"Which one will you choose?" said the owner of the S2000.
At that moment, I have never driven the Chrysler yet but I had a brief experience with the S2000. I pointed at the S2000.
This S2000 is not a normal one also. I have been told that it is the GT model manufactured in 2009 painted with the Grand Prix White. Probably one of the last S2000s rolled out of Honda's factory. As far as I know, there were only 100 of these were built and it comes with a sportier rear spolier and those unique 5-spoke alloys.
But let's not leave the Chrysler on the side. It is a beefed up version from a normal Crossfire Roadster. From a 3.2 liter V6 engine producing 215hp now supercharged and pumping 330hp. It also has bigger alloys, bigger brakes, a rear spoiler, spots seats trimmed with soft leather and suede and the 'SRT-6' badge at the back.
How do they drive?
I went for a drive in the Chrysler first. It felt good, better than I was expecting. Not saying I was expecting it to be a bad car. I've just never heard of people praising a Chrysler to be one of those 'ahh you must have one of these in your life' kind of car.
The SRT-6 certainly has plenty of torque and power to play with. It will pull like a train at any revs. The 5 speeds automative gearbox is smooth and comes with sports shift to select gears. Shifting up and down gears are not directly responsive but you can work you way round it, say shift down a gear bit earlier before the corner and shift up a gear before the engine hit the highest revs. It works out fine with me.
A few reviews about this SRT-6 was reported with stiff suspensions. However, I felt the ride was not stiff and it absorbs uneven roads well. It felt easy to travel on normal B-roads with high speeds. I would say there is very slight body roll while turning but it is expected being a roadster. Other than that, I don't have any problem with the Crossfire, it brakes well, holds in corners, easy to drive at any speed! Good car.
Then I jump into the S2000, it is one of those 'ahh you must have one of these in your life' kind of car. Through the drive, it is assuring to say 'YES, YES and YES! IT IS one of those kinds.' In gear and drive on, let the rev builds up and hit the Vtec kicking in from 6,000 'humwooooooBARMMMM', shift up gear and keep it running high this car is in the 'Volume 11' zone. Simply can't get enough of this car revving on the top!
Keeping it up the car handles very well too. If you like your sporty driving feedback on the road the S2000 has the full package. The chassis is rigid enough that, I would say, it can handle 100 more horsepower under the bonnet just fine.
Living with it?
In my opinion, owning the Chrysler Crossfire will be nice. It is unique and they are rare on the roads, especially with this SRT-6 model. The seats looks special and the exterior does make this car looks luxurious. However, the interior could do better to keep up with the exterior and its uniques badge. It looks simple and feels plasticky. It hasn't even got a climate control. Practicality is also a downside on this one but if you don't have too much to carry with you all the time it will be fine.
The S2000 felt more value for money with the digital dashboard and almost every control units and buttons are very close to the steering wheel. Therefore the driver do not need to move far away from the steering wheel to, say put the volume up or turn the fan speed down. The interior is surrounded with soft material and leathers so somehow it felt more comfortable being in the S2000 than the SRT-6. The rear trunk also seems to have more useable space then the Crossfire.
So... again..."Which one will you choose?"
Well...the S2000! Don't get me wrong the Crossfire SRT-6 has no problem. It did left me a smile when I stepped out of the car. 'A solid car indeed' I said in my mind. But the S2000 is just the benchmark of a sports roadster can be. I was smiling and cheering almost the whole time I was driving it. It is such a joyful car. Not as quick nor powerful as the SRT-6 but I can use all the power I have from the engine. Like the owner said 'the car has its own character' it sure has! We were also discussing whether the car could be more powerful. We think it can handle it but it might ruin the good balance it has now in the car. A few tenth horsepower up would be nice perhaps but the car is already in near perfection in stock.
Perhaps I will move on to a car like the Crossfire one day because then, I would like a comfortable land cruiser with plenty of power. But before then I would like a S2000, and there's nothing like a S2000.
Thanks for reading.
After the drive in the Honda S2000
As far as I could remember, I don't think I have ever test driven a Honda before. But I definitely have heard of them from the internet. People joking about Honda drivers, 'Vtec Kincked in Yo', Civic Ricers blah blah blah...
It can be funny sometimes while looking through the memes and the jokes, but let's be respectful towards the company who has been making some seriously great sports cars of all times.
S2000. What a classic I must say. Front engine rear wheel drive with a six speed manual box and a soft drop top. 2-litre 4-cylinder engine packed with 240 bhp without a turbo nor a supercharger. A naturally aspirated engine that can rev all the way to 9000rpm. Don't think there is any other example could quite match the unique recipe of a S2000.
How does it drive?
Like a proper sports car. Sitting position is spot on, the gear shift position is close and similar level to the steering wheel, hence shorter travel for my left hand every time I want to change gears.
The ride was satisfactory because I found it quite uncomfortable on the go. Perhaps the bumpy roads of Hong Kong could be part of the reasons, but it does felt quite hard. Although having the bumpy ride, the seats were not bad. I like them.
I'm afraid during the drive I didn't have a chance to really explore the excitement of Vtec kicking in. Why? It is because the route I have driven was not an opened road and the traffic was very busy. I don't want to put anyone at risk. And driving around the city I barley went over 3rd gear.
Do I like the S2000?
Sure yes! The dashboard, the handling, the steering and the balance of the car drives was good. I would certainly own one some day if I have a chance.
After the drive in the S2000, I don't understand the jokes on the internet anymore. They could still be funny as a joke, but the car is certainly not a joke. It is a proper sports roadster.
Thanks for reading.