S2000, a worthy opponent? - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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S2000, a worthy opponent?

Ok, just a brief history on myself, I bought my 05 Black/Black M6 GTO in December 06. I freakin love that thing!!! In my opinion, for the price, it's as good as it gets! My room mate currently owns a BMW 325i 2001, and he is trying to sell it to buy an 05 GTO. However, despite our love and devotion to the goat, it never hurts to have a fair understanding of the competition, and so I can at least say "I've driven that, and here's my opinion on that car..."

So we went to the local Honda stealership today in hopes of driving an S2000 and sizing it up. I went with an open mind, thinking perhaps I will be impressed. I told the salseman I was in the process of driving various cars to compare & contrast them before I made my final decision. Besides, the day I went to test drive the GTO, I was expecting to hate the car, infact I owned a Neon at the time, and I had NO intention of buying another car any time soon. Well, needless to say, I drove the GTO and immediately fell in love!!!

In any case, I got in the S2000, turned it on, first of all, it has a useless red "engine on" button... why can't I just turn the key? Who knows... the salseman was riding shotgun, the whole time trying to explain what a wonderful race car it is, blah blah blah. The next thing I noticed is that the engine sounded like a leaf blower. Obviously it's a 4 banger, so I wasn't expecting anything mean, but perhaps due to the car's small size, light weight, and low profile it might compensate. I got on the highway, punched the gas and..... and......... and......... waited for the car to speed up, finally the RPM's were high enough for 3rd, then what felt like forever it was ready for 4th, and so on.... wow...... WHAT A SLUG!!!

In the car's defense, I'd say the gauge cluster thingy looks freakin sweet, it's digital and fairly unique in design, and it handled pretty well, mostly due to it's tiny body. Outside of that, it was very unimpressive. The funniest part is how much Honda wants for their spiffy looking oversized go-kart. The retail value of the car is around 34k. WTF? If they want to keep it at that price point, they should seriously consider adding a twin turbo system for a little extra power, then who knows, I might have even put it on my "to consider list" someday, but at this point... I've put it on my "couldn't keep up with my Neon" list...., obviously an exageration, but you get my point.

All in all, if you are looking for power, the S2000 simply doesn't have it, but if you want something tiny, fun, and with a couple "interesting" features, I highly recommend you wait a couple years when it drops down to the low 20's in price.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:31 PM
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s2000

Try the Turbo charged Saturn SKY,, 270 RWHP in a car that weighs about 2300 pounds
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Not a bad idea, I might have to do that. I actually think they look pretty nice. I've never been a huge fan of Saturn, but I saw the Sky at a carshow in Florida last year, and I remember thinking "looks good, wonder how it drives", the interior wasn't too bad either. Looks like I have a new assignment for tomorrow. Thanks!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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Oh what an experience. For the record I'm his roomate with the 325i. Considering I have the lowest end bmw you can get in the US I had some hope for Honda's big hitter. Should have known better. When I first drove the GTO though I had my next car picked out and was hunting one down. Saw the GTO and said, 'pfft, I bet that can't touch a BMW.' Now I'm selling mine to get a goat (with no luck though). Anyways went for a drive in the S2000.

Ok first off the exterior looks ok but not outstanding or like something I would like to mod. Then I got in and dealt with that starter. Start/stop buttons are cool I think however this one was not. You put in the key like a normal car, then turn it like a normal car to the on position but stop short of turning it on. Then you wait for the digital guages to boot up. Then you hit the start button, why? I would be far better to get rid of the button or remove the key and have an electric device that you either just have on you or drop in a slot then use the start/stop. Oh well, fired it up and sat laughing cause the dealer couldn't figure out reverse (he had to drive me off the lot). I explained to push down then go to reverse, man I love knowing more than a dealer. So anyways we swapped down the street and things sucked from there. Taking off was not impressive. I gave it all it had and pushed it to 90. At that speed the car felt almost topped out despite the dealer saying it had room to go, though not until the engine is broken in. Shifting was nice, it got props for that and it's digital interface. But no room and no power was just too much for me to deal with. Hit a couple turns hard and though it corners well, you can't judge it's performance in a turn since the stupid thing has no power to test it with, you need a running start and coast around a corner to test the suspension. So power the car sucks, and performance is ok but unusable without power. Now on to the little stuff...

The interior was better than a 350Z I thought but had some stupid points. For one while the digital guages are cool I prefer the normal stuff myself. Also there was some odd bump on the passenger floor which was either part of the fram covered with carpet or some kind of tube for wires or something, seemed like a poor design. The radio... my biggest gripe. It has some useless door thing that closes and covers the radio hiding it basically. I think it's cause the radio doesn't match the cars styling, this is a cheap way to deal with that. The second radio controls baffled me. Rather than put them on a steering wheel like all other companies do honda put them where the light switch is on our cars. Only way I can describe it is a cluster f---. What is the point of having them there, it's just like reaching for the deck itself. The cruise control was on the wheel but looked out of place. Like whoever designed it thought the steering wheel would be a lot bigger. Finally the rear view mirror, stupid thing wouldn't let me adjust it, just gave me no real view behind me. Maybe it was broken or something.

So all that and sticker was $38k. Sorry but for that money I'll be over at the BMW dealer getting a used one that would beat the honda in every way possible.

Oh and for the very best part of all this, luke forgot to mention. The dealer said, and I quote, "It will out perform a viper in every way, except maybe off the line." I was so amazed at how retarded that was I let it go. Luke and I just looked at eachother in shock and politely disagreed but moved on since the guy was obviously high or something.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 08:08 PM
 
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Guys, you're comparing Apples and Mustard here. I owned an 05 GTO and my friend has an S2000 with a few mods.

The GTO has low end torque and top speed in it's favor. The LS2 engine is a marvel of low RPM driveability but is pretty much done by 6,000 RPM. You can get satisfying performance out of the LS2 without going past 4,500 RPM.

The Honda on the other hand has almost no torque at low speed, makes almost all it's power above 6,500 RPM where the valve timing abruptly shifts to "high power" mode and revs all the way to 8,500 RPM. To get satisfying performance you need to be running the damn thing between 6,000 and 8,500 RPM. It's entire power band is above the operating range of the LS2. I'd be willing to bet you were not comfortable driving the thing at 8,000 RPM and therefore didn't get the real feel of the car.

Does this mean the S2000 is a dog? Hell no! The GTO weighs over 3,700 Lbs. The S2000 weighs about 1,000 Lbs less. The GTO is quiet and comfortable. The S2000 is set up for performance first, comfort second. The Honda has much less understeer, better more direct steering feel, less body roll, and better brakes.

The S2000 will eat a GTO alive on a road course in the hands of a skilled driver. It will also give you a headache/earache after 2 hours at the wheel and a sore butt to go with it.

It won't take a GTO off the line or top end, but throw in some turns and it will quickly reel in a GTO. The GTO's porky weight can be overcome in a straight line with torque and power but, there is no such cure in the corners. Physics will not be denied.

It's not my cup of tea (except for the occasional 1/2 hour of fun) but it is a great car.

Hell, I'll bet an S2000 could even destroy a Buick GNX on a road course.

Last edited by Wing_Nut; 04-06-2007 at 08:36 PM.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wing_Nut View Post
Guys, you're comparing Apples and Mustard here. I owned an 05 GTO and my friend has an S2000 with a few mods.

The GTO has low end torque and top speed in it's favor. The LS2 engine is a marvel of low RPM driveability but is pretty much done by 6,000 RPM. You can get satisfying performance out of the LS2 without going past 4,500 RPM.

The Honda on the other hand has almost no torque at low speed, makes almost all it's power above 6,500 RPM where the valve timing abruptly shifts to "high power" mode and revs all the way to 8,500 RPM. To get satisfying performance you need to be running the damn thing between 6,000 and 8,500 RPM. It's entire power band is above the operating range of the LS2. I'd be willing to bet you were not comfortable driving the thing at 8,000 RPM and therefore didn't get the real feel of the car.

Does this mean the S2000 is a dog? Hell no! The GTO weighs over 3,700 Lbs. The S2000 weighs about 1,000 Lbs less. The GTO is quiet and comfortable. The S2000 is set up for performance first, comfort second. The Honda has much less understeer, better more direct steering feel, less body roll, and better brakes.

The S2000 will eat a GTO alive on a road course in the hands of a skilled driver. It will also give you a headache/earache after 2 hours at the wheel and a sore butt to go with it.

It won't take a GTO off the line or top end, but throw in some turns and it will quickly reel in a GTO. The GTO's porky weight can be overcome in a straight line with torque and power but, there is no such cure in the corners. Physics will not be denied.

It's not my cup of tea (except for the occasional 1/2 hour of fun) but it is a great car.

Hell, I'll bet an S2000 could even detsroy a Buick GNX on a road course.
I definately agree with you. The GTO certainly does not shine when it comes to handling a road with twists, turns, and lots of curves. Then again, where in the states are you going to find such a road? The only time I'll ever be trying to spank another car on the road is on a nice open stretch of highway where I can clearly see there is no traffic in my way.

As for the S2000, I never let the RPM's over 7500, the salseman was sitting next to me and I didn't want to make him pee his pants. Watching the spiffy tachometer gauge thing climb reminded me of downloading MP3's back in the 56k modem days, haha. Well, maybe not THAT slow, but you get the idea.

You are absolutely right, it has a much higher powerband than the GTO, and also the ass rash from the seats, not to mention the whining of the engine was a little... annoying. All I could think about during the drive was "I can't wait to get home and drive my GTO". After I get my Stainless Works LT's, CAI, underdrive pully, and short shifter next week, I have a feeling I will find myself just sitting in my car to hear it roar. I'm so excited I can barely contain myself!!!

It's not a bad car, I've got nothing against Honda or even any other Ricer type cars for that matter (just the way some people treat/mod them), but nothing gives me a stiffie quite like hitting the gas and having my eyeballs sucked to the back of my head by pure muscle.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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Whatever shortcomings it may have, the GTO is the best performance value out there. Sure, itís a little heavy, but thatís because itís built solid; one year and still no rattles or squeaks. And sure, itís not the best road racer, but you also donít smack your teeth together over every bump. If you want better handling, tons of options are available.

Take a look at this video. Itís the UK version of what the 2005 GTO is, but itís a ton more over there, or anywhere else for that matter. We get the GTO at a bargain price compared to the rest of the world.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hif0ka9U1HE
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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My first and only BMW was a 92 325i with the 2.5 liter 6, before VANOS varable valve timing. On the Autobahn, it was in it's element. In the states, it was a dog off the line, unless you drove it like you stole it. After a year's worth of driving in Texas, the clutch began to chatter and shudder from all the slipping needed to get the car moving off the line. I've been driving V8 muscle ever since, and will never go back to a car that makes all it's power up high.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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I had an 02 S2000 before I got my 06 GTO. I love my GTO but I still miss the Honda. If you're not revving the Honda's engine then you're not seeing its potential. The S2000's cornering is also unbelievable. While it does not have much torque in the low revs (particularly compared to our goats) the Honda is, if you know how to drive it, an unbelieveably fun car to drive, dare I say, more fun than the GTO. When it comes down to it though, as lukekeith said, these cars are apples and mustard. The S2000 is a scalpel; the GTO is a sledgehammer. Both cars are great for what they are.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by darinhead View Post
The S2000 is a scalpel; the GTO is a sledgehammer.
HULK SMASH!
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