Ah, the lightweight roadster darling of the automotive world. Just kidding—that honor goes to the Miata of course—but the “S2K”, as gearheads like to call it, has been nipping at the Mazda’s heels since its introduction in 1999. Two decades later, the S2000 still stands strong, sparring with modern-day MX-5s and Toyobaru twins without giving up an inch.
For whatever the Honda may lack compared to its zoom-zoom rival in absolute finesse, it makes up for with raw power. VTEC, yo. The S2000’s name itself is derived from the engine’s displacement in milliliters (or cubic centimeters, depending on where you’re from). With an output of 120 horses per liter, naturally aspirated—a record in its time—it packs more punch than both of its direct competitors, a large reason why many prospective buyers would rather spend the same amount of money on a used, 20-year old S2000 than on a brand-new Miata or GT86/BRZ.
For the second half of its life—the AP2 facelift—Honda stretched the VTEC to a torquier 2.2 liters. There was a running joke back in the day that they should’ve renamed the car as the “S2200” to reflect the change, but what a mouthful that would’ve been. Try saying that five times fast!
The Type S, better known as the CR (for “Club Racer”) around these parts, was introduced during the car’s twilight years; with some nifty weight reduction and suspension tweaks, this is the highest performance variant of the S2000 that Honda has officially produced. No, it’s not quite a Type R—the engine is unchanged from the base car’s—but you may as well think of it as one. We’ve already established that the S2000 is a future classic. A limited-run, enthusiast-oriented version of it—this one—would be even more so.
Though they look eerily identical, the Japan-spec Type S and the U.S.-spec CR are not the same animal. The gist is that the Type S isn’t as “hardcore” as the CR. It’s more versatile for regular use. It doesn’t ride as firmly. It retains the standard S2000’s retractable soft top, while the CR ditches the entire mechanism altogether for extra stiffening and a strictly on-or-off hard top. Creature comforts and interior amenities have not been thrown out of the Type S like in the CR.
The JDM half also has a larger selection of paint colors. Moon Rock Metallic (grey), as shown here, was not an option on the Club Racer, for example. Otherwise, both of these limited-production specials receive the same unique wheels and aerodynamic package, featuring an aggressive front bumper that cuts through air more efficiently and an over-sized rear wing that generates extra downforce for those tricky corners (remember that the original AP1s had issues with snap-oversteer). If the standard S2000 looked a bit dull, the Type S is anything but.
For the first time, this variant of the snappy VTEC roadster is made available in the eighteenth scale thanks to the Ottomobile team. I say that a lot, but it’s true.
Apex Blue Pearl, arguably the quintessential color for this special edition, is the standard Otto release while the Kyosho-branded, Moon Rock Metallic example is the less-flashy-but-just-as-cool option. I prefer the latter, but you can’t lose either way. If we are to create a comprehensive list of Otto’s work, with the best at the top and the worst at the bottom, the S2000 Type S hovers near the apex of said list.
The proportions on this model are perfect: wheels, ride height, the important stuff—everything. There’s some neat detail in the headlight and taillight covers. This is also the first time I’ve seen Otto add carpeting to the interior. Bravo!
My one complaint: the imitation fabric patterning on the seats. Unrealistic and garish, this is one of those things that probably sounded like a good idea but didn’t turn out so well in reality. Otherwise, the Type S is a brilliant effort from the revolutionary resin modeler in a year that has been loaded with smash hits. All I have to say is: keep them coming!