I'm just posting some random thoughts, I know there are several folks on this board with experience with the S2000 that maybe could lend some thoughts.
Last October I decided to go looking for a fun car to tool around in for the winter. Believe it or not, there are plenty of winter days in Seattle that you can drive around with the top down.
During the process, I test drove an AP1 S2000, the first time I'd driven one. In addition to owning the Elise, I've owned a 1st gen Integra GSR and a couple of 12a Rx-7s in addition to having plenty of time in old 911s. I'm intimately familiar with the characteristics of a high strung engine that needs to rev. I quite like an undersized, rev happy engine, actually.
However, I found the S2000 that I drove never really felt like it came alive, even in the 7-9k RPM range. It made noise and it did kick a bit, but I really just found it underwhelming. I even got the rear end a little loose at the end of a roundabout with a little throttle stab, but it still didn't feel urgent. I ended up buying a much cheaper FB Miata that was actually much more entertaining to drive.
So I flipped the Miata for a bit of a profit and decided to give the S2000 another chance and test drove another AP1 that was in really nice condition. Both AP1s have been very solid and responsive from a chassis standpoint. They have a great shifter and clutch travel that is very short and light but extremely easy to modulate. Great brake feel too. The steering, eh, it's OK. But again, this second car will rev up to 9k and sounded great, but it just didn't provide the enjoyment that I expect from my experience with my Integra or any other engine that is designed for high end operation. I again left with the impression of being underwhelmed by the car.
I've kind of surprised myself with this. The car gets so much positive praise and this engine is heralded as a masterpiece. It's often preferred over the larger engine in the AP2. I actually have a similar situation with my 4.3L engine in my V8Vantage being more of a rever but lower power and torque than the later 4.7 and I actually prefer the 4.3. From what I've experienced, the S2000 can't hold a candle to the NA Elise. They're not even in the same league. The AP1 seems to be missing something to me.
Last edited by me73; 02-25-2018 at 11:48 AM.