Since the S2000 was introduced to great acclaim nearly ten years ago, it has been given the same treatment that the NSX received by Honda/Acura. Mainly, just being left alone to whither on the vine. Not that either vehicle wasn’t extremely solid to begin with. But as sales would attest, buyers demand at least the appearance of a vehicle upgrade periodically to keep their attention. Since peak U.S. sales of nearly 10,000 units in 2001 and 2002, the two-seater is currently leaving dealerships at about 1/5th of that number. The 2009 “CR” is Honda’s response to boost sales by boosting the vehicle’s performance in advance of a more complete future redesign.
The S2000 “CR” Club Racer is set up to deliver a substantial amount of improved track level performance from the already sprite entry level version. While the CR utilizes the same 237 horsepower 2.2-liter from the regular S2000, it improves performance by utilizing additional weight and handling upgrades. The aerodynamic package reduces lift through large and specially-tuned front and rear spoilers. Compared to the normal S2000, the factory-tuned suspension on the CR provides more aggressive track-oriented settings, increased body and chassis rigidity, a quicker steering ratio a larger rear tire size and aerodynamic spoilers tuned for reduced lift and enhanced chassis balance at high speeds. A removable aluminum hardtop is also a necessary replacement for the convertible soft top for anyone serious about taking it to the track. These modifications are in addition to the lightening of the roadster by nearly 100 pounds from the original S2000. A rear body brace occupies the area previously occupied by the soft top on the S2000, resulting in additional rigidity on the S2000 CR. A sport-tuned muffler adds to the vehicles heightened performance feel. To further save weight, air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system are only available as factory-installed optional equipment.
The S2000 CR’s interior features a synthetic suede to help keep the driver in place during potentially hard cornering. The CR also gets an exclusive spherical aluminum shift knob that reduces the shift stroke by 6 percent than the normal S2000. The S2000 CR instrument panel meters include a “peak-power indicator.” When the engine is operating at peak power, a round, green light illuminates to the right of the digital speedometer. Even with all of the upgrades, and including the stereo and AC options, the added cost of the CR to the regular S2000 price of around $34,000 is only 3 grand.