S2000 Versus Miata: Which Makes A Better Track Car?

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Mazda’s Miata and Honda’s S2000 share a lot in common, so which one is best for beginner track day junkies?

Honda’s S2000, as good as it is, still sees a lot of competition these days. In the realm of track days, it nearly comes down to a draw when you compare the S2000 to the MX-5 Miata. Despite differences in engine technology, the two are far more similar than they are different.

One of the areas where the two sports cars do differ is obviously in engine tech. Nearly a 100 horsepower advantage to the Honda sounds like a good thing, but in theory it might actually be bad for track days. Some may say that if you can drive a slow car fast, you can drive anything fast. Interestingly, for a new driver, the lower power of the Miata could put more importance on driving line and consistency. Both vehicles rely heavily on mechanical grip and both are “momentum” cars, it’s just that one is more of a momentum car than the other.

Miata vs. S2000 track car

Another thing that could help, in the instance discussed in the video lies in electronic aids to help the driver, specifically ABS. In an older Miata without that feature, you’re more akin to be familiar with threshold braking, adding a valuable driving skill. You can do this with the S2000 as well, but it has ABS tuned in such a way that you don’t typically need to disable the system to see advantages.

As well, the Miata typically costs less than the S2000. Aftermarket options are about equal on both sides, but running costs are lower with the Mazda. But as they come from the factory, they both handle well, albeit quite different. Skinnier tires make the Miata’s handling more progressive and tossable, where as the S2000 is a bit more darty.

Does that make the S2000 a step up? An equal competitor? For a new person to track days, which one would you recommend?

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