S2000 vs. C5 Corvette Z06: Which Would You Rather?
For less than $20,000 you can have two of the finest sports cars built in the last 15 years, but which is better?
It’s another game of “which would you rather,” this time, it’s S2000 versus the plastic fantastic C5-generation Corvette Z06. Both are inexpensive, fantastically performing, rear-wheel drive sports car. However, how they go about generating their performance and speed is totally different.
The S2000 is a dual-overhead cam, four-cylinder engine that relies on impressive engineering and stratospheric RPM to make its power. It’s aluminum-intensive design means it’s relatively lightweight at around 2,900 pounds. It utilizes a double-wishbone suspension front and rear to optimize its cornering performance. The 6-speed manual transmission is an absolute delight to operate. Oh, and you can’t forget that Honda reliability, to boot.
The C5 Z06 is a classic American recipe: big, powerful engine in a lightweight body. It may sit on leaf springs, but they are some very well engineered leaf springs. Transversely-mounted, they offer similar performance characteristics to a conventional double wishbone suspension, but in more compact, easily adjustable packaging. Oh, and it has a 400 horsepower spiced up version of the LS1 V8 engine called the LS6, so it pulls hard, really hard. Despite the much larger appearance, the C5Z is only about 300 pounds heavier than the S2000. It is also known for being generally reliable and robust.
So, on paper, they are similar, yet very different. But what’s it like to actually own and live with these two cars on a daily basis, or drive on the track, for that matter? Fortunately, Zent Rose, a friend of ours, has owned both and has the lowdown on which is better and what it’s like to own both.