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Honda S2000 AP1 vs AP2 – What are the differences?

Honda S2000 AP1 vs AP2

The Honda S2000 is one of the legendary cars that reigned supreme in the early 2000s. Ask any motor car enthusiast, and this car will be in the top 5 on their list. The Honda S2000 was featured in many movies, including the Fast and Furious series building upon the legend. The Honda S2000 has also proven to be one of the most easy, and satisfying cars to modify.

But that doesn’t mean it requires many modifications. 100% stock S2000’s are great as well. The Honda S2000 came in two variants, a pre-facelift model (AP1) made in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 as well as a post-facelift model (AP2) made in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and the final S2000 in 2009. Design-wise, there were not a lot of changes but we did see a lot of suspension and driving changes that we will talk about now.

The Honda S2000 comes with a massive hood, that houses the 2-liter In the AP1 and a 2.2 liter in the AP2, rear-wheel drive engine which is placed in the front-mid of the car. The stock engine produces anywhere from 237 to 247 horsepower with the help of a six-speed manual transmission. An automatic was not offered.

Let’s dive right in to find out the differences between Honda S2000 AP1 and Honda S2000 AP2.

Differences

There were many differences between the AP1 and the AP2 models of the Honda S2000. The AP1 was the initial model that was launched in 1999 and kept in production till 2003. It was immensely successful as a sports car for the masses that brought a great concept together. 

The AP2 was launched as a facelift of the AP1 in 2004. It came with a different engine, a different suspension, different tires, and a few design changes. There was a track-oriented version of the AP2, known as the Honda S2000 Club Racer, or CR, but that is incredibly rare to find as Honda made only 699 units.

Suspension

The suspension was a significant question mark in the original S2000 AP1, and a lot of people said it was too hard to control even on carpeted roads. The AP1 was significantly less stable than the AP2 at high speeds and corners. With that said, many enthusiasts still prefer the raw nature of the AP1.

The Springs and anti-roll bars in the AP2 were made softer. The AP1 came with a very hard ride that a lot of people found very uncomfortable. This was corrected in the AP2 with softer suspension, better stability, better tires, and traction control (offered later in 2006-onwards).

In the Honda S2000 AP2, the spring rates and shock absorber damping was changed dramatically to make the suspension more comfortable and stable to ride upon. The suspension geometry changes meant that the car was now much more comfortable at cornering, even at high speeds. A few parts were also replaced with carbon fiber, such as the brass synchronizers in the gearbox that ensured less weight on the transmission.

Engine (Horsepower, Torque, Redline)

By far, the biggest highlight of the AP2 Honda S2000 is the new engine. Honda put a larger engine, a 2.2-liter engine in the S2000 AP2 that resulted in increased torque but decreased horsepower. The horsepower in the AP1 peaked out to 249 HP (in the most powerful version, and 243 on most versions. The AP2 reduced that to a peak power of 237 HP.

Coming to the redline, it was also lowered by a significant amount in the AP2 version. The AP1 Honda S2000 came with a redline of 8800 rpm which was great for revving and accelerating the car, while the AP2 decreased that redline to 8200 rpm. The torque increased from 208nm in the AP1 to 220nm in the AP2.

The larger travel of the pistons however ensured that the new model will also be equally as fast, if not more. 

The gear ratios were also slightly tweaked. To manage better acceleration, Honda made the first five gears much smaller and made the last gear much larger. This made acceleration quick as the first five gears were used to increase the speed quickly while the last gear could focus on top speed.

Tires

The original Honda S2000 AP1 came with 16 inch wheels. The rims themselves were beautiful riding on the Bridgestone Potenza S-02 tires. The new AP2 was launched with 17 inch wheels and a different tire model in Bridgestone RE-050 tires. The weight distribution, however, remained the same at 50:50 front and rear.

There was, however, a new variant made in 2008 known as the Honda S2000 Club Racer (CR) which came under the chassis designation of AP2. It was a track-oriented version that came with a few cosmetic changes as well as new tires (Bridgestone Potenza RE070) that were 10mm wider than the normal AP2. 

Design changes

Lastly, there were a few cosmetic changes made for eye candy on the AP2 version in comparison with AP1.

One of the best upgrades made was the gorgeous new taillights that were now LED and complemented the car perfectly. New bumpers, both front, and rear were also added in the new version giving the car a much sportier look and better aerodynamics. The slightly tweaked headlight and the new exhaust pipes also added to the shortlist of design changes made in the new model.

AP1 vs AP2

The Honda S2000, and the legend lives forever. While the car itself was discontinued in 2009, it remains one of the hottest items on any sports car enthusiast’s list. In this article, we discussed and talked about the differences between the two models of the Honda S2000, AP1, and AP2.

As you can see, the AP1 and AP2 are awesome regardless, and it remains to this day as one of the best mid engine roadsters available!

Check out Redline360 for your S2000 needs. See below for some of our most popular categories:

Do you own an S2000? If so, what year is yours and what are the things you love about the car? We’ve love to see your reviews!

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