming collectable. Lovely.

    • Mileage: 85000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £14,000 £14,000

    Lovely example of this great drivers car.Hood,interior body all in great condition for its eight years.

    • Mileage: 58000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £11,500 £11,500

    Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Power Hood, 17'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history STUNNING CAR! IT TRUELY LOOKS LIKE ITS DONE HALF THE MILES THAT ARE ON THE CLOCK! ONLY 2 OWNERS WITH FULL HONDA SERVICE HISTORY. THE CAR DRIVES PERFECTLY AND EVERYTHING WORKS AS IT SHOULD. WE HAVE BOTH KEYS, BOOK PACK AND ALL SERVICE HISTORY. WE WILL ALSO SUPPLY IT WITH 12 MONTH WARRANTY AND RAC BREAKDOWN COVER.

    • Mileage: 103300 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £16,950 £16,950

    17In Alloy Wheels, Air Conditioning, Alarm, Anti-Lock Brakes, Body Coloured Bumpers, Driver And Passenger Air Bags, Electric/Heated Door Mirrors, Electronic Stability Programme, Front Electric Windows, Front Head Restraints, Gear Knob Leather, Headlamp Wash, Heated Rear Screen, Immobiliser, Leather interior , Power-Assisted Steering, Radio/CD, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Remote Central Door Locking, Spare Wheel, Speakers, Steering Wheel Leather, Tyre Repair Kit, Call us today about the finance options on this vehicle. Part exchanges welcome.

    • Mileage: 43257 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £11,995 £11,995

    No service history 17In Alloy Wheels,Air Conditioning,Alarm,Anti-Lock Brakes,Body Coloured Bumpers,Driver And Passenger Air Bags,Electric/Heated Door Mirrors,Electronic Stability Programme,Front Electric Windows,Front Head Restraints,Gear Knob Leather,Headlamp Wash,Heated Rear Screen,Immobiliser,Leather interior ,Power-Assisted Steering,Radio/CD,Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel,Remote Central Door Locking,Spare Wheel,Speakers,Steering Wheel Leather,Tyre Repair Kit, Call us today about the finance options on this vehicle. Part exchanges welcome.

    • Mileage: 39669 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £4,995 £4,995

    Full Leather, Air Conditioning, Power Hood, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Power Steering, ABS, Twin Air Bags, Central Locking, 16'' Alloys HONDA S2000 2.0 CONVERTIBLE 2 DOOR, METALLIC BLUE, 114,269 MILES, S/HISTORY, LEATHER, AIR CON, CD PLAYER, POWER HOOD, E/WINDOWS, C/LOCKS, 16'' ALLOYS

    • Mileage: 114269 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £13,250 £13,250

    Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Full Leather, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Premium Cloth soft top, Power Hood, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Remote Central Locking, Push Button Start, Sports Seats, Headlamp Jetwash, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Windblocker, CD Player, Radio, Colour Coded Body, Metallic Paintwork, Front Centre Armrest, 17'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history Here is a fine example of this future classic the Honda S2000 2.0i VTEC roadster. This 2 private owner car is in outstanding condition inside & out. Finished in Synchro silver with new red leather interior it has a full Honda main dealer service history (10 stamps) including all the service receipts and an MOT until May 2017. Furthermore it has had recent brake calipers, discs and pads all round. Other eqiuipment includes 17'' alloys with Bridgestone Potenza tyres, air conditioning, electric heated mirrors, heated glass rear screen, electric mohair premium soft top in black with no marks, windblocker, headlamp washers, push button start and radio CD. You will be hard pushed to find a nicer well cared for example. See more at carsofchichester.co.uk. All cars are Hpi checked and come with warranty. Finance & Part exchange are welcome.

    • Mileage: 76000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • HONDA S2000 16V 2003

    £7,495 £7,495

    2 KEYS, FSH,, 3 months warranty, Next MOT due 11/09/2017, Last serviced on 07/09/2016 at 88,500 miles, Full service history, Clean bodywork, Full leather interior - Clean Condition, Tyre condition Good, Air-Conditioning, Alarm, Alloy Wheels (16in), Electric Windows (Front), In Car Entertainment (Radio/Cassette), Upholstery Leather. 2 seats, Blue, A VERY CLEAN EXAMPLE OF THIS HONDA, LEATHER INTERIOR, REFURBISHED ALLOYS, WITH GOOD TYRES, FRESHLY SERVICED AND VALETED AND COMPLEMENTED WITH A FULL MOT, THIS CAR IS READY TO DRIVE AWAY, A UN-ABUSED HONDA S2000, A FULL DESCRIPTION OF THE SERVICE INTERVALS WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY, PLEASE CALL TO BOOK A VIEWING, ANY INSPECTION WELCOME AS IS ANY PART EXCHANGE, THE SAME LADY OWNER SINCE 2008, ALL HPI CLEAR, PLEASE CALL TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS,, GBP 7,495

    • Engine size: 1.997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £11,900 £11,900

    Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Power Hood, 17'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history STUNNING CAR! IT TRUELY LOOKS LIKE ITS DONE HALF THE MILES THAT ARE ON THE CLOCK! ONLY 2 OWNERS WITH FULL HONDA SERVICE HISTORY. THE CAR DRIVES PERFECTLY AND EVERYTHING WORKS AS IT SHOULD. WE HAVE BOTH KEYS, BOOK PACK AND ALL SERVICE HISTORY. WE WILL ALSO SUPPLY IT WITH 12 MONTH WARRANTY AND RAC BREAKDOWN COVER.

    • Mileage: 103300 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £13,650 £13,650

    Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Full Leather, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Premium Cloth soft top, Power Hood, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Remote Central Locking, Push Button Start, Sports Seats, Headlamp Jetwash, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Windblocker, CD Player, Radio, Colour Coded Body, Metallic Paintwork, Front Centre Armrest, 17'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history Here is a fine example of this future classic the Honda S2000 2.0i VTEC roadster. This 2 private owner car is in outstanding condition inside & out. Finished in Synchro silver with new red leather interior it has a full Honda main dealer service history (10 stamps) including all the service receipts and an MOT until May 2017. Furthermore it has had recent brake calipers, discs and pads all round. Other eqiuipment includes 17'' alloys with Bridgestone Potenza tyres, air conditioning, electric heated mirrors, heated glass rear screen, electric mohair premium soft top in black with no marks, windblocker, headlamp washers, push button start and radio CD. You will be hard pushed to find a nicer well cared for example. See more at carsofchichester.co.uk. All cars are Hpi checked and come with warranty. Finance & Part exchange are welcome.

    • Mileage: 76000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £16,950 £16,950

    17In Alloy Wheels, Air Conditioning, Alarm, Anti-Lock Brakes, Body Coloured Bumpers, Driver And Passenger Air Bags, Electric/Heated Door Mirrors, Electronic Stability Programme, Front Electric Windows, Front Head Restraints, Gear Knob Leather, Headlamp Wash, Heated Rear Screen, Immobiliser, Leather interior , Power-Assisted Steering, Radio/CD, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Remote Central Door Locking, Spare Wheel, Speakers, Steering Wheel Leather, Tyre Repair Kit, Call us today about the finance options on this vehicle. Part exchanges welcome.

    • Mileage: 43257 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £12,895 £12,895

    17In Alloy Wheels, Air Conditioning, Alarm, Anti-Lock Brakes, Body Coloured Bumpers, Driver And Passenger Air Bags, Electric/Heated Door Mirrors, Electronic Stability Programme, Front Electric Windows, Front Head Restraints, Gear Knob Leather, Headlamp Wash, Heated Rear Screen, Immobiliser, Leather interior , Power-Assisted Steering, Radio/CD, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Remote Central Door Locking, Spare Wheel, Speakers, Steering Wheel Leather, Tyre Repair Kit, Call us today about the finance options on this vehicle. Part exchanges welcome.

    • Mileage: 39669 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £9,940 £9,940

    Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Anti-Theft System, Remote Central Locking, Metallic Paintwork, Power Hood, Electric Front Windows, Push Button Start, CD Player, Alloy wheels, Full service history THIS LOVELY HONDA S2000 GT IN METALIC BLUE WITH CONTRASTING BLUE LEATHER HAS HAD THE SAME OWNER SINCE 2009 AND HAS A FULL SERVICE HISTORY, WE HAVE JUST FULLY PREPARED THE CAR, IT HAS HAD NEW BRAKE CALLIPERS, NEW CATALYTIC CONVERTER AND BRAND NEW HOOD FITTED AND FULL CHECK. THE CAR DRIVES SUPERB AND FEELS TIGHT AND PULLS STRONG AS WITH THIS LOW MILEAGE YOU WOULD EXPECT, GEAR CHANGE IS PRECISE AND THE HIGH REVVING ENGINE SINGS ALL THE WAY TO 8000 RPM. THE AIR CONDITIONING WORKS PERFECTLY AS DOES THE ROOF AND ALL THE CONTROLS, THE WHEELS HAVE ALSO JUST BEEN REFURBISHED, THERE IS A LOT OF RECEIPTS FOR WORK CARRIED OUT INCLUDING ALL THE WORK WE HAVE RECENTLY DONE, THERE IS NOT MANY OF THESE FUTURE CLASSICS LEFT, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS LOW MILEAGE, HISTORY, HPI CLEAR, BOTH KEYS, FULL PAPER WORK AND THE ADDED EXTRA OF THE HARD TOP INCLUDED. ENJOY EVERY NICE WEEKEND WITH THIS FABULOUS ROADSTER.

    • Mileage: 54000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £14,000 £14,000

    Lovely example of this great drivers car.Hood,interior body all in great condition for its eight years.

    • Mileage: 58000 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • Honda S2000

    £4,995 £4,995

    Full Leather, Air Conditioning, Power Hood, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Power Steering, ABS, Twin Air Bags, Central Locking, 16'' Alloys HONDA S2000 2.0 CONVERTIBLE 2 DOOR, METALLIC BLUE, 114,269 MILES, S/HISTORY, LEATHER, AIR CON, CD PLAYER, POWER HOOD, E/WINDOWS, C/LOCKS, 16'' ALLOYS

    • Mileage: 114269 mi
    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
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