Having undergone several modifications in 2004, Honda’s S2000 sports car roars into 2005 virtually unchanged. The 2004 changes included a slightly larger engine displacement that kept the same horsepower but brought the revs down slightly, although you still need to keep them up to get the maximum power out of this machine.

The S2000 comes in a single trim line, powered by a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder engine, and including a six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 17-inch alloy wheels, summer performance tires, electrically-powered convertible top with glass window and defroster, keyless entry, cruise control, CD player, and power windows.

The S2000 still sets the standard for Japanese sports cars; its high-revving engine sounds like the F1 cars from which it’s descended, its shifter is sweet and instantly responsive, and it has possibly the best handling of anything out there, at any price. The cabin is simple but extremely well-finished; a pricey removable hardtop is available, although it’s doubtful you’ll want to drive this in anything other than top-down weather. There’s next to no cargo space; stuff it all in an overnight bag and just hit the road.

Sure, there’s competition, but just on paper. The BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster and Nissan 350Z roadster all cost more, and while they have their adherents, that’s probably because those people have never driven the Honda.

The S2000 is built in Suzuka, Japan.

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