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Honda S 2000

Broadcast date : 16th May 2004

The diminutive lines of Honda's S2000 sports car belie its ability to produce near-supercar performance.

How does a zero to one hundred time of six comma two seconds grab you? Or a top speed of two hundred and forty kilometres an hour? And the amazing part is that this achieved from an engine displacing just one thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven ccs.

The original S2000 was introduced here in limited numbers about four years ago and it was rated then as a real sports car, an involving driving experience. That has not changed with the latest version. It is merely faster, and a little bit easier to handle.

The V-Tec, or variable valve lift engine produces a claimed one hundred and seventy seven kilowatts from its two litres, which is an astounding achievement for its size.

It revs to nine thousand RPM and yet it has a very usable low-speed powerband which sees the driver potter around as if it was a shopping car

The Honda does need to be worked hard to deliver its true sports car credentials. At low revs the engine sounds a little bland, the feel of the car unremarkable. You do don't get the all-encompassing feedback that you would from driving an Italian or German thoroughbred.

Nevertheless the original S2000 handled like a thoroughbred, but it was prone to severe tail slides which could catch out the unwary.

Thus the new car features stiffer springs at the front, softer springs at the rear and a stiffer rear anti-roll bar.

The basic theory behind these changes is that a softer set-up provides more bite or grip.

The softer rear end is less likely to let go in a hurry in this 2004 version while the stiffer front prevents weight transfer when braking into a corner.

Six speeds and rear wheel drive make this a real enthusiast's car.

And thanks to the strengthening of the Rand over the past few years, the S2000 costs three hundred and fifty nine thousand Rand, some sixteen thousand Rand less than the first version cost in the year two thousand.

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