After a Lifetime Without Driving a Honda S2000, I Finally Got the Chance to Experience the Legendary CR Model in San Francisco.
When I first heard about the Honda S2000 CR, I couldn’t believe I had gone through life without driving one. It wasn’t that I had purposely avoided them; I simply never had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of this iconic car. So when I was presented with the chance to review a one-owner, 15,000-mile Club Racer edition, I immediately booked a flight to San Francisco. I wanted to understand why the S2000 CR, and the S2000 in general, had such a devoted following.
The Honda S2000 CR currently up for sale on Cars & Bids can be seen and bid on here.
Upon its release in 2008, the S2000 CR faced some skepticism. Many questioned why anyone would pay extra for a model that offered no performance upgrades compared to the regular S2000. The CR version only came with a boy-racer body kit and some suspension enhancements. Critics argued that it would be more cost-effective to modify the already excellent AP2 S2000 for added performance.
However, over time, the S2000 CR developed a reputation that elevated it to legendary status. The values of these cars skyrocketed, often fetching prices of $50,000 to over $100,000 at auctions. This appreciation for limited-run models is not unique to the S2000 – other cars like the BMW E36 M3 Lightweight, the Ferrari 599 Fernando Alonso Edition, the Superbird, and the Porsche Cayenne Transsyberia have followed a similar trajectory. This led me to two questions – why is the S2000 CR so revered, and is it worth the high price tag?
Looking at the car objectively, detached from its value, driving the S2000 CR is a revelation. It’s a masterclass in balance and precision. The shifter is crisp and direct, the chassis dynamics are perfectly tuned, and the suspension is firm yet well-suited for a “hardcore” sports car. Each component of the car works in harmony, creating an unparalleled driving experience.
Of course, the S2000 CR is not without its flaws. The hardtop can be squeaky, and while the engine sound is decent, it is not mind-blowing. In terms of raw power, it falls short with its 240 horsepower. However, the S2000 CR is not about sheer speed. It’s about the sensations of driving a perfectly balanced sports car. And I can say without a doubt that it delivers on that front. I now understand why this car is so beloved by enthusiasts.
While it’s true that you can achieve similar results by modifying an AP2 or even an AP1-generation S2000, the S2000 CR holds a special place as a factory-built car. Collectors are drawn to the rare, ultimate version of an already exceptional vehicle. The limited-edition nature of the S2000 CR adds to its allure and potential for future collectibility. Moreover, it represents the golden age of the analog sports car, a time when driving engagement took precedence over technological advancements.
I am fully aware that the value of the S2000 CR could buy or customize several other objectively superior cars. However, if you seek to experience the impeccable balance and poise of an analog sports car from this era, the S2000 CR surpasses its humble origins. My only regret is that these remarkable cars have become confined to garages and collections due to their rarity and high value.
In conclusion, my experience driving the Honda S2000 CR has been a revelation. It’s a car that truly lives up to its legendary status. Its balance and precision on the road make it a joy to drive. While the S2000 CR may not be the fastest or most technologically advanced car on the market, it captures the essence of a pure sports car experience. As I reflect on my time with the S2000 CR, I am left with a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and passion that went into creating this iconic vehicle.