What's New for 2007
There are no changes for the S2000 this year.
When it was introduced for the start of the new millennium, the Honda S2000 was a minor revelation for the driving enthusiast. This little Honda, with its racecar-inspired suspension, perfect weight balance and high-output four-cylinder engine, was capable of giving the German and American convertibles of the day a good thrashing on a tight and twisty road. That it also undercut them on price, was more fuel-efficient and was backed by Honda's reputation for reliability was the icing on the cake.
Seven model years on, you're looking at the 2007 Honda S2000. And it may come as a surprise to see that it looks pretty much just like it did at its debut. Though Honda typically redesigns its products every five years, it has left the S2000 relatively untouched for eight. There's never been a full redesign, though a couple of updates were modestly successful at attacking the vehicle's earlier faults of weedy low-end torque and twitchy handling at the limit.
In a world of bloated sedans and SUVs, this roadster is a refreshing example of purity. You won't find a navigation system, fake wood trim or power lumbar supports here. At the same time, however, there's no denying that the segment has changed. Now that the Lotus Elise is available, the S2000 is no longer the visceral king. Plus, the two German heavyweights, the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster, have both received major improvements in the past couple of years in terms of features and performance. This year is also notable for the release of General Motors' flawed but fast and attractively priced Solstice GXP and Sky Red Line twins. Overall, we still admire the 2007 Honda S2000, but we suspect that many buyers will want to check out newer offerings.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Honda S2000 is a compact two-seat convertible. It comes standard with a power-operated top, a glass rear window with a defroster, 17-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, leather seats, keyless entry, power windows, air-conditioning and a CD player. No factory-installed options are offered.
Powertrains and Performance
Honda's roadster is powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that makes 237 horsepower at a lofty 7800 rpm and 162 pound-feet of torque at 6800 rpm. Power is routed to the rear wheels through a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission.
Antilock disc brakes and stability control are standard. The 2007 Honda S2000 scored well in government crash tests, earning four stars (out of a best score of five) for protection against frontal impacts. It also earned five stars for side-impact protection despite its lack of side airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
The S2000's cockpit is all business. With only basic convenience features provided, nearly all the controls you'll ever need are mounted within a finger extension of the steering wheel. The cockpit retains a snug fit better suited for hard runs on back roads than daily commuting. The laterally bolstered seats hold the driver and passenger tightly during aggressive cornering. The trunk, at 5.0 cubic feet of volume, is about average for this class of car.
With peak power delivered at almost 8000 rpm, driving the 2007 Honda S2000 takes some getting used to. Revving the engine to its upper limits rewards the driver with a surge of power once the variable valve timing system switches modes at about 6000 rpm. It's an exhilarating ride from a seat-of-the-pants perspective, but the assault on the ears is slightly less endearing, especially on long trips. There's virtually no perceptible flex despite the S2000's roofless architecture, and body roll is kept to an absolute minimum by the sophisticated double-wishbone suspension front and rear. A 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution gives the car exceptional balance and predictable manners in the corners. There is a slight hint of twitchiness at the limit, but with such a short wheelbase, you can't expect it to be completely drama-free.