Honda is clearly aiming at the weekend racing crowd and the S2000 is the closest you can get to a Honda race car with a license plate. The steering has a much higher ratio and is very responsive to just fingertip control, while a wide tire profile, using Bridgestone RE070's, makes the most of the low aerodynamic profile for road hold and handling.
The S2000 CR weighs in at 90 pounds lighter than the older S2000, with structural bracing being added to the space previously occupied by the soft top. The same as Lamborghini has done with the Superleggera, lower the weight and increase the power output. You now have everything you need for making more mischief on the track and anywhere else that's legal.
The new S2000 CR is Honda's performance flagship powered by the 2.2 liter, 16 valve, 4 cylinder block with the power transmitted through a 6-speed manual shift. The engine delivers 237 horsepower from 7,800 rpm and pulls 162 lbs of torque at 6,800 revs from the longitudinally mounted plant which echoes the direction Audi have taken with the A3 and TT.
This vehicle delivers racetrack performance and looks, but is ready for the everyday road. Taking a look at the interior, cloth covered seats mounted inside a carbon fiber and aluminum interior give that clean race car feel. Air conditioning and media center come as optional extras in keeping with the race car spirit of the car.
The only nod in the direction of normal road use is the VSA, Vehicle Stability Assist, which when engaged delivers enhanced driver control during cornering and acceleration under normal driving conditions and takes away that feeling of being connected to the road which you look for when you are on the track.
From the outside, visually the car looks every inch the track car and you are going to be certain to turn a few heads on Main Street. Honda's design team have come up with an eye catching example of their work, and it looks much more sleeker and meaner with the aluminum hardtop compared to the older S2000.
The Honda S2000 CR delivers an uncompromising, high performance vehicle and it makes a fitting retirement present to Honda's chief designer and a leap forward for Honda. Expect to see this being delivered in early 2008 and coming to a race track near you.