If sports cars are the athletes of the automotive world, then the easiest way to characterize Honda's new S2000 roadster goes something like this: Imagine a Mazda Miata that's gone through an intense Olympic training regimen, emerging quicker, faster, and altogether more capable than anything in its class. It's not much of a stretch, because the Miata and the new Honda are similar in size and basic concept: pure sports cars, front engine, rear-drive, drop-top, few frills. The difference is that Honda's new two-seater costs about a third again as much the Miata, and offers performance that makes its Mazda counterpart seem pretty tame -- the difference between a good high school athlete and an Olympian. In fact, the S2000's performance eclipses that of much more expensive rivals, including the BMW Z3 2.8 (from about $37,000), Mercedes-Benz SLK (from about $41,000), and the Porsche Boxster (from about $42,000). From the purist's point of view, this new Honda represents one of the best sports car buys going, as well as an awe-inspiring technological statement by a company that has absolutely no peer in the realm of extracting big horsepower from small displacement engines.