There are fun roadsters, and there are seriously fun roadsters. In stark contrast to a recent roadster that enjoys swinging the tail about, this roadster is much more focused, and deadly. With Honda’s 70th anniversary around the corner, there have been speculations that the S2000 roadster will be reborn. Rightfully so, Honda announced the S2000 in 1998 to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
When high strung sports car meets unlikely owner, things can change drastically. No one will ever suspect that the owner once drove a small Toyota Ractis, and suddenly became one hardcore track and car nut the moment he bought the S2000.
But, instead of jumping blindly into the whole modification process, the owner chose to begin from stock. Attending many track days with the stock configuration, he could slowly learn the unique driving dynamics of his car – and the modifications started the moment he hit the performance ceiling: The perfect excuse to upgrade components for an even faster lap time.
However, limitations for a street-legal daily-driven car that is frequently driven to track and back with minimal fuss and prep work are plenty. This screamer is occasionally used for GrabHitch too! As far as possible, all modifications and parts are chosen based on functionality and practicality – with the aim of striking a delicate balance between practical street driving and track use, in order to minimise prep work and still be competitive within its time attack class/category.
One would expect that heaping on tons of power upgrades would be the first order, but he felt that the car was most challenged by the way it handled. With a fast entry, the car exhibited mild understeer, which slowly evolved into screeching disappointment as he hunted down the 2:40 magic marker.
Stepping up from a novice driver, the first obstacle was the level of grip. Going straight up to 255-wide tyres was the fix. However, with such wide tyres, the stock wheels were beginning to pinch them considerably with the lack of wheel width, which made the tyres handle funny in the corners. Currently, it runs on the superb Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R, Bridgestone’s fastest DOT-legal street tyre and on super light Volk Racing CE28 Rigid Tune wheels, a dream combo for many.
While most S2000 owners run a staggered setup, it was his own choice to run the same width wheels front and rear, and stagger the rear to come as close as possible to the original Honda design. Now, with more grip, he could drive into the corners a fair bit quicker. Braking later on the other hand, was swiftly dealt with a giant brake upgrade; After all, it would be pointless if the brakes didn’t fill the big space in the new super light wheels, right?
Lurking under the hood is a relatively unmolested F22 block, save for a customised air intake to free up extra horses at the top of the rev range, especially when combined with the J’s racing titanium exhaust. This exhaust system adds a nice raspy tone to the natural howl of the VTEC beast and is a heap lighter. To tame this beast under acceleration and braking, a 1.5 way LSD locks up both the rear wheels tightly when full power is delivered, yet allows the rear wheels some wiggle space during heavy deceleration for that added stability.
Other handling improvements to the S2000 include a full set of Cusco Zero 3x coilovers and essential undercarriage bracing. With the necessary modifications to make his ride fly through corners – and getting a tad bored with how it looks, he finally went onto the internet to search for a cosmetic upgrade to compliment his car’s new performance. Be it for style or pure function, any google search will churn out a million different examples of one car.
Arvou; a name that synonymous with fast S2000 race cars, caught his eye for being the most understated, yet ultra fast time attack car. The Amuse Legalo kit consists of the vented hood and the fenders, helping the S2000 to keep its cool by helping to lower underhood temperatures – a much welcome upgrade for extra track time instead of having to cool off after a few laps.
The interior featured a full bucket Recaro RS-G ASM Ruby, chosen for its lightweight form together with the body-hugging performance with some levels of comfort. The interior is topped off with a compact one-glance Defi display, which was preferred to keep the interior looking neat.
Even with the brief moment we spent together, he was endlessly chattering away about some of the parts which he had to hand carry back from Japan as they were not sold, nor offered by any global freight forwarder. Almost every part had an unique story about their discovery and journey back to Singapore, notable examples are his side skirts and the seats. But to find an owner who fully understands the way the S2000 is built is quite a rare sight in car enthusiast-unfriendly Singapore. At one point, we were even talking about how Honda designed the mirrors to channel airflow to the original Type S rear wing, as well as the special additions to the car.
When he set out to make a Singaporean version of the Arvou, he was 98% sure that his car is a perfect copy, save for the wheels and the “unfriendly” supercharger found on the original. For once, we’re glad to have met a owner who respects the unadulterated fun of one of Japan’s finest cars and knows very well how to build on the strengths. Salute!
Honda S2000 Type S
Toda baffled oil pan
ASM oil catch can
NRG heatshield + engine torque damper
Koyo Hyper V Core radiator
HKS oil cooler kit
Mugen fan switch
AUT carbon fibre cooling plate
K&N AirCharger High Performance Air Intake with BPi velocity stack
J’s Racing Twin Titanium FX 70RS (discontinued)
J’s Racing SPL exhaust manifold
ATS&ACROSS Single Carbon (Prospec II) clutch kit
OS Giken Superlock 1.5-way LSD
4.44 final drive
Spoon Sports capacity up differential case
Odyssey PC680 battery
Cusco Zero 3x coilovers
Ikeya Formula front upper arm set
Ikeya Formula rear upper arm set
Nagisa Auto rear toe rod set
OEM lower arms with Mugen hard bushings (front and rear)
Spoon Sports subframe rigid collar kit
Spoon Sports steering rack rigid bush kit
M&M Honda driveshaft spacers
Cusco front lower bar type II
Cusco rear lower bar type I
Beatrush Front Performance Bar
Carbing front strut tower bar
M&M Honda inner fender brace
AP Racing Pro 5000+ CP5040 4-pot front calipers (discontinued)
AP Racing front ventilated floating discs
OEM rear calipers
Dixcel SD type rear discs
ACRE stainless steel brake lines
Lye Design custom brake ducts (front)
Volk Racing CE28RT 17” x 9.5J +45 offset (discontinued)
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R 255/40-17
H&R Trak+ wheel spacers
Rays steel lug nuts
ARP extended wheel studs
Defi Advance ZD Club Sports Package
Racelogic Driftbox datalogger + laptimer
Alpine CDA-9887 head unit
CDT ES-620 Eurosport component speakers
Focal FD 2.350 ultra-compact 2-channel amplifier
Dynamat soundproofed doors
Recaro RS-G ASM Ruby seat (driver’s side)
Recaro ASM Super Low seat rails
OEM Type-S seat + seat rails (passenger’s side – else it’ll be difficult to do GrabHitch 🙂
Schroth Hybrid II-H 6-point harness
OMP Velocita’ Superleggero steering wheel
Works Bell boss kit
Windscreen mount for GoPro
Amuse Legalo face kit
Genuine ASM Aero Bonnet
J’s Racing Type-S rear bumper (CFRP)
Car Garage Amis carbon side skirts
Genuine ASM rear over fenders
OEM Type-S wing