How Does One Sum Up A Passion for Cars?
Some words speak louder than others. Some even have a voice of their own. What do you think of when you hear words like Chicane or Apex? What if I take it a step further and use names like Silverstone or Suzuka? How about Sebring or Nurburgring? To some of us, these words cause a smile. Others, an invitation into just about any conversation in which they were mentioned.
I’ll even go as far as to say that there are individuals among those reading this that feel like a kid again and are imagining engine noises in their head or maybe even the smell of ethanol and the feel of tire debris on their cheeks. Me? All of the above and more. These names mean passion.
Somewhere in the mix of beige cars, SUVs and American car sloppiness, Honda decided to return to their roots. All hybrid, computer driven hype aside, a sports car deserves a sound, a smell and a feel….and even a color named after something special. I’ll admit, I’m an S2000 owner, and an avid car lover in general. I’ve driven hundreds of cars ranging from econo-boxes and SUVs to sports cars worth as much as my house, and here I am writing about a mid-30-thousand-dollar roadster that was discontinued earlier this year. Why? I think Honda hit the nail on the head with the frosting on the proverbial cake. I think this car exemplifies the reasons you are reading this right now: a true LOVE of cars….and this is evident in every aspect of this little roadster, even down to the naming of the paint colors after famous racetracks and car terms.
What is it about the S2000 that is driving me to blog? It is almost funny to say, but I think I have the same passion about my S2000 as those who designed it did. First of all, it is everything I love in a car. A perfectly balanced chassis. A front-mounted mid-engine car with a 50-50 weight ratio, two leather wrapped racing seats and all the headroom in the world. An insanely high-revving engine that makes numbers that rival some of the tops in the market…and top it all off, an open-air roadster that allows you to immerse yourself environment around you. As a tribute to the 50-year anniversary of the now legendary S500, Honda unleashed a ten-year run of S2000 production to honor its great granddad. It is simply a fun car, worthy of the family name!
Being first production car that I’m aware of to have a Start Button, the S2000’s left-dashboard is graced with a massive race-inspired red circle ignition switch. Compared to the newest cars on the market, it almost seems trite, but with a push of this button, the insanely high-revving inline four comes to life, and unless the driver is dead behind the wheel, I suspect they do as well. As their feet slip over the metal pedals, push in the meaty clutch and put the car into gear, one of the S2000’s best features most certainly will become apparent: The transmission. Unlike any other in existence, its surgical gearbox with an inherently short throw just breeds confidence with every gear change. In front of the gearbox, hidden under an enormous hood, sits what appears to be half of an IndyCar engine. With its red valve cover and shoe-horned appearance, this 240 horsepower rev-monster is still up in the record books as one of the highest horsepower-per-liter engines ever built.
I’m almost convinced that there are two kinds of people in this world: People who love the S2000 and those who either can’t or haven’t driven it to its potential. To be honest, I’ve never met an owner who didn’t love their S2000. I’ve never driven past another S2000 owner who didn’t wave, honk or flash their lights with a huge grin on their face. The S2000 community is very tightly knit, and my ability to provide photos with this article is an example of that. Within an hour of stating my intent to write this post, I had two S2000s ready to be featured in my images besides mine…no compensation, no questions asked…just because I needed some eye-candy alongside my words. This is true passion. However due to time restrictions, I was forced to work with my car and one other S2000 of matching color.
As great as all of this is, however, a little part of me is saddened every time I see another S2000. They are a dying breed. No matter what happens, I know that the numbers will only become fewer as more fall victim to snap over-steer, inexperienced drivers or insurance totaling due to theft. Almost daily I read of sliced convertible tops and $10k+ replacement costs for seats, airbags and cloth. It breaks my heart.
So, here I am with an open audience that I could preach to. I could bash thieves verbally, or even tell everybody to go drive an S2000 and make believers out of themselves. I’ve decided not to take that route. Instead, I’m going to close with two thoughts in mind. First of all, I want to say goodbye. Goodbye to the old days of raw passion. Goodbye to simplicity. Goodbye to an era of cars that the driver really felt a part of. I think the S2000 may be one of the last in a long line of rawness that exemplify these statements. I don’t want to end with a goodbye, however. I want to end with open arms and a warm hello! A hello to a new audience for me to speak to. Hello to newer, faster, more technologically driven cars that break boundaries never thought possible! Hello to tomorrow!
Based on an original write up by XScarAudio