Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The S2000 has a superb engine and the four-cylinder unit is the most powerful non-turbocharged 2.0-litre around, producing 240bhp. It's quite a raw engine though and needs to be revved hard to tap into the maximum performance. That does mean that the Honda is very docile and easy to drive in town, but above 6,000rpm it is a very different animal. The VTEC engine screams into life at this point and delivers intoxicating pace along with a frantic driving experience similar to the Civic Type-R.

0-62mph comes up in just 6.2 seconds but economy suffers - the Honda manages just 28mpg and hard acceleration will soon see this drop. At motorway speeds the engine sits at quite high revs and is noisy as a result.

In everyday driving, the S2000 is fairly docile and easy, although the ride is quite firm which is instantly noticeable on anything other than very smooth road surfaces. It can be more than handful at higher speeds though, especially as it's rear-wheel drive and early cars came without traction control. Revisions in 2002 and 2004 tweaked the chassis for better high speed control with firmer suspension – all aimed at making the S2000 more stable while larger 17-inch alloy wheels give increased grip.

In 2006, a stability control system was added to the options list and it's a worthwhile addition giving added confidence when driving in less than perfect conditions.