We take a trip to R-Tec Auto Design and get down with Bilstein…
If you’re a regular reader of FC, you’ll know we like our cars low. So it may come as a surprise that we’ve waited this long into the build to lower the S2000. Normally it would be the first mod on our list. But good things come to those who wait and this month we took a trip to R-Tec Auto Design to finally get the S2K dropped a damn sight closer to the tarmac.
But, why did Glenn drive all the way from Bristol to St Albans to get the work done? Was it due to his decade-long man crush on R-Tec bosses Adrian and Jason Ripp? Or was it so he could dribble over the 500+ wheels R-Tec have in stock, their customer’s stunning cars and spend half a day drinking posh coffee and watching TV in their awesome 10,000sq/ft state-of-the art premises – all while someone else did the hard work?
Well, this is Glenn we are talking about here, so embarrassingly the answer is, yes, to all of the above. But, more importantly, he made the 250-mile round trip to R-Tec because they are damn good at what they do, and have been since 2001! That’s right, 16 years of car modifying experience and that’s without counting their family’s history in the scene, which goes back decades.
Now, as you can imagine with a tuner’s favourite like the S2000, there’s a plethora of coilover kits available, many of which can be supplied and fitted by R-Tec. But we wanted something special, make that really special. After all, this car maybe ours at the moment, but soon it won’t be (boo hoo – Glenn) and we want to make sure the winner gets not only a great-looking car, but one that drives amazingly too.
And that’s why we’ve gone all out and chosen Bilstein, one of the world’s most established performance suspension and motoring brands. These guys have been involved in motorsport since the early ’60s and when it comes to suspension R&D Bilstein go further than most. Think product and car testing at the Nürburgring is a new thing? It is for some. But not for Bilstein, who have spent nearly 50 years using the Nordschleife for development. And trust us, no track in the world tests car parts harder.
All this stringent and relentless testing went into Bilstein’s B14 coilover suspension kit, our choice for the S2000. So what makes it so good? Well first is the Gas- Pressure Technology, which gives more reliable shock absorption and suspension under any load, a technology that’s now an industry standard in mono and twin-tube design and was developed in the ’50s by Bilstein. Fact!
Also, their threaded body adjustable shock absorbers (which allows lowering between 30mm to 50mm) are TÜV approved, a true sign of quality. Add to that Bilstein’s Triple-C-Technology (a three layer protective coating against corrosion), which trounced the competition in the German salt spay test and rigorous testing under what Bilstein call ‘road-tested under extreme motorsport conditions’ and you are ensured one kick-arse set of coilovers.
In conclusion, the best way we can describe this kit is coilovers for the road with motorsport DNA, perfect for a spirited, high-revving drive like the S2000.
Now we could lie and say we got greasy and helped with the fitting and setup. But we didn’t. Nope, we just took pictures and left that in the very capable and safe hands of R-Tec’s resident Honda expert and EP3 owner Dan Parfitt.
Fortunately fitment of the kit was pretty straight forward and was done is less than three hours. Which was lucky as by then Glenn had demolished R-Tec’s supply of complementary biscuits and bored all the staff, customers and even the sandwich lady to death with his Gumball Rally anecdotes. Guys, we do apologise!
And how’s this for service? R-Tec even took the S2000 out for a test drive to ensure the setup was all-correct and ready to go. All that was left was for us to drive off and test it out for ourselves.
And, wow, what a difference the Bilstein B14s have made! The S2000 has always been a great handling car out-of-the-box. But the difference in entering and exiting corners now is unbelievable. In fact, we would go as far as saying it’s the biggest difference we’ve seen after upgrading suspension – and we’ve driven a lot of cars before and after suspension work.
In fact, the drive was so much fun we even took an early detour off the motorway so we could blast round some country roads on the way home.
We really can’t commend this kit any more, obviously we wanted the S2000 low, but didn’t want to compromise on the drivability of the car. Basically, we wanted the best of both worlds, and Bilstein gave us this and more! Whoever wins this car will be one lucky bastard.
Spent this month:
Bilstein B14 47-080386 coilovers £1,070
R-TEC labour for fitting £249
Honda suspension stabiliser bolt links £72
Total car and build spend so far: £11,777
**WIN THIS CAR**
For your LAST CHANCE to get your hands on our S2000 look out for the Competition Station tent in the main paddock area TRAX at Silverstone 1st October. The winner will be drawn at the end of TRAX.
SEE PREVIOUS S2000 BUILD ARTICLES