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Our Favorite Honda of the 2000s Is Back, and Better Than Ever


December 17, 2019 Cars By

Honda’s accessories division, Honda Access, is building a number of custom vehicles for the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon in January. One of those is likely to turn many automotive enthusiasts’ heads: a freshened, 20th-anniversary edition of the legendary Honda S2000 convertible.

The S2000 was one of the classic cars of the 2000s. Built from 2000 to 2009, it had a reputation for being one of the best pure driver’s cars ever. It was a rear-wheel-drive convertible, with a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four engine putting out as much as 247 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. Features like a 50/50 weight distribution and a high redline showed that Honda built the car for the driver to push it to its limits.

Collectors knew what they had at the time. S2000 Auction prices on Bring a Trailer have stayed relatively reasonable, because there are so many low-mileage, well-cared-for examples kicking around. But none of those come close to being as special as this 2020 custom model.

Honda Access’s version, based on the original AP1-spec version of the car, has a Grand Prix White paint job. It features several modifications to the bodywork, including a wider grille, side sills and a new spoiler. It also received suspension and audio system upgrades.

The natural question this S2000 raises is, of course, whether it portends a return for the Honda S2000 — and whether Honda would sell that vehicle in the U.S. Hopes for a new S2000 may hang on the distinction between Honda Access labeling this a “prototype” versus a “concept” in Japanese — a distinction that seems tenuous at best. Like the Honda E electric car, a new S2000 two-seater convertible would delight journalists, but probably not sell very well in the American market. Still, never hurts to keep your fingers crossed.

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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