Northwest NEWS

December 17, 2001



TEST DRIVE - 2001 Honda S2000

Driving the sporty Honda 2001 S2000 had me longing for a warm, sunny day and open highways. Needless to say I didn't have a chance to put the top down with our recent rainy weather.
   This small roadster is designed to provide a memorable driving experience.
   My test model came with the soft top. Honda now offers an easily installed lightweight aluminum, hardtop, including a large glass rear window with a defogger. It is available in all factory S2000 colors. The top can be fitted to 2000, 2001 and 2002 model year S2000s. The hardtop which weighs 44 lbs. can be ordered at any Honda automobile dealer.
   The S2000 design is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car configuration. The 240-hp, 2.0 liter 4-cyclinder engine is a 16-valve, dual overhead cam (DOHC) with variable valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC). The result is 0-60 miles per hour in less than six seconds.
   My test drive model came in spa yellow pearl with a black interior. It was bright and easy to spot in a crowded parking lot. This is a new color for 2001.
   A unique feature is the ignition push button start located to the left of the steering wheel.
   The 6-speed manual transmission has a torque-sensing limited slip differential.
   When I took my 86-year-old mother for a ride she thought for sure she was going at breakneck speed as I moved through the gears. And we both could experience the feel of the road in the drive.
   The turning radius is small and the car hugs the road in turns.
   It is definitely a fun car to drive but there is little space for more than two people.The seats backs right up to the back of the car. There are a couple of small storage spaces. The trunk space is compact with a cargo space of 5 cubic feet.
   The cabin design is based on a Formula One race car with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather contour seats, an aluminum shift knob, aluminum pedals and a digital instrument panel.
   The S2000 features dual airbags, a 12-volt power outlet, keyless entry with a remote trunk release.
   Standard is the AM/FM stereo with CD player, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, aero window screen, intermittent windshield wipers, beverage holder, and map lights.
   Awards for the 2001 S200 include Car and Driver One of 10 Best and Ward's Auto World One of the 10 Best Engine.