The Honda S2000 is essentially what the Miata should/could have been if Mazda took a little more risk, but we can’t always get what we want. Both are classics in their own right, but the S2000 is MORE.
Tuned to perfection (seriously) from the factory, even replacing the stock inbox throws the engine dyno out of balance. Earlier iterations were snappier, feistier, and were essentially no frills. Meanwhile, 06+ versions of the S2000 got a bit heavier and had more nanny aids – not bad if you want a cruising car for the twisties and you don’t necessarily need to have the fastest lap time.
Nevertheless, the S2000 is a certified classic and a legendary platform. Drive one, hell, own one. It’ll only get more vaunted as we enter the EV era.