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2008 Honda S2000 CR Prototype: New York Auto Show

Club Racer S2000 Arrives Fall 2007
According to John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, the S2000 CR “is the closest thing you can get to a Honda-built race car with license plate holders and a horn.” Introduced at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, this special S2000 uses the same powertrain (237HP 2.2L I4 and six-speed manual), but has massaged in just about every other area with the simple goal of reducing track times. Though the gearing of the manual is the same, there is a new shorter shift knob for even quicker shifts. About the only cosmetic decisions were the exterior and interior color combinations. The S2000 CR will be a standard trim level for 2008MY.

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The aero body kit of the CR is functional and contributes to the overall goal, as well as giving the roadster a take-no-prisoners look, by reducing lift. The front spoiler and large rear wing are the better elements; the nacelles behind driver and passenger leave the impression of mimicking the Pontiac Solstice. The front and rear spoilers were developed to reduce lift, and even the center bulge on the rear spoiler a functional rather than stylistic element. The S2000 CR drops its power softtop and replaces it with an aluminum hardtop, just one of the efforts for reducing weight. Though structural bracing, adding rigidity, takes up the space where the soft top used to stow, the change allows a drop of about 90 pounds.
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Chassis updates include a quicker steering ratio, firmer springs and dampers, and larger stabilizer bars. The CR gets Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires, with a new wider rear tire; the rubber is wrapped around new seventeen-inch dark gray aluminum alloy wheels. The S2000 CR gets standard vehicle stability assist and limited slip differential, and maintains its 50/50 weight balance.
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Though the S2000 CR’s very vivid exterior blue looks like a pearl color, a closer look reveals it is a metallic paint. Even the interior changes contribute to the racing performance and feel, with suede bolsters alongside a grippy cloth center insert to help keep the driver in place. The cloth features yellow stitching (which does not work as well as the blue exterior), carbon-fiber-look trim panels, and the spherical aluminum shift knob. For this purpose-built racer, air conditioning and a radio are optional equipment.
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