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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A few weeks ago we had a week-end tour of 9 older Alfas with a two-year old Honda s 2000 as the rear car, in case any of the "oldies" had trouble. The oldest was a 1961 Giulietta Sprint Speciale.

The route was through some winding roads up to the wine country.

Much of it was two- lane, with those long descents down to a bridge and then all the way back up the other side. After a break at Manning Park we were a little slow getting underway such that the Honda and I where behind some 10 motorhomes also on a tour.

By the time we got past these on the flat four-lane stuff the rest of our group was away ahead. That, with very little traffic was inspiring. However it was interesting that on the first dotted- line pass at 70 mph the Honda was not right behind, although there was enough time for both cars to make the pass.

Then on the twisty climbs out of the bridges the Honda wasn't keeping up.

Eventually, we caught up to our group just before the next town, where we stopped for gas. The Honda guy came over and asked if I had a six-cylinder under the hood. I laughed and said that it was a warmish Afla 2 L.

His comments were along the lines of "quick" car, "outstanding" handling and "one sweet ride"--which was pleasing.

I was reluctant to ask if the Spider was out performing coming up the hills, and didn"t. But in talking with some of my friends after the trip the following points were observed.

The s 2000 puts out some 230 hp at 8,000 and 162 torque at 6,500, and the curb weight is 2900lbs. In order to be effective it has to be driven at those revs, which is buzzy. The weight to torque ratio is 17.9.

The Spider is putting out about 155 hp at 6,000 with some 140 lbs-ft of torque at 4,000 revs, which is not buzzy. At 1980 lbs. the weight to torque ratio is 14.1.

On the handling, the new sportcars have wide wheels and stickier tires, which need a stiffer suspension, and that makes for a choppy ride over the humpy-bumpies. The Spider has fresh, but standard springs and shocks as well as standard ride height and handles the rougher paving rather well.:)

Yes - at higher speeds and driven like a race car the s 2000 will really move, but on those climbing twisties I was v. happy with the drive and the comments.:D
 

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do you have a pic of your car? - the graphite grey / red giuletta is hopefully my next purchase - such a stunning car.
 

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the graphite grey / red giuletta is . . . such a stunning car.
THE BEST color combo on a Giulietta, hands down.

The car in no doubt is way faster.
I would question the driver though.
exactly !!!!

having spent an entire day behind the wheel of an S2000 at Willow Springs Raceway, i can attest that these cars are highly capable 9000rpm ROCKETS. i shared the track with an M3 driven by an instructor, a 911 SC, and a modified WRX, among others. the only car to pass me was a supercharged NSX (on the straight), and i make no claims of being a great driver (i spun twice - the early S2000s were a bit rear end twitchy at the limit).

The s 2000 puts out some 230 hp at 8,000 and 162 torque at 6,500, and the curb weight is 2900lbs. In order to be effective it has to be driven at those revs, which is buzzy.
earlier models were 240hp and 2700 lbs.
just because it revs high, doesn't mean its "buzzy". in fact, they feel just as refined as any other modern Honda sewing machine, and they thrive on revs - just like a sportbike.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A few weeks ago we had a week-end tour of 9 older Alfas with a two-year old Honda s 2000 as the rear car, in case any of the "oldies" had trouble. The oldest was a 1961 Giulietta Sprint Speciale.

The route was through some winding roads up to the wine country.

Much of it was two- lane, with those long descents down to a bridge and then all the way back up the other side. After a break at Manning Park we were a little slow getting underway such that the Honda and I where behind some 10 motorhomes also on a tour.

By the time we got past these on the flat four-lane stuff the rest of our group was away ahead. That, with very little traffic was inspiring. However it was interesting that on the first dotted- line pass at 70 mph the Honda was not right behind, although there was enough time for both cars to make the pass.

Then on the twisty climbs out of the bridges the Honda wasn't keeping up.

Eventually, we caught up to our group just before the next town, where we stopped for gas. The Honda guy came over and asked if I had a six-cylinder under the hood. I laughed and said that it was a warmish Afla 2 L.

His comments were along the lines of "quick" car, "outstanding" handling and "one sweet ride"--which was pleasing.

I was reluctant to ask if the Spider was out performing coming up the hills, and didn"t. But in talking with some of my friends after the trip the following points were observed.

The s 2000 puts out some 230 hp at 8,000 and 162 torque at 6,500, and the curb weight is 2900lbs. In order to be effective it has to be driven at those revs, which is buzzy. The weight to torque ratio is 17.9.

The Spider is putting out about 155 hp at 6,000 with some 140 lbs-ft of torque at 4,000 revs, which is not buzzy. At 1980 lbs. the weight to torque ratio is 14.1.

On the handling, the new sportcars have wide wheels and stickier tires, which need a stiffer suspension, and that makes for a choppy ride over the humpy-bumpies. The Spider has fresh, but standard springs and shocks as well as standard ride height and handles the rougher paving rather well.:)

Yes - at higher speeds and driven like a race car the s 2000 will really move, but on those climbing twisties I was v. happy with the drive and the comments.:D

The review distinguished between practical and track driving.:)
 

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Had to jump in here:

I own a '69 roundtail spider with the 1750 engine and SPICA as well as a 2003 Honda S2000.
Both cars are an absolute blast but are quite different in fundamental ways. Sort of like comparing a Lear Jet with a P-51 Mustang. Both are machines I would love to get my hands on, but one is a far more rare airplane.
Of course the Honda is far more practical. I use it as a daily driver since it can sit in the rain, has A/C, etc. It has a "high tech" feel. Very competent, very confidence inspiring. Total blast to throw around. You are right - at the track the Honda could easily trounce the Alfa.

The Alfa, on the other hand, is more "personal", and you can feel its personality while driving. Obviously from a different era and hand built. I also have to agree that it could give the S2000 more of a run for its money than I would have thought. Although its not the 2L, even it has as much, maybe more, low end grunt as the S2000, and its more useable - this surprised me.

For "cool" factor, Alfa wins hands down. It gets constant attention when its out. The Honda is a bit more like a Starbucks - at least one at every intersection (though not near as common as the "Z" cars from Germany)

Because this comparison has no winning position is why I have both. (well, thats what I told the wife anyway.) :D

Cheers,
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Actually--I would have thought of a Spitfire, Mark 9 . The following is from "Car Illustrated" of June 1964:

"The 1600 Spider is probably one of the most delightful small sports cars that will ever be produced. Faultless road manners, quiet refined tractability, brisk acceleration, high standards of comfort and a maximum speed of well over 100 m.p.h. make it the sort of car with which one seeks out for long journeys....the car has no apparent vices whatsoever, and remains controllable all the time, whether the road is wet or dry."

The 2 L is good--too bad a TS won't fit.
 

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The Alfa, on the other hand, is more "personal", and you can feel its personality while driving.
ABSOLUTELY :D

The review distinguished between practical and track driving.:)
i thought it was about mountain driving. isn't that a racetrack ? :rolleyes:

the S2000 has much better weight balance, much more grip, and much more power - as long as the driver keeps it in its preferred rev range. but, if it falls below it's powerband, it feels like a Civic. you must row the gearbox. if you are driving where its not prudent to ring its neck, like on city streets and freeways, then sure, it falls short on torque. that said, i thought the freeway roll-on acceleration in 6th wasn't bad at all. in fact, much better than i expected, even on high desert mountain passes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The reason why I went to the 2 L was for low-end torque. As daily drivers I had a 1300 Spider and a Sprint decades ago--sure those engines rev nicely, but this time around I didn't want to do the old rowing up the mountain passes with the gear box.

It works better than I originally expected, and being lighter than the S 2000 it takes a lot of Honda revs to overcome the 900 lbs. difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Road Suspension vs Track Suspension

This thread could be taken a little further in exploring different approaches to handling.

It is reasonable to note that the Giulietta series were designed to be a class-winner in the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, to mention the two big road races. These included a lot of rough surfaces, which was so distinctive from the surface encountered on most tracks and even unusually long tracks such as Le Mans.

From the 750 to the Sprint Zagato the recipe of a long-travel, compliant, but well-controlled suspension was highly successful. This was not just subjective, but with the numbers of victories there was objective measure.

Then with the growing number of motor magazines running road tests, in some cases a long list of objective measures were included in each write up.

As road testing progressed, the first big benchmark was the 0 to 60 mph number. This and a competitive price really "sold" a lot of big Healeys, for example.

Then came the "tyranny" of the timed runs through a slalom course and the measurement of "G" forces reached on a turning circle.

No doubt some manuracturers designed suspensions to look good on such testing. Indeed much was made of the numbers recorded with the first Corvette with the current set up with the rear transaxle. First editions were very harsh riding, but the .98 G, or whatever it was, got the headlines. Later editions made the handling more civilized.

Nevertheless a suspension set up to "win" on the testing numbers is not going to take to the real world of rough and humpie-bumpie roads with much comfort.

The key question becomes how well would some of today's fast cars, such as the S 2000, compare on rough roads to the best of those early Alfas, such as an SZ with a similar power to weight ratio.?
 

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I am surprised the S2000 weighs 2900lbs. It is such a small car. Where is all the weight? Is it in lead ballast so the 40 year old Alfas can keep up? :D
 

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I have no doubt that a well tuned spider with a 2 liter in it could put the hurt on an S2000 on a mountain road. Its smaller, lighter, allowing more use of the lane in which to setup the corner. With a sticky set of tires, this is entirely believable. In a straight line, the S2000 will run away, but on a mountain road things are different. Its a little like an autoX course. Yes an S2000 is fast, but if the course is tight enough, something that has a wider powerband will pull away. I discovered this recently with my Datsun. I was having traction issues, and once I broke down and bought a set of race tires, suddenly I had a car that was a contender for top time of the day. Its cool being able to beat all the modern cars with more power, more grip, and more weight with a classic sports car. If you have a car that makes better use of the power it has, you will put the hurt on something that makes power only at high RPM.

Will
 
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