Still one of the best affordable, two-seat sports car around, the Honda S2000 is ripe for tuning…
With almost 240bhp at over 8000rpm and a 9000rpm standard rev limit, the engine is quite a beast, but its lack of torque – just 153 lb/ ft at a screaming 7500rpm – makes for an engine that’s hard work to make the most of. Despite the engine being so highly tuned, a full exhaust and throttle body conversion is said to give around 20bhp and 20 lb/ft, while cams add even more. However, the real results come with forced induction, with up to 450bhp possible on standard internals with a TTS Performance supercharger conversion, and over 700bhp from some custom turbo conversions. An added bonus of tuning is the increased torque – especially with forced induction – which helps remove the twitchiness on the limit that S2000s are well known for.
The 6-speed gearbox in the S2000 is fantastic and we would be in no hurry to change that, but there are still some worthwhile upgrades to be had. The engine is all about fast and high revving, so a lightweight flywheel is a good move – though this is worth doing at the same time as upgrading the clutch to save on labour costs. The standard diff is a Torsen LSD and isn’t bad, but for more hardcore use, a plate type LSD makes for an enjoyable drive and can remove some of the slightly unpredictable handling S2000s are associated with.
Although they look fantastic as standard, a few changes can make all the difference. The biggest single alteration, as long as you aren’t the kind of person who has the hood down in all weathers, is a hard top. They look much nicer and really change the appearance of the car for the better. Aside from that, a spot of de-badging is simple and really cleans up the side profile of the vehicle. Many companies do various subtle and not so subtle bodykits, spoilers and splitters for S2000s, so you have a great choice.
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
S2000s are quite rightly famed for their fantastic handling, but this can be improved even more with a few changes. The obvious basic upgrade is a set of coilovers, but combine that with uprated bushes and anti-roll bars and you have a seriously sorted sports car. On the braking side of things, S2000s are adequate but not outstanding. This can easily be solved with a big brake kit from the likes of AP Racing, K-Sport or Tarox, all of which can give the S2000 supercar brake performance.
WHEELS & TYRES
Although S2000s can accept decent wheel and tyre sizes, with 9s on the front and 10s on the rear and up to a 275 wide rear tyre possible with standard width arches – the offsets are very different to most cars. As high as +65 can be needed, which rules out the majority of the wheels on the market. Plenty of companies still produce wheels for your car, but it just means you must do some serious research into the correct offsets before you make a purchase.