In 2000, Honda celebrated its 50th anniversary and introduced the S2000, a 240-hp, 2.0-liter, pocket-rocket two-seater. It's hard to improve on the already exceptional characteristics of the Honda S2000, but Nick Yen of Monterey Park, Calif., stepped it up a notch when he purchased his S2000 in 2002.
Yen is no stranger to the turbo family, having owned a JZ80 Supra and Eclipse GS-T. He had one goal in mind for his S2000--to increase horsepower. So he consulted XS Engineering. After conversations with XS's engineers,Yen decided to install a state-of-the-art Garrett GT30 dual ball-bearing turbo. The turbo would be mated to an XS-fabricated tubular 4-to-1 exhaust manifold that would force-feed Yen's S2000.
Utilizing a .86 A/R housing, the GT30 unit's responsiveness makes it an excellent candidate for the S2000's high-revving F20C engine. It's also one of Garrett's latest designs and features improved aerodynamics in both the turbine wheel design and compressor housing inlet. To keep intake temperatures ice cold, an XS Engineering air-to-air intercooler was shoehorned between the front airdam, directly in front of a new Koyo Cooling aluminum radiator.
The 2.7-inch charge pipes feed the factory F20C intake and head, venting excess pressure into the atmosphere using a XS Racing blow-off valve. Spent exhaust gases vacate through a 3-inch downpipe while boost pressure is regulated at a conservative 10 psi. Because the S2000 is only available from the factory in naturally aspirated form, the factory exhaust piping was deemed insufficient for the turbo makeover. After contacting RS*R USA, a custom 80mm RS*R ExMAG exhaust system from the cat-back was fabricated and sent from Japan.
Fuel management is a critical factor in achieving high horsepower for any turbo conversion application. The factory fuel pump was discarded in favor of a Walboro 255LPH, while 720cc injectors ensure sufficient fuel flows through the 2.0-liter engine at all times. An AEM EMS fuel management system controls engine operations. Under boost conditions the EMS ensures the correct ignition timing and A/F mixture when Yen decides on applying the heavy foot to the accelerator.
On the XS Engineering dynojet, the Honda unleashed 340 hp at 8500 rpm. Maximum torque was recorded at 238 lb-ft at 5200 rpm.
The force-fed Honda then needed improved traction and suspension to complement it's newly found horsepower. Work Meister S2R 18x8 and 18x9 aluminum wrapped in Yokohama AVS ES100 ensures wheel spin is kept to a minimum. JIC Magic coil-overs and Koni shocks improve handling characteristics and reduce body roll. To stiffen up the chassis and complement the suspension, Spoon Sports front and rear lower cross bars and a RE Works front upper strut tower bar make the S2000 more rigid and responsive.
Yen, an art director by profession, next enlisted the help of A-1 Autobody of Huntington Beach, Calif., to install and color-match a newly acquired C-West body kit. A-1 took the fiberglass pieces and carefully molded each unit to the S2K's skin, turning what was once a bland-looking S2K canvas into a work of art.
The interior features a Blitz carbon-fiber face, EGT, oil pressure, boost and temperature meters, alongside a Blitz turbo timer, to make sure Yen can monitor all engine vitals in the cabin. A Blitz SBC-ID boost controller improves boost response and prevents over- boosting. Hyperground wires and the newly introduced Hyper Voltage consistently maintain critical proper voltage of the full Alpine audio system and slew of electrical equipment. Rounding off the interiors amenities is a pair of Sparco Torino bucket seats.
"My S2000 exhibits superior powerband from 3000 rpm to 9000 rpm without a hitch," says Yen. "I drive my car really hard whenever I get a chance and the car spools instantly when I hit the accelerator." Perhaps the only drawback Yen encounters with is that it constantly spits flames from the tailpipe at high rpm. Then again, is that really a bad thing?
Yen thanks Mike at Blitz USA, Troy and Eric at XS Engineering, David at Advanced Clutch Technology, Daniel At Koyo, Mike at Sparco, Daiji at Sun Automobile (Hyperground), John and Dean at RS*R USA, and Lawson at AEM.