The Greatest Honda Roadster Ever Built: The S2000 Origin Story

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From the tiny seed comes the huge redwood tree and from the tiny Honda S500, so came the great S2000. A look at the roots of Honda’s best roadster.

Everyone loves a great origin story. How did Bruce Wayne become the Dark Knight known as Batman? Or how the mild mannered Bruce Banner became the angry Hulk? Honda Motor Company has humble beginnings in the motorcycle industry. They started selling tiny 50cc motors that you could attach to your bicycle. In 1949, they had their first complete motorcycle, called the Dream. By 1964 Honda was the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles. In 1963, Honda released the S500 roadster. The tiny roadster had a 531cc, revved to 9,500 rpms, and had 44 horsepower. The S500 only weighs 1,500 lbs, so it would still be a blast to drive.

honda s800 RSC racecar roadster

Honda followed it with the S600 in 1964. The S600’s motor was bumped to 606cc and made 57 horsepower. It was still very light at only 1576 lbs. Unlike the S500, the 600 was offered in a coupe as well as the roadster. The final S chassis car of the era, the S800 was introduced in 1965 at the Tokyo Motor Show. Once again, the engine size was bigger then the model before it. The S800 used a 791cc inline four cylinder making 70 horsepower. It revved to 8,000 and could reach 100 mph, while still being able to achieve 35 miles per gallon. The last Honda S800 was made in 1970 and the S models would leave the brand for almost 30 years.

In this video, Youtube channel Torque Junkies goes on to explain the development of the S2000 and Honda’s return to the roadster market. Like the cars of Honda’s past, the S2000 name comes from the size of the engine, at 2000cc. The same high revving nature of the early cars is also present. This history is too hard for Honda to ignore and we here at S2KI hope they will develop another S roadster in the near future. Let us know what you want the next S roadster to be like in the comments.

ALSO SEE: Will There Ever Be Another Honda as Great as the S2000?


Patrick Stevenson is an Internet Brands' contributor to 6SpeedOnline, Honda-Tech, Corvette Forums,, and MBworld. He is also a host on The Motor Affair Podcast.

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