I reviewed so many Honda S2000s in my GT5 reviews thread that you’d think I’d be mad. Until you realise that none of them were the multiple (duplicate) S2000s that feature here as well. Instead, they were all tuner types, with the addition of the S2000 LM.
Indeed, in my biggest review of them all, All Tuners Tested, no less than 8 of Honda’s critically acclaimed roadster were lining up to be tested.
In fact, my first review of all on this website was of an S2000. Just…not a very good one.
Describing it here is probably for another time.
But, that S2000 aside, the multitudes of tuned S2000 were, for the most part, all very good. Because they all retained some feel of the stock model, which, for the S2000, is very important.
Even the rather more warped stuff such as the Amuse S2000 GT1 and AEM S2000 still had the feel good factor there, the former as a speed machine and the latter as a drift one. But these weren’t the best S2ks by a long way.
The best S2000s in the game lied in the ones that were only very light tunes. But god, were they effective.
OK, the Mugen S2000 was biblically awful with the performance of a coffee table. But hey, it wasn’t Mugen’s problem it was fitted with CS to start with.
Also, the Amuse S2000 R1 rather backfired in GT5, or certainly something had gone wrong with it since its blissful GT4 form. But its Street Version sister was without question one of the most fun cars to drive in the game. Despite its low level of tuning, it was absolutely bonkers, a free spirit that you could throw anywhere at any angle and still come out of it completely intact. I loved that one.
So much was the fun it provided, that it even managed to overshadow the Spoon S2000, whose speed was a good bit higher but its driving feel was just a bit lower – and that wasn’t good enough here.
But while the Street Version was a mad machine for the history books, there was still one S2000 that it couldn’t match. That was the Opera Performance tune.
Though slightly more hardcore than the other light tunes, the fact is, it provided real speed, but crucially perfect obedience to the driver. If you wanted to go fast on track, it would stay straight and true with immense speed thanks to its almost complete weightlessness. But if you were just about to mess about, then it was a superb slider, with nothing getting in the way of its cool, controlled smoking. That was my second favourite tuner in GT5. It could well remain there here.
The tuned S2000s have all been retained for GT6 of course, though none have been added. But here, breaking the trend severely from my GT5 days, we have the actual stock S2000 – the Premium one, the only one that actually should be in the game now.
The S2000 has an immensely checkered GT history. Even without appearing in GT1, it arrived in the world’s Honda dealers just in time for GT2 to come out. And its status as a big new car kind of showed.
Some have pointed out the focus on the S2000 throughout the intro of the game, and state it as being even the game’s cover car. But that wasn’t all to see, as in-game it was…well, ridiculous.
It was the fastest Group B car in Arcade by miles. So it was an annoyance to see it consistently waving its stupidly high-revving VTEC right on my normal Merc/Lancia/Fiat’s arse 24/7. Even the one-hit-wonder Plymouth PT Spyder couldn’t get close. Of course, it hasn’t been much worse in Arcade since… (He frowns angrily.)
The S2000 GT1 that also showed up proved a hit, even if it wasn’t one of the game’s fastest.
In GT3, it was placed in a rather big role as the S2000 GT1 became the S2000 LM and the now successor to the seemingly irreplaceable CR-X del sol LM. With 600bhp on hand, it did the job pretty well…but by GT4, it was all a ruin.
Despite the introduction of the tuned S2000s mentioned earlier, the big one, the S2000 LM, had been cut in half. Literally, in power figures. Its power had dropped to just over 300. Never mind the new howl it had, its missing speed was a missing figure in GT4. And it’s stayed that way since.
In addition, the S2000 fell to the dupe syndrome in GT4, and incredibly received a further dose of it in GT5 by separating US and EU versions. What the fuck?
As the Premium model introduced in GT5, the ’06 spec S2k is the only stock one you should think of buying. And you should, because it is really quite good.
If you know how to, you can make this thing speed along at whatever rate you wish. And it’s not difficult to find how.
If you throttle it, the S2000 will not be a stable machine to handle. But taking advantage of the S2k’s fantastic balance and chassis by lifting off, and slightly oversteering, will give you absolutely free reign over the roadster.
This driving characteristic unsurprisingly made it a big hit, and a perfect base for the JDM tuners to build on. That’s why there’s so many tuned versions of it around and in GT6. And you should join them…if you so wish.
The fact is, the S2k is completely fine stock. Frankly, the fact that cars like this are seemingly a requirement to tune is ridiculous. Everything around seemingly has to be tuned these days, but surely, one cannot realise that some things are just best left alone.
Mind you, the S2k is not one of those. But that doesn’t mean you have to go and give it more beans. And maybe, just maybe, even ruin it…