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Honda S2000

Honda S2000 Published: 21st Apr 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Honda S2000
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Looking for a classic with a difference – then why not consider a gem from Japan suggests Chris Rees?

Japanese cars, for so long neglected by the classic car movement, now have a huge following. That charge has been led by the hard-to-ignore Mazda MX-5, which single-handedly reinvented the two-seater roadster. But so pervasive is the MX-5’s influence that Mr Editor has instructed me not to talk about it. Which is good because there are so many fantastic Japanese classics out there.

From 1970’s retro rides to 21st century performance icons, Japan’s rich car culture has produced an impressive spread of machinery to choose from. The fact that so many of these are ‘under the radar’ in the car market means there are some bargains out there. But our prediction is that values will soon rise for many Japs. Why? Because they’re undervalued and because owners love the fact that they’re more reliable than other classics. So here’s our choice of cars that you can buy at bargain prices, enjoy and, very probably, see increase in value over time. There, I didn’t mention the MX-5 at all. Er, doh!


PRODUCTION: 1999-2009
VALUES: £6000-£15,000

A couple of years ago you could buy a Honda S2000 for £4000. That was criminally cheap, and the market’s fast turning. Yes, an S2000 costs more to run than a Mazda MX-5 but it’s so much more of an experience. In fact, every drive is an occasion. The 2.0-litre non-turbo engine pumps out no less than 237bhp, and revs beyond 9000rpm, where it sounds just like a good Formula 1 car. The gearchange is super-sweet, too, taking the car to 60mph in just over six seconds. The downside is that it can feel very ordinary below the 6000rpm VTEC zone. The handling is great on dry roads, but in the wet, early cars can suffer snap-oversteer – so much so that the classifieds are awash with ‘Category D’ pranged S2000s and badly repaired ones, too. The cabin is simple to the point of being stark but everything works brilliantly well. Expect clockwork reliability – owner satisfaction surveys consistently rate the S2000 as close to perfection. Post-2002 examples are best, with their glass rear window in place of plastic and more resolved handling. Look at the Honda as an MX-5 for grown ups.

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