Notable changes to the 2006 Honda S2000 include an electronic drive-by-wire throttle, Vehicle Stability Assist, maintenance minder, standard headrest speakers, an outside temperature gauge, revised seat and console designs, a new alloy wheel design, and the addition of Laguna Blue Pearl as an exterior color option.
First hitting American shores in 1999, the S2000 blends Honda drivability with the handling prowess of a go-kart. Honda's version of the lightweight roadster-style sports car comes equipped with a high-revving, 2.2L, inline 4-cylinder engine with throttle-by-wire control. It develops 237 hp at 7,800 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,800 rpm. A close-ratio six-speed manual transmission (that features a direct linkage for precise shifting and short throws) delivers power to the rear wheels. With the electric power steering and a torque-sensing limited-slip differential, the S2000's chassis and powertrain layout results in an ideal 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution for balanced and predictable handling. Standard safety features include dual front air-bags, seat belt pretensioners, four-channel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, and Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist System.
Standard features for the single-trim S2000 include a power retractable convertible top, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, leather-trimmed seats, and High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with daytime running lights. Additional standard equipment includes an AM/FM stereo/CD player, power windows/door locks, keyless entry, an outside temperature gauge, and a maintenance minder system. An aluminum hardtop and XM Satellite Radio are also available as dealer-installed options.
The S2000 resides in the Compact Premium Sporty segment with a dozen other competitors, primarily rear-wheel-drive two-seaters. Power-to-weight ratio (high power/low curb weight) and nimble handling are key to success in this segment.
The sales leader in the class is the Nissan 350Z, with 27,278 units sold in calendar-year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM Other competitors include the Acura RSX, Mercedes-Benz CLK and SLK, Chrysler Crossfire, BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster and Cayman S, Saab 9-2X, Audi TT, and the Volvo C50 and C70. The S2000, with 7,780 sales in calendar-year 2005, is the eighth-best seller of the segment.