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Personally? An Abarth 124. But I'd understand someone picking an S2000. The engine is insane. What's not to love about close to 250hp at 9000rpm? It is, however, the only car I actually spun within 5 mins of getting behind the wheel. The chassis with the light switch VTEC "now you don't see me...now you do" power delivery, made them quite a handful. An exciting car, but one that bites. The Abarth 124 is not as hair raising, but it's still a peach.
 
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I liked my S2000 except for the pita of trying to get the maximum possible at 10/10ths and how flat it was off the cams.

It's a car you can never trust 100% at the ultimate grip limit and as a result you are always giving up a little speed (time!) at the limit. That's basically why I sold mine. Even with 275mm width R-compounds, swapped subframe and bars, etc., etc. I could never trust it 100% and as a result it lost its "fun factor".

If a cars's not fun why bother?

I could have done something about the flat engine. I had full bolt-ons on mine - let's say ~260hp but the torque under the curve, or the lack thereof pre-VTEC, was still annoying.

For the record, I was fighting it out in the top 10 of our local club's unlimited autocross class so context may be different than what you are asking about. I could never be consistent in my own car - but was consistent in other people's cars.

My decision tree looked like "blower" vs "V8 swap" vs "sell for something else I'd like better".

Not sure if that helps at all but that is my experience with the S2000.

 

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I have to disagree as a track car I can see your point but as a Road car the S2000 has been and will continue to be a keeper. It is definitely more hard core than the 124 which is one of the main reasons I chose the 124 over the Abarth/ MX-5. Does the Honda bite yes but on the road where we should be driving less aggressively rarely.
I have over 95000Kms on our S which includes track days and numerous long trips (1-2 weeks) and only 1900Kms on the 124 so we shall see how it stacks up in the long run.

But the bottom line is would I sell the S2000 to get a 124 NO
 

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For my reason, it was easy to choose the Abarth 124...

I drove an S2000 and noticed the window sill and my shoulder were constantly fighting for supremacy. If it irritated me on a 30 minute test drive, no way I could live with it in my garage.
 

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I realize this is an old thread, but I owned a 2006 S2000 and just got a 2018 124 Spider Abarth: I prefer the 124 much better. The Fiat looks more expensive and feels more substantial, the suspension is more comfortable and the handling more fun.

I had a love-hate relationship with my S2000: I loved the styling, the Honda quality, the agility and surprising power of the car; I hated having to keep things at 10/10th to enjoy it, the nonstop engine whine, the plain interior, the 1980s-looking instrumentation, the cheap radio, the flimsy leather on the seats.

There is a decade between the two, but I paid as much for a new, fully-loaded Fiat 124 as the going price of a used Honda S2000 with 60,000 miles —which are becoming harder and harder to find. While that says a lot about the Honda’s resale, that doesn’t help me as a buyer. Plus the Spider comes with backup camera, navigation, a better stereo, more comfortable seats, a better sounding exhaust, etc.

I love the way the Spider looks, drives and sounds. And I can have as much fun in it at 20 and 70 MPH.

Fiat finally gave me a car that does everything my S2000 did without any of its shortcomings.
 
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I drove behind a black S2000 today whilst in my Abarth (also black). It had wide wheels and some low, had a nice stance to it. I always loved the S2000 and I think they still look great, all they needed was a turbo haha!

One thing that I noticed, I had my top down and he didn't... perhaps the S2000 top isn't a one armed action ?
 

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I drove behind a black S2000 today whilst in my Abarth (also black). It had wide wheels and some low, had a nice stance to it. I always loved the S2000 and I think they still look great, all they needed was a turbo haha!

One thing that I noticed, I had my top down and he didn't... perhaps the S2000 top isn't a one armed action ?
The S2000 has a power top. If I recall correctly, the power mechanism stops working above 15 MPH, which means you have to come to a stop to drop and raise the top.

One other thing I love about the Spider: I can lower the side window and rest my arm on the door sill. The belt line on the S2000 is so high you feel like you are in a bath tub. And it is easier to hold a conversation in the Spider than it was in my Honda.

After only three years on the market I found ten times more customization items for the Fiat —and more affordable, too— than for the S2000 in 10 years. Honda’s accessories were (1) a CD changer, (2) an aero body package (i.e., deeper front air dam, side streaks and a rear spoiler), (3) two front license delete plugs, and that was it. For aftermarket stuff you had to step up to the really pricey stuff otherwise it wouldn’t fit, or it would just make your S2000 look cheap.
 

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Funny this should come up now. A few days ago, I was playing chase with a very skilled S2000 driver on the Tail of the Dragon. He was keeping up with me nicely and I am sure that when I pulled away out of the turns, he had to scratch his head and ask how a FIAT could do that. I have no doubt that the S2000 could outrun a mildly tuned Spider like mine but I can promise you he is questioning his world after chasing me on the Dragon.

 

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I find the 124 to be so much more relaxed to drive and beautiful to look at. I do appreciate the extra cabin room in the S2000 though. I fit a bit better in it.
 

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Funny this should come up now. A few days ago, I was playing chase with a very skilled S2000 driver on the Tail of the Dragon. He was keeping up with me nicely and I am sure that when I pulled away out of the turns, he had to scratch his head and ask how a FIAT could do that. I have no doubt that the S2000 could outrun a mildly tuned Spider like mine but I can promise you he is questioning his world after chasing me on the Dragon.

Nice shot!

From a design perspective alone, the Fiat is so much more interesting to look at.

 
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Silly people paying real money for used S2000s...when they have better offerings today...
 

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I never want to prove this theory, I'd much rather crash my Spider than any 20 year old design.

Whilst I've never driven the Honda engine, I did have a Toyota Corolla T-Sport with the VVTL-i engine and it was fun on the few occasions you could drive it to keep it between 6200rpm and 8400rpm, but the reality is that was next to impossible anywhere other than a track. It was completely gutless below the cam / lift change. It was geared in such a way that 70mph in 6th gear was nearly 4000rpm and that got tiring on any kind of journey.

They say people buy horsepower but drive torque, and that's one of the reasons I bought the Fiat over the Mazda.
 

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I have a lot of respect for the S2000. It's stood the test of time and is still a great car to this day. But stand just off the back of one of the rear quarter panels of the 124 and look down towards the front. Those smooth curves are a beautiful sight. Especially if you have 235 tires pushing to the edge of the body and lowered down about an inch or so. Look at @Brett67 's car. It looks stunning from any angle. I had a guy come up to my car Sunday at the track and tell me that the car looked much more beautiful in person than in any magazine he had seen.
 

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235 tires are a perfect fit with 17x8 wheels right?
 

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I like the look of the 124 better. But there is no denying that the cars dominating the track are s2ks . So many years of development . They do test the driver skill quite a bit , but if mastered , ridiculously rewarding .


https://www.instagram.com/p/BvJ61fFHO22/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=a67g2fyhnoa3

Hopefully I can get closer to the times these guys are posting this year. I’ll be running similar tires as the rest so we’ll see :)
 

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The S2000 was sold as slightly more expensive, but the spider is from 2017...shouldn’t the lighter more modern Spider with a 1752 turbo upgrade/tune and some aero and coilovers dominate the S2k?
 

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The S2000 was sold as slightly more expensive, but the spider is from 2017...shouldn’t the lighter more modern Spider with a 1752 turbo upgrade/tune and some aero and coilovers dominate the S2k?
Maybe a stock or lightly modded S2000, but once they get into FI, they're hard to keep up with. Add aero, good tires, and good coilovers and you'd have to be a way better driver to keep up. S2K's in the hands of a good driver are no joke on the track.
 

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Maybe a stock or lightly modded S2000, but once they get into FI, they're hard to keep up with. Add aero, good tires, and good coilovers and you'd have to be a way better driver to keep up. S2K's in the hands of a good driver are no joke on the track.

Yep even the non FI guys that have ample seat time and experience are beating fi lap times in their NA s2k as they get close to reaching and comfortable driving the cars limits . One of them ( he’s rocking my old 6pt harness now ) lol just ran a 1:54 at buttonwillow with no forced induction on 200 tread wear tires ( a052s tho ) . By the way this was his first time on that track. It’s not easy to find a second on this track and many for years battle to get under 2 minutes for reference. which is still really really hard to do.

The s2ks that I beat I understand I beat the driver and move on, not sure if a driver will be able to push the 124 to the limits the drivers of the s2ks have for a while . I’m hoping to make drastic dashes off my times this year
. @Good-Win Racing you guys planning on bringing the e85 124 to buttonwillow anytime soon ? With the aero now And e85 + Ryan driving should be exciting to see .

I know I’m gunning for a good 157 / 158 this year before adding any additional power. Maybe just a downpipe first to let her Breathe a little better .
 
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