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Old 12-28-2002, 01:15 AM   #1
WRXVII
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Default ITR vs. S2000 vs. WRX in first thr/ third gear acceleration not racing related

I have always wondered how hard ITR, RSX-S and S2000 pulls in 1st through 3rd gears when compared to WRX with or w/o MBC/EBC. Honestly, I do not feel that my WRX pulls as hard in third gear as lower two gears and want to know how my car would fair against cars like ITR or S2000.

Thanks in advance....
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Old 12-28-2002, 08:00 AM   #2
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My WRX runs out of steam compared to my S2000 once both cars hit 3rd gear, even with up & downpipes. However, it's so much faster in 1st & 2nd that it doesn't really matter so much if you're running from a dead stop.
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Old 12-28-2002, 11:26 AM   #3
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Take a look at the power curves for those vehicles. One makes power up top and ours (when stock) is a mid range vehicle, with more up top when the engine/turbo breaths better.

Try that third gear test when you're both at 3k rpm.... =)
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Old 12-28-2002, 03:11 PM   #4
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Yeah the S2000 is a dog down low. I remember some magazine trying to show how much a S2000 is a dog by getting 0-60 times while shifting at 5800 (full throttle+launch) it registered a horrid 11 sec. 0-60. But then again the car is MADE for high rpm. Honda during preproduction ran the engine on a engine dyno under load at 9500rpms for 240hrs nonstop, without any problems. It's made to be raced. I just wish I could afford the lack of versitility to get one.
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Old 12-28-2002, 03:38 PM   #5
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From everything I've read and observed the S2000 is a technological showpiece that has almost no practical use. As a street car it's way too peaky and is difficult to drive fast due to snap oversteer. As a road race car even when reved to extremes it has too little torque and doesn't get out of corners quickly. If the track is wet it's almost undrivable due to radical snap oversteer. It's really at it's best as an autocross car, but even there it's not spectacular.

Having "raced" a few of these both on the street and on the track in my Vette I can say that they aren't very fast. Steady state lateral acceleration is good, but torque is non-existent and they are difficult to control at the limit. A previous generation M3 is a much faster car for all practical purposes...because it has a usable powerband.

All in all they are best viewed as an expensive, but faster Mazda Miata. Even the car mags suggest that Honda would be advised to use less radical cam timing to create a wider powerband at the expense of some top end.

The WRX is a delight because it's got torque..something that Honda has yet to figure out. S2000's do get good gas mileage however!
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Old 12-28-2002, 08:12 PM   #6
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1-2 gear in any mildly modded WRX smokes the s2k. Once in third the s2k has an advantage, but is already behind from a stop. I'm hoping my VF30 will make third more comparible to the S.

Well now to go totally off topic. I have to defend my other car a little bit. No, practical use??

Have you ever driven an S2000?

I'm not sure what you consider snap oversteer, but if you are getting snap oversteer on the street you are driving way too fast. I can keep up with Vettes that have a 100hp advantage here at our local racetrack. Now it is a tight couse with a top speed of 100mph or so but still not bad for an expensive Miata.

As for not being a spectacular autox car, here are the BS results from this year...

http://www.scca.org/amateur/solo2/na...esults/bs.html

Yes, that is 8 of the top 10 spots including 1-4.

As for no torque, it is all up top. It's why we have gears. Do you think Indy cars make huge power at 3k rpm?? Yes it is not a drag car, or a street monster, but it is fun and easy to drive fast.

I agree no one should buy an S2000. It just makes mine all the more rare!

~PC

Last edited by PharmCo; 12-29-2002 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 12-28-2002, 08:30 PM   #7
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people must not realize that the S2k is the closest thing to a race car you can buy. It rules BS and is just insane on slicks, half of the handling problems with them are to prevent tire wear, if you aren't afraid to chew tires up then get the thing aligned and it's exteremly predictable.

Jeremy
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Old 12-28-2002, 09:12 PM   #8
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Skip Barber has a book about race car driving. I can't remember this exactly, because the book isn't with me right now, but the book is dedicated to "anyone who has been to that place that only a race car can bring you".

Dangrass, you need to find that place, and then you would understand why the S2000 is a beautiful car.

Quote:
Originally posted by dangrass
From everything I've read and observed the S2000 is a technological showpiece that has almost no practical use. As a street car it's way too peaky and is difficult to drive fast due to snap oversteer. As a road race car even when reved to extremes it has too little torque and doesn't get out of corners quickly. If the track is wet it's almost undrivable due to radical snap oversteer. It's really at it's best as an autocross car, but even there it's not spectacular.

Having "raced" a few of these both on the street and on the track in my Vette I can say that they aren't very fast. Steady state lateral acceleration is good, but torque is non-existent and they are difficult to control at the limit. A previous generation M3 is a much faster car for all practical purposes...because it has a usable powerband.

All in all they are best viewed as an expensive, but faster Mazda Miata. Even the car mags suggest that Honda would be advised to use less radical cam timing to create a wider powerband at the expense of some top end.

The WRX is a delight because it's got torque..something that Honda has yet to figure out. S2000's do get good gas mileage however!
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Old 12-28-2002, 10:56 PM   #9
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I enjoy racing, but am a practical person at heart. I've owned a lot of Honda's/Acura's and have been consistently impressed by the engineering of these cars. Having said that, I have come to the point where I understand that they are not always such great cars from a practical perspective. To advertise 240 HP is in my mind misleading when those 240 HP are delivered somewhere between 7,500 RPM and 9,000 RPM and with little torque. A 240 HP M3 has a bunch more real world usable power. In a recent Car and Driver where they compared the S2000 to the 350Z, a Mustang, and an Audi Coupe they came to the same conslusion. Some quotes:

"you don't get all the horsepower you pay for until the negine zings to 8,300 RPM, or all the torque-that is all 153 pound-feet-until 7,500 RPM"

"The inflexible powerband is also what makes the S2000 a somewhat unsatisfying drive in everyday traffic. The Honda is a stone in firs gear until the VTEC crossover at about 33 mph..."

"Regular Joes can expect 60 mph to arrive closer to 7.6 the 7.6 seconds og yhr S2000's 5-to-60 time, the second slowest rilling start..."

You get the point.

In another recent comparison test in Road and Track the S2000 was compared to the NSX while the Corvette Z06 was compared to the Camaro Z28....and there were a few others....this on a racetrack. Bottom line, the S2000 was slower than the NSX...which was slower than most everything else. Too peaky...too unstable. It makes all the right sounds and is very responsive...so if that's the desired effect it's a winner. If going fast is the objective...it's not.

We need to separate fact from perception. In the real world, even on racetracks, the S2000 is simply over-optimized. A 180 HP version with a wide powerband would probably be faster. I'm sure Skip would agree.
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Old 12-28-2002, 11:05 PM   #10
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Keep in mind "usable powerband" is all in how you drive. While I write this, there are a lot of people who will say my WRX doesn't have a usable powerband, because I don't have full boost until 2500 RPM, and it takes a half of a second (est., I really don't know) to spool once I hit the gas.

I drove an Integra for a couple years and never came across an M3 that could beat me. This was the previous model, not the 330hp version, but the car still had 100hp, 100 lbs of torque, and a much better powerband. It's all in how you drive the car (and those guys obviously couldn't use their huge powerbands very well).

You can argue it's not practical, which is very subjective, and it may not be a practical car for most people, but for the people it was designed for, it's the perfect car. And it doesn't exactly have the same target market as the M3.

I have a feeling Skip would stick to the race car over the 2 ton couch with low end torque, especially when those couches are blowing engines left and right.

Edit: And as for magazine comparisons, why would you expect an S2000 to perform as well as an NSX? For 2x the cost, the NSX damn well better beat the S2000 in every way.

I also wouldn't put too much stock in anything Car and Driver says about performance. I lost a lot of respective for them when they compared the M3, Boxster S, and Z06. The Z06 won most tests, the Boxter S almost all the rest, and the M3 won a single test. The M3 won the faceoff, because it was roomier.

Hardly the people I want to go for when looking for a performance car...

Last edited by Narcisse91; 12-28-2002 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 12-28-2002, 11:29 PM   #11
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I really liked my Integra, but compared to an older M3 it's not too close. Those things are pretty darn fast. I agree with you on the new M3's however, too heavy, too luxurious, too far from their roots...and they do have had a nasty habit of blowing up engines.

What's interesting is that in my curvy road experiences between the Vette and both the previous version M3's and the current model I've found the older version to be consistently faster. I suspect that's because they are so much lighter, have lots of low end torque...and generally more competently driven.

It will be interesting to see what happens in run-in's driving the WRX. From what I can tell the WRX should have it all over an S2000 in HP and torque, but has far less lateral acceleration. On the plus side the WRX is very easy to drive fast and can put the power down well...and deal will "road imperfections" in a very graceful manner. If there was any moisture on the road I would say the WRX would have a clear advantage both in handling and power.

At any rate, I like Hondas, but I (and most of the automotive press) think they went too far with the S2000. If it had 2.5 litres of displacement, 200 hp, 225 lb.ft. of torque, and slightly more compliant suspension it would be a better car. If it had a turbo it would be better yet! As it is, I hear they get really good fuel economy though.
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Old 12-29-2002, 01:19 AM   #12
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So, you have not driven an S. Please stop mag racing cars! I have never driven a Vette, and would never say anything about the dynamics of the car. I will say they haven't run away from me on the track, but not why or how as the driver is still part of the equation.

A 200 hp car will always be slower in a straight line than a 240 hp car with the same gears. Sorry but it is true. If you want some proof, I will be happy to post up some links with some cold hard scientific facts. Torque is what propels the car, but we are talking about rotational force which means rpm has a little roll to play.

Ok, why don't you say this... you don't like the S2000. You are biased towards what you think is good performance. Great. Don't bash the car though, because it does win races. I have a WRX with VS0, JIC coilovers, GC-07 wheels and I can still get waxed by an S on the track.

~PC

P.S. The mods should go ahead and move this over to off-topic where it belongs!
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Old 12-29-2002, 10:41 AM   #13
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Yep, I let some of my NASIOC autoxing buddies take some fun runs in my S2k, and the general consensus there was that it has more than enough low end power to get out of its own way, but it didn't really matter because the gears are so short it's easy to keep it in its powerband.

You just need to drive it differently than normal cars. Pretend you're riding a motorcycle or driving an F1 car and never short shift it, and you'll be fine. People that enjoy driving Vettes & such find it odd that there's no power below 6000 rpm.

Oh, and handling is great too. I've never had the rear end go on me unexpectedly, but it will always go when I want it to (hence the bald rear tires, hehe).
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Old 12-29-2002, 11:40 AM   #14
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OK, the S2000 is a well engineered car that is a good autocrosser. I don't think there is an dispute here as to the facts, only as to how interprets those facts.

In my mind a car that is as radically tuned as the S2000 is not a very useful vehicle. If you can keep it in it's powerband it can go pretty fast, but as a street car this doesn't make much sense. I think we would all agree that the S2000 would be a better car with a broader powerband and more torque.

My point is that while one can argue all day long as to how wonderful this vehicle is, the fact of the matter is that a very narrow powerband high in the rev range is not a good thing, for the street or the track.

As it turns out I am also a motorcyclist and most recently abandoned my Honda VFR 800 in favor of a Triumph Sprint...why? No torque! It's simply no fun to ride a bike or drive a car that requires being reved to high hell to go. Can they be made to go fast? Yes. Do they make sense if there is an alternative that doesn't require these tactics? No. The Sprint will simply walk away from the VFR in any kind of roll on situation, this in spite of being geared much higher...and it gets 10-15 MPG better fuel economy in the process.

This is why I bought a WRX in favor of an Acura RSXr. Seems to me that it's the same thing. The RSXr has similar through the gears performance as the WRX, but is an absolute stone below 6 grand. After multiple test drives I came to the conclusion that the RSX was a nice car, but simply couldn't get out of it's way. The S2000 is more of the same thing.

The Corvette is a far from perfect vehicle, but it does possess a wonderful powerband. 300 lb. ft. of torque at 1,000 RPM is a great thing. Being able to go really fast while shifting at 2,500 RPM is a delight. Being able to cruise at 100 MPH at 2,050 RPM and get >25 MPG in the process is really nice.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I see the S2000 as over optimized and hence very limited in it's usefulness.
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Old 12-29-2002, 11:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by dangrass
A previous generation M3 is a much faster car for all practical purposes...because it has a usable powerband.

ding, ding, ding! =) That's exactly why peaky cars like um....Hondas, are so "slow" (in NA form) from the factory. The area under the curve is not the greatest. The WRX has about 80% of the usable power band as the previous M3s (98, and 01 M Roadster) in stock form...which makes it about 50% more usable than an S2000 (IMO). The S2000 IS quick, but only under the right conditions, which don't happen too often on the street.
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Old 12-29-2002, 12:10 PM   #16
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Yep, the last C&D comparison put the S2000 in 3rd place behind the Mustang & 350Z. Basically it ended up in third because it is only at home when on a track of some sort, and you feel that you're not making good use of it on the street, which is true.
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