Modified S2000 Battles Lotus Elise on Track: Place Your Bets

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S2000 enthusiast has temporarily jumped into a Lotus Elise, and they can’t help but wonder: Which track toy is better?

When it comes to popular choices for track day cars no one can escape the S2000 recommendation. Indeed, between the S2000, the Mazda Miata, older BMWs and front-wheel drive Hondas, that’s the majority of the paddock at any given track day. However, if you’re welling to look beyond the usual suspects, there are some alternatives out there that you may have thought about.

That’s exactly what Youtuber Zent Rose did, as he bought a used Lotus Elise. Rose has been featured on S2KI before, as he has owned several S2000s prior to this. So his perspective on which of the two, between the S2K and the Lotus, is the better track car, should prove interesting.

The video begins with Rose giving a brief run down on the two cars. This includes the comically small size of the Lotus’ interior. The Elise features suspension upgrades, like adjustable sway bars, adjustable suspension arms, aftermarket coil-overs and Federal RS-RR tires. It features the standard 1.8-liter Toyota inline-four, good for 190 horsepower and 133 lb-ft of torque, which is paired to a Toyota-sourced 6-speed manual transmission. It’s worth noting that the Elise is a featherweight, at just 2,000lbs, some 900lbs lighter than a stock S2000.


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Meanwhile, the S2000 rolls on KW Clubsport suspension, 17×10 +50 Volk CE28 wheels with 255/40 Hankook Ventus RS4 tires, a Voltex wing, OEM hardtop and stock power, other than an Evasive EVS Tuning single-exit exhaust and a test pipe.

Honda S2000 vs. Lotus Elise Zent Rose

Afterwards, the footage cuts an in-car view with Rose in the Lotus, chasing his friend Howard in the S2000 around Buttonwillow Raceway Park. What follows is three back-to-back laps around the “13CW” configuration, with Rose doing his best to keep pace with his friend in the S2000. There are definitive areas where both cars shine. In the tighter sections of the track, like through the Grapevine, and coming through Sweeper, the lighter, mid-engine Lotus has a clear advantage. On the flipside, coming through Bus Stop, and all the way over to Phil Hill, the more powerful S2000 uses it’s power advantage to get ahead, and then relies on the aero to help keep it planted through that high-speed stretch of the track.

In the end, both cars are hovering right around the famed 2:00 mark, as far as lap times, though, Rose concedes that the modified S2000 is slowly pulling away from him. So, S2KI, would you consider looking at something like a Lotus Elise to replace your S2000, or is VTEC truly the light and the way? Let us know.

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Jake Stumph is the lead Content Editor for S2KI and several other Internet Brands Automotive websites. He enjoys track days, drifting, and autocross, at least, when his cars are running right.

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