Project S2000 Part One, Wheels and Tires
By Khiem Dinh, photos by Jeff Naeyaert
Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing. All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.
The Honda S2000, or S2K as it is affectionately known, is one of our favorite cars from one of our favorite brands. Its most endearing feature is its front engine rear drive chassis with a front mid engine configuration giving an ideal 50/50 weight distribution. Although the S2K has a bad reputation as being a twitchy, hard to handle car, we have found, that with the proper modifications it is just the opposite; a sweetheart that is easy for a reasonably skilled driver to flat out haul ass in that is nearly impossible to make understeer.
The S2K is blessed with its wonderful F-series powerplant which shares many attributes with the K-series engine, the engine we consider to be the best production 4-cylinder made to date. Available in 2.0 liter F20C and 2.2 liter F22C1 variants, the F-series has an excellent flowing head and Honda’s awesome VTEC variable valve timing and lift system. The F motor powers the S2K through a close ratio six speed transmission. The S2K’s chassis leaves nothing lacking with unequal length A-arms at all four corners, advanced electrical power steering and a helical limited slip differential as standard equipment.
The S2K was released in two versions, the AP1 which was built from 1999 to 2003 and the AP2 which was built from 2004 to 2009. The AP2 was a more refined car with a bigger, 2.2L F22C1 engine, revised closer gear ratios, improved syncros to eliminate the AP1’s troublesome grinding and most importantly, revised rear suspension geometry to give some toe-in under roll which fixes the twitchiness associated with the early AP1 S2K’s. This is not a big deal as the rear geometry is easily corrected on the AP1 with aftermarket toe links.
Although the S2K is an excellent car out of the box, the MotoIQ crew is never one to leave things alone. So we introduce Project S2K. Our goals for Project S2K are not as crazy as the usual MotoIQ fare. We are not out to build the baddest assed time attack car or build an unbalanced street terror. With project S2K, we are going for refined daily driver performance. We want to get the most from our S2000 but we do not want to give up OEM levels of drivability. We want something that we can drive to work every day, then drive to the track without a trailer, pound out some fast laps and drive home. We also don’t want something that screams give me a ticket to our local law enforcement agencies.
Our Project is starting with a bone stock AP2 S2000 that we bought used for a really good price. With that said we will begin our long journey towards building the balanced daily driver all around machine.
|Where do you have a photo session in the middle of a ultra rare Southern California rainstorm of biblical proportions? In a parking garage! We still had to detail the car to get the rain induced grime off.|