Driving a Honda S2000 in 0 degree weather isn’t so cool
“That’s a stupid idea,” I thought to myself as I pressed the red ignition button on the dashboard of my Honda S2000. It wasn’t my first time driving the car in snowy weather, but it was definitely the coldest. The exterior temperature gauge on the dashboard read “0 degrees” and I could see my breathing as I sat inside the car. As I pulled out of my parking space, I knew I was in for a cold and intimidating ride.
The Honda S2000 does not like the cold
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The Honda S2000 is fun to drive when its engine and tires are warmed up to the right temperature, but when cold the car feels clunky. When starting in a cold S2000, the car’s shifter feels jerky and the throttle feels a little lazy, even in warm outside temperatures. But when it’s 0 degrees outside, I could tell my poor blue car didn’t even want to be woken up.
However, I had an errand to run and no press car to drive, so my trusty S2000 had to take me there in snowy or freezing weather. Getting out of my apartment complex and onto the main road was an adventure in itself. When I made a right turn with no other cars in sight, the back of my car immediately exploded and I was almost pointing the other direction. Fortunately, I countersteered and stopped the car before she could. That’s when I knew this adventure was going to be (rather) fun.
Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires did their job as best they could
For context, it had snowed a few inches the night before, so the ground was still packed with fresh powder, which is great for skiing but not so great for a rear-wheel-drive car with a short wheelbase. Fortunately, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires I have on the car hold up well in the winter.
If you’re not familiar with them, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is a high-performance all-season tire designed for sports cars and sedans, including some supercars. In fact, the Corvette C8 comes standard with them, which is saying a lot. So far in my real-world testing they’ve done extremely well, but I wasn’t sure how effective they would be in single-digit temperatures.
Would they turn into hockey pucks and spin my S2000 in a ditch on the way to the grocery store? Wouldn’t they grip the snow well enough and make me give up my runs altogether? These are questions I asked myself as I drove away, but thankfully the answer was a resounding ‘no’.
Instead, I was able to arrive at my destinations just fine. But I will say that it was not without drama, especially when accelerating. Every time I stopped and then accelerated, I found that first gear was completely useless because the tires were spinning and I wouldn’t go anywhere until I shifted into second. There were a few times I went perpendicular, but countersteering and braking are key.
Of course, the power of the car is probably to blame, but it was also clear that the tires weren’t gripping as well as a real winter tire probably would have. Although, once I started the car, everything was fine. Even when stationary, the tires did their job and gripped all the asphalt they could.
Tires are great, but the S2000 is still a pain to drive in the snow
While I can go on to say how great the Michelin tires are, they aren’t quite perfect. They are significantly less compliant in freezing temperatures and I wouldn’t drive through a snowstorm with them. So if your area is plagued by heavy snowfall in the winter, buy winter tires.
Also, driving an S2000 in 0 degree weather is not recommended. It’s possible, as it is with any other car, but now I know why Colorado is overrun with Subarus and Jeeps. These types of cars hold up better in winter conditions and can drive out of my apartment complex without going in circles. For example, if you own an S2000, drive it during the warmer months. It’s a much better idea.
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