Is the GT86 the Better Rear-Wheel Drive Performance Car?
Over a decade of technology separate the AP1 and the GT86.
Aside from the engines, you’d think the two are actually quite similar. Both are lightweight, compact, rear-wheel drive sports car with four-cylinder engines. However, once you get into dimensions and details that’s where the differences start.
Since the S2000 fits the classic definition of sports car, a two seat convertible, then understandably a dynamic chassis is going to be the main feature, while letting everything else fall in place. With double wishbone suspension featuring a wide range of adjustments available, the S2000 clearly is a step ahead here. But as noted “it is subjected to snap over-steer.” Due mostly to the short wheel-base, but also the narrower track. The GT86 is a full 5 inches longer. While that makes the GT86 less nimble, it does make it more planted.
A valid point is also brought up about the inherent rigidity of a closed top car rather than a convertible. Digging through enough research material will have you finding all sorts of nerd-level stats about torsional this and rigidity that. And while you do get squeaks and more noise from the S2000, the actual feel of the car has more to do with what’s controlling the wheels. This one could just come down to personal preference.
As mentioned before, the smaller dimensions on the outside also have an impact on the inside. Marks against the S2000 arise from the sacrifices made in making it simpler and more driver-focused. For the GT86, “it’s wider, it’s roomier and you can squeeze in four adults in the car.” Practicality ramps up from there, since it has a larger trunk and folding rear seats for larger and longer things you may need to haul. From a daily driver standpoint too, it has more storage space, and usable cup holders, and creature comforts not found on the Honda.
Ultimately he concedes that the practicality and the 16 years worth of newer connectivity tech put the GT86 at the top of his list over the S2000. That’s purely subjective, and we fully understand that.