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So, drove an AP2 for the first time

Old 06-13-2018, 12:02 AM
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Default So, drove an AP2 for the first time

Found a gorgeous 05 NFR with 47K on the tach. Being up close to one for the first time, i had to inspect the hell out of it!

Kind of want the headlights to be honest.

Anyway, interior was pristine and felt like a lot more is going on. It definitely had a more comfortable feel to it. A bit more to the seats, and attention to the interior panels.
The 2.2 sounds identical (didn't know why i thought it would sound any different).
First things i noticed:

-The clutch feel was really loose like my 2016 Corolla. Maybe an easier on the leg pressure plate? Might sound odd, but i'm almost certain my clutch set up is factory original (not changed in my 11 years of ownership. But, the pressure plate feedback is a biased feel)

-The 2.2 feels a lot nicer in traffic with that tiny bit of torque and gearing. Definitely felt the difference in the way it pulls.

-It seemed like there wasn't as "snappy" of a steering response. It came off as really odd how my 174K mile AP1 had a more responsive steering characteristic (only suspension mod is a fortune auto 510 system with 11K springs all around and dropped 1-1/2" Still the same old factory bushings and ball joints)

-Wont knock the ride since i'm use to a stiffer suspension. It was MUUUCH softer in the AP2!

-Was really surprised at how responsive the throttle was with a DBW system. My Corolla is flat out awful with this throttle delay, and requires almost a full second shift delay (it's a manual trans, but likely a heavy flywheel). I found that i could shift just as quickly in the AP2 as the AP1. The short throw was a nice familiar feel (seriously, never sat in one of these things or drove one until a couple days ago)

I could write more on it, but would rather voice my experience after getting back into my car.
Of course, since I've had it so long, it felt like i was back "home."

I felt the sluggishness of normal takeoff from a standard traffic stop. A lot could be attributed to age, yea. But, my car hasn't seen a hard life in my possession.
VTEC cross over was more aggressive in my car over the AP2's kick. I checked to see if the VTEC solenoid was disconnected afterwards, to verify if it was just that. Nope..

Now, a buddy of mine, who has driven my car a handful of times and has seen a few gears up to redline, also drove said AP2; nearly identical characteristics were noted between the two.

Problem is, there was more of a rush running the gears out in the AP1 than the AP2. Legitimately, it felt much faster.

Honestly, it sold my friend on looking for a 2000-2003 model.

Did i miss out on something with the AP2?? What really sets these things apart?
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:35 AM
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‘05 didn’t have DBW...
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:41 AM
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Good write up. I’m interested in following what others say about you missing something. I thought I might want to get an AP2 to go with my MY01 NFR. Found one local and took it for a test drive. I had a similar experience with the feel of the steering. My bone stock AP1 felt so much better. I just wrote it off as the car hadn’t been cared for since there were other signs that might have been the case.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:54 AM
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maybe it just needs a tune up, plugs and valve adjustment, how were the tires they will contribute to the sharpness same with alignment alot of variables
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:59 AM
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What tires did it have? My AP2 had crap cheap all seasons when I bought it - steering response was terrible until I got some proper summer tires. Also it may need an alignment...
Clutch feel is going to depend on wear from previous owner as well as condition of fluid and lines. Suspension will feel softer yes - but shocks may be worn by now (we're talking a 14-15 year old car).
Engine health also may need addressed... it may need plugs, valve adjust etc.

Not saying your impressions were incorrect but many can be attributed to "14 years of previous owner" and condition of the above mentioned parts and more. When you're comparing two used cars.
I'm guessing if you went and drove other AP1's you'd notice differences too...
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by imnida View Post
Did i miss out on something with the AP2?? What really sets these things apart?
Nothing really. When I drove both AP1 and AP2, neither one had anything over the other that I would consider a deal-breaker. The difference isn't pronounced like a base Porsche 911 Carrera and a GT3 as some make it out to be. If you end up modding the S2000, the difference becomes less relevant.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:55 AM
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I've owned both an AP1 (2001) and an AP2 (2006). As you mentioned the differences are small and subtle, but do exist. I personally prefer the AP2 (2006+) to the AP1, mostly due to the ease of tune with FlashPro, and some of the nice to have refinements over the AP1. Everyone will have subjective reasons to prefer one over the other, but at the end of the day they are both great cars.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:24 AM
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Ap2 has some upgrades that increase reliability which aren't really things you'd feel just from a drive. Better valve train, stronger diff, I think the trans is also more reliable. Lots of little things that do make them attractive. As someone mentioned 05 isn't drive by wire. Every used car is different and just because the miles are low doesn't mean it will be a prefect car. There is examples out there of cars with 100K+ miles that drive like new and other cars with less than 50K miles that drive like crap and look like there been through hell. As others have said there is pluses and negatives to both platforms.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:32 AM
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I moved from 2003 AP1 to 2006 AP2 this year. the heavier flywheel and clutch delay valve makes it feel less "snappy" than the AP1.

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Old 06-13-2018, 10:39 AM
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Ap1 has a better/closer ratio steering rack which gives it quicker turn in response. The stiffer rear sway/suspension bias also enhances this feel. Makes the car more playful/fun. The heavy 22lb boat anchor of a flywheel in the ap2 plus cdv is detrimental to the snappy/lively feel of the engine and shift timing. If you enjoy spirited driving/quicker shifting/rev matching etc, this will really bother you coming from an ap1 or if you run an even lighter aftermarket lightened flywheel.
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