2004 Honda S2000 -- Introduction Part 2

The 2004 S2000 engine has been re-designed and displacement increased by 0.2 liters through lengthening the stroke of piston travel. The 2.2-liter, DOHC VTEC 4-cylinder engine produces 240 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque while meeting California's Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards. Honda's innovative VTEC advanced variable valve-timing system, operates the S2000 engine's 16 valves (4 per cylinder) in both intake and exhaust modes. This system is compact and tailored to the high-output, high-rpm operating characteristics of the S2000 engine.

A revised 6-speed, manual transmission provides lower gear ratios on gears one through five, and a higher sixth speed gear for highway cruising The transmission is a compact design and features a direct shift linkage with class-leading feel and short throws. A Torsen limited-slip differential smoothly delivers power to the rear wheels, regardless of traction conditions. The S2000 engine and transmission are capable of accelerating the S2000 from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds.

Honda's racing experience is also evident in the S2000's responsive handling. The chassis has an ideal 50/50 weight distribution, and the body and frame are a hybrid monocoque-frame structure that forms a rigid, flex-free platform for the S2000's in-wheel double wishbone suspension system, and plays an important role in helping the S2000 achieve its high level of safety protection. The power steering system is a highly responsive, electrically assisted type.

Larger front 215/45 87W and rear 245/40 91W tires are mounted on newly-designed 17-inch alloy wheels, and 11-inch brake discs (vented in front) provide excellent stopping power and brake feel. For 2004, new brake pad material improves the pedal feel and resists fading in high performance driving. An anti-lock braking system is standard.

The exterior styling of the S2000's body is angular, modern and purposeful, with the 2004 model receiving bolder front end and rear end styling. Its long hood and flared front fenders create the impression of lowness and mass. The nose has slightly improved aerodynamics for 2004 that involves re-shaping the front bumper. High sides reinforce the cockpit-like feel of the interior.

The interior is modern and designed with the driver's needs in mind. The seats contour to provide excellent lateral support during aggressive turns and help minimize fatigue. Outward visibility is unobstructed.

For 2004, controls such as the steering, brakes and clutch, operate with a new level of precision and have an even more direct feel. The aluminum leather-wrapped shift knob and lever, F1-inspired digital instrument display and separate engine-start button serve as a reminder of the racing heritage of the S2000.

2004 Honda S2000 Roadster Technical Highlights

Advanced technologies used in the S2000:

  • Hybrid monocoque body and "high X-bone frame" has torsional and bending rigidity of closed-top vehicle, without excess weight
  • Highly compact, 2.2-liter, DOHC VTEC engine produces 240 hp and 162 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Compact DOHC three-rocker VTEC variable valve-timing system adjusts intake and exhaust valve duration
  • Coaxial, roller-bearing cam followers
  • Lightweight, powdered-metal, injection-molded, sintered steel-alloy cam followers
  • Electric Power Steering system (EPS)
  • F1-inspired digital instrument panel
  • High-efficiency, low-back pressure, metallic-honeycomb catalyst
  • In-wheel, 4-wheel double wishbone suspension system
  • Impact-absorbing body and frame designed to help protect the driver and passenger in full-frontal, offset-frontal, side and rear impacts
  • 6-speed, transmission
  • Forged-alloy pistons and "dummy head" honed cylinder block
  • Heat-treated, carburized forged-steel crankshaft and connecting rods
  • Nut-less connecting rods
  • High-intensity discharge (HID) projector headlights
  • Torque-sensing limited-slip differential
  • Long-wearing FRM (Fiber-Reinforced Metal) cylinder liners
  • Compact "in-wheel" double wishbone suspension system
  • Engine meets Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards

S2000 Power and Convenience Features

The S2000 has an impressive list of standard comfort and convenience features, designed to make driving more pleasant and enjoyable, including high-intensity discharge (HID) projector headlights, a power-operated convertible top that opens or closes in approximately six seconds, air conditioning, micron air filtration, cruise control, an AM/FM stereo with CD player, remote-operated audio controls, power door locks, power windows, power heated side mirrors, Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System and keyless entry for both doors and the trunk. For 2004, XM Satellite Radio and headrest speakers are available as optional.

Safety Features

The S2000 is designed to comply with various worldwide safety standards and boasts an extensive list of safety features, including 3-point seat belts with load limiter and pretensioner, a compact SRS system for the driver and passenger, roll bars and reinforced windshield posts, and a body and frame especially designed to help absorb the energy of full-frontal, offset-frontal and rear impacts. Even the hood hinges and windshield-wiper pivots are designed to collapse in order to minimize head injury to pedestrians. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard.

High-Output 2.2-Liter Engine

In order to give the S2000 an ideal 50/50 weight distribution and a low yaw moment, Honda engineers designed the S2000's 2.2-liter, 240-hp, 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine to be as small and as lightweight as possible. The engine's aluminum-alloy cylinder head is a highly efficient design and features a compact gear- and chain-drive system for the dual overhead camshafts. The ancillary drive system for the alternator, water pump and air-conditioning compressor is also a new space-efficient type.

The S2000 engine's highly rigid, aluminum-alloy cylinder block features Honda's long-wearing FRM (Fiber-Reinforced Metal) cylinder liners. The lightweight pistons are made of forged aluminum alloy and the forged-steel connecting rods and crankshaft are heat-treated for added toughness. Numerous friction-reduction techniques, such as, roller-bearing cam followers, special pistons and advanced bearing materials, are used in the engine.

A compact version of VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Engine Control), Honda's variable valve timing system, is used on the S2000 engine. The VTEC system optimizes torque output over the engine's entire operating range, improving both driveability and performance. The S2000's VTEC uses compact, high-strength, low-friction, roller-bearing cam followers.

A large-capacity, low-restriction intake system and low back-pressure exhaust system help ensure free breathing at all engine speeds. The exhaust system uses a high-efficiency metal-honeycomb catalyst. The new catalyst, combined with the engine's electric pump-fed, secondary air-injection system, a direct-ignition system and Honda-programmed multi-point fuel injection, contributes to the S2000's engine achieving its LEV status.

Six-Speed Manual Transmission

The S2000 uses a longitudinally mounted, 6-speed manual transmission, which is built for high performance. Its gearing ensures strong performance in every gear, and the shift linkage is very direct, with short, precise throws. For 2004, single carbon synchronizers on all forward gears replace double- and triple-cone brass synchronizers in order to provide a more direct shift feel and reduce mechanical loss in the transmission. Other features of the S2000 drivetrain include a compact pull-type clutch with a clutch delay system, a highly rigid, one-piece propeller shaft and rigid axle shafts-all designed to reduce drivetrain flex to an absolute minimum. The Torsen limited-slip differential is a highly efficient torque-sensing, clutchless type that smoothly transfers torque to the wheel with the most traction, whether cornering or accelerating in a straight line.

In-Wheel Double Wishbone Suspension

The S2000's 4-wheel double wishbone suspension system is a compact in-wheel design, similar to the type used on racing cars. At each wheel, rigid upper and lower A-shaped wishbone links carry suspension loads directly to rigid subframes, attached directly to the newly reinforced monocoque body.

For 2004, the suspension geometry has been carefully tuned for optimum road-holding and steering feel. Coil springs and mono-tube, gas-pressurized shock absorbers (remote reservoirs in the rear) are used at each wheel. Front and rear stabilizers (1.04 x 0.18-inch front/1.00x0.18-inch rear) help keep body roll to a minimum.

High X-Bone Frame

Body rigidity is crucial to good handling in an open-topped roadster, so Honda engineers designed a highly rigid monocoque body for the S2000 and strengthened it even more for 2004. The heart of the system is a large central tunnel that runs down the center of the cockpit. This tunnel serves as the backbone and main load-bearing structure for the vehicle, as well as a housing for the transmission and driveshaft.

The body's high side sills, and innovative diagonal (X) bracing at the front and rear of the cockpit, provide additional rigidity. Suspension and drive loads from the wheels are fed directly into this structure via highly rigid subframes at the front and rear of the vehicle.

Electrically Powered Steering System

In place of a conventional hydraulic system, with its hoses, fluid and power drain, the S2000 uses an electrically assisted power steering system. At low speeds, more power-steering assist is provided, which eases maneuvering and parking. As vehicle speed increases, less power assist is supplied, giving the steering a more direct feel.

The S2000 Concept and Development

When Honda designers and engineers began work on the S2000, they set several overall design goals for it that would ultimately define its nature. They wanted it to have race-car-like performance and handling-something an enthusiast driver could use and enjoy, even in everyday driving situations. In addition, they wanted the S2000 to be a modern, socially responsible automobile, with low emissions and a full range of safety features.

The S2000's roadster layout also captures the spirit of the legendary high-performance sports cars of the past, as well as Honda's very first sports car, the S500 roadster. However, the S2000 makes no attempt to be a retro sports car. It is Honda's own unique interpretation of a modern sports car-with high performance, state-of-the-art technology, comfort, style and Honda durability.

The S2000 and the Honda Spirit

The S2000 is also intended to be a celebration of several important aspects of the Honda Motor Company's corporate identity and spirit. One aspect of that spirit can be found in the company's history of building sporting automobiles.

From the first S500 to the current Civic Si and the Acura NSX supercar, Honda has always offered a dedicated performance car. Another aspect of the Honda spirit celebrated in the S2000 is the company's motor sports heritage. Honda started racing motorcycles internationally in the 1950s, and entered Formula 1 car racing in the 1960s. Today, Honda still participates in the most competitive and prestigious levels of motor sports, including Formula 1, the Indy Racing League and Grand Prix motorcycle racing. The S2000 incorporates many of the engineering lessons learned in five decades of racing.

The S2000 also represents the Honda spirit of innovation. From the first CVCC engine to 4-wheel steering, VTEC variable valve timing, and up to the current SULEV, AT-PZEV and ZEV hydrogen fuel cell automobiles and engines, Honda products have always demonstrated the company's uniquely creative approach to solving engineering challenges. The S2000 is no different. It is a showcase of Honda technologies and advanced engineering techniques applied in a cost-effective manner.

Honda S2000 Features

The following is a list of the standard features found on the S2000 roadster:

Engineering Features

  • 240-hp, 2.2-liter, 16-valve, DOHC VTEC engine
  • Multi-Point Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
  • Direct ignition system
  • Low-back pressure exhaust system with high-efficiency catalyst
  • Low-Emission Vehicle-rated (LEV)
  • 6-speed, manual transmission
  • Torque-sensing limited-slip differential
  • Power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
  • High-rigidity "high X-bone frame"
  • In-wheel double wishbone suspension with gas-filled shock absorbers and front and rear stabilizer bars
  • Electric Power Steering system (EPS)
  • Variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering
  • 17-inch alloy wheels (7.0-inch-wide front/8.5-inch-wide rear)
  • 215/45 R17 87W front tires
  • 245/40 R17 91W rear tires

Exterior Features

  • Electrically powered soft top
  • Aluminum hood
  • High-intensity discharge (HID) projector headlights
  • Body-colored dual power mirrors
  • Dual-outlet exhaust with oval tips
  • 5-mph, impact-absorbing body-colored bumpers

Interior Features

  • Dual airbags (SRS)
  • Air conditioning
  • Micron air-filtration system
  • AM/FM stereo with CD player and XM Satellite Radio capability
  • Remote-operated audio controls
  • Power windows
  • Power door locks
  • Cruise control
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Leather-trimmed seats
  • Center console storage compartments with sliding lid
  • Dual Beverage holder
  • 3-point seat belts with pretensioner and load limiter
  • Engine start button
  • Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System
  • Keyless entry system for doors and trunk

Exterior and Interior Colors

  • Grand Prix White/Light Tan
  • New Formula Red/Black
  • Sebring Silver Metallic/ Black or Black and Red
  • Silverstone Metallic/Black or Black and Red
  • Berlina Black/Black
  • Rio Yellow Pearl/Black
  • Suzuka Blue Pearl/Blue
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