Drop the top and floor it till you hit a stop. That’s pretty much what anyone of us would do in a Honda S2000. The iconic roadster is one of the big H’s masterpieces from the early noughties and continues to be a benchmark for the ideal front-engined roadster.
It was perfectly balanced with the engine sitting right behind the front wheel line and that F20C mill is still as earth-shaking now as it was back then with outputs that exceeded the 100hp/litre ratio in its naturally aspirated form. Even today, turbocharged performance cars are only beginning to surpass that ratio with a healthy margin.
The S2000 was the quintessential roadster and definitely had the potential to be developed into so much more with the right parts.
Although a number of owners go down the forced induction route to significantly increase the power, the animalistic nature of the high-revving F20C is diluted. To each their own of course but that stratospheric redline is there for a reason and there’s not much that can replicate the sensation of giving a high-revving NA mill being flogged to its limits.
This white S2000 here might appear as a late model AP2 version to those that know what to look out for but it’s in fact a first-gen AP1 with the headlights and taillights of the AP2. Then again, that’s probably not the first thing you would notice about it either.
That Amuse GT wide body kit lends the car a huge dose of aggression and presence on the street. It’s a healthy few inches more muscular on each end and those elevated twin exhaust pipes poking through the upper rear bumper region will keep tailgaters well clear.
Apart from the Amuse kit that also includes that GT wing poking out the rear, a carbon fibre hood was fitted to complement the pearl white paint with its familiar black woven fibres. Completing the exterior is one of the unicorns of the S2000 community, an OEM hardtop.
Under the vented hood, the F20C is mildly upgraded with a K&N cone intake that feeds a larger throttle body. Once the combustion process is done, the exhaust gases exit via an aftermarket extractor and out through a custom exhaust system that spits flames out just under the taillights.
Power has been increased slightly as well via the switch to a stock ECU from a later model with slightly better tuning.
A car like this must be driven hard, it’s what the designers intended and it’s the right thing to do. Keeping the transmission from grenading itself, a Cusco clutch was fitted to prevent slip and a short shifter reduces the throw for quicker shifts. Lastly, a 4.4 final drive optimises the gear ratios to suit the driver’s preferences.
Given the S2000’s already potent handling from the factory, only a set of Tein coilovers were fitted. Everything else in the handling department is left untouched and still continues to put a smile on the owner’s face.
Filling out the extended wheel arches required some suitably wide wheels that also complemented the racing-inspired body kit. Nothing is as synonymous with JDM racing wheels as the Volk Racing TE37.
However, the owner has gone with a set of Thai replica TE37 wheels as finding a suitable set with the right offset was proving difficult. The fronts measure 18×9.5 while the rear grows an inch wider at 18×10.5.
Inside, the familiar red seats are retained in the name of comfort and a sextet of Defi gauges helps him keep his eye on every imaginable engine parameter. A Skunk2 gear knob is the cherry on the interior’s icing.
The S2000 is a bonafide JDM legend and one of the feather’s in Honda’s cap. Let’s hope that something along the same lines rolls out in the future as open-top motoring has been missing that feeling for a long time.
Car – Honda S2000 AP1
Engine – K&N air filter, larger throttle body, custom exhaust system, aftermarket extractor
Transmission – Cusco clutch, short shifter, 4.4 final drive
Electronics – Last batch ECU
Chassis & Handling – Tein coilovers
Brakes – Stock
Wheels & Tyres – Thai replica TE37 18×9.5 (front) and 18×10.5 (rear)
Interior – Skunk2 gear knob, Defi gauges
Exterior – Amuse GT wide body kit, carbon fibre front hood, OEM hard top, AP2 headlights and taillights