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1999 Honda S2000 Ap1 - Mad Skills

Skills And Spoon Sports Collaborate On This S2000, The Perfect Blend Of Form And Function

Taro Koki
Aug 20, 2009
Photographer: Kyoshu Mizohata

Model "91" (Kunoichi)
The S2000 that I know is razor sharp. It cuts into corners and one wrong throttle move can make you over steer and spin out right there in the middle of the turn. There's nothing you can do but pray for your life at times like that. The Honda roadster's suspension set up is so rigid that you can feel every dip and bump with your ass. The throttle shoots up the revs like Old Faithful and you "feel" the engine instead of listening to it with your ears.

Sstp_0910_01_z+1999_honda_s2000_ap1+front_view Photo 2/16   |   1999 Honda S2000 Ap1 - Mad Skills

Now imagine that entire riot going on when you're out on a date to impress. Have a conversation? Forget about it. After 5 minutes your date is going to be complaining about how her back hurts if she doesn't get sick from being thrown up and down all night. The odds of you scoring with an S2000 are about as low as Jessica Simpson's IQ.

Yuki Imamura owner of this yellow S2000 in fact works for the famous Honda tuner, Spoon Sports in Tokyo. When he first got this S2000, he was going to use all of the job perks to get the Spoon parts and exploit the shop for installation. Then one day he met Ono-san, from the shop Skills, who had a completely different idea about car building - which is actually on the complete opposite axis of Yuki's boss: Spoon president, Tatsuru Ichishima.

Ono thought little of cars that were built specifically for track use; cars you have to give away comfort just to shave off some time at the circuits; cars with stripped interior and cars without those unnecessary items that you don't essentially need but just love to have. Ono's idea of car enjoyment was different from what Yuki was used to. How many hours do you actually spend on the track compared to street driving? Probably less than one-percent of the time. Ono asked Yuki, "Why are you building your car just for that one-percent?"As if he finally figured out why he wasn't scoring with the women in Shibuya, Imamura decided to build a car based on the philosophy of the "ultimate half-ass". A car you can take to the tracks but can also enjoy the street lifestyle. That's how this Spoon x Skills hybrid project started.

Like a confused kid with divorced parents, the S2000 would share time between Spoon and Skills for the next three years. It'd get Spoon suspension systems one weekend but the next week Skills would install a turbocharger. The Spoon engineers would try to find ways to reduce an ounce and the car would come back with two subwoofers, all nicely installed. A GReddy/TRUST 517Z turbocharger was installed to go with the Spoon-tuned F20C complete engine that now puts out 300ps/8000rpm and 28.6kgm of torque at 7000rpm. The turbocharger makes up power for the extra weight the car had racked on from the audio system. With the Spoon ECU combo, you no longer have to rev up the VTEC to get extra boost. The added power it produces is seamless and makes a more comfortable ride.

Sstp_0910_02_z+1999_honda_s2000_ap1+street_view Photo 6/16   |   1999 Honda S2000 Ap1 - Mad Skills

The front bumper, rear bumoer, hood, coupe hard top and rear fender are from Spoon. The looks of this car are absolutely awesome. But the interior fabrication for the audio system was completed by Skills. It's a mutant because it resembles a race car from outside but once you take the top off, you can have an outdoor reggaeton party right on the spot. The audio system doesn't look like something you would see from a car at Spoon's speed shop, Type One, but more like something you would see at Hot Import Nights. It's fully decked-out starting from the Carrozzeria DEX-P01 II head unit, GPS navi, Carrozzeria DEQ digital processor, JL Audio amps and sub-woofers and JL Evolution speakers all nicely fitted by Ono-san and finally wrapped underneath the Spoon S2000 coupe hard top. The green panels make the car look like a Green Bay Packer's mascot car inside but who cares? We don't.

It's not all show, though. We only went street driving but the car has great steering and handling, thanks to a mildly set up Spoon suspension system. But if you need to get a little more aggressive on the corners, it has the leeway to go that way, too. It's still a S2000 with high performance Spoon parts developed for track racing. With the Spoon steering wheel in hand, you can feel each pothole and bump on the road. Without the audio, you can actually hear yourself thinking in this car. The Skills 80mm dual exhaust gives a nice tweak in volume and tone to the exhaust note. We took it to the nightlife of Tokyo but we never got any weird looks, just stares because we had a hot girl standing with little clothes in front of the car most of the time.

Sstp_0910_03_z+1999_honda_s2000_ap1+rear_passenger_side Photo 10/16   |   1999 Honda S2000 Ap1 - Mad Skills

Whether going for race or comfort, it's always nice to have first-class brakes. Up front we've got Spoon Monocoque calipers/323mm rotors and in the rear, NSX calipers/323mm rotors. Better safe than sorry and nothing scarier than failing brakes on the tracks or on the street. It rolls with 18-inch HRE C21 American wheels with Bridgestone RE01Rs on the front and ADVAN Neovas on the back. This is utterly unheard of in the past with a typical Spoon car.

The Skills and Spoon collaborative effort kind of makes you forget you're in a car that's mostly made up by racing parts. You've got a car with an A-class audio system that's smooth going down the B roads of Tokyo. Not like there are many B roads in this country anyway. But if you ask me, Yuki's got the half-ass thing done pretty tight.

Fast Facts
'99 Honda S2000 (AP1)
Owner Yuki Imamura
Hometown Tokyo, Japan
Daily Grind Spoon Sports employee

Under The Hood blueprinted/balanced F20C engine by Spoon Sports; Spoon Sports radiator, radiator hoses, radiator cap, reservoir socks and oil cap; GReddy/Trust 517Z turbo; Skills 80mm dual exhaust, custom cooling panel/catch tank/carbon intake scoop and oil filter relocation kit

Brains Spoon Sports ECU; GReddy e-Manage Ultimate

The Power 300ps at 8,000 rpm; 28.6kgm at 7,000 rpm

Stiff Stuff Spoon Sports coilovers and front strut bar

Stoppers Spoon Sports front monoblock calipers with 323mm rotor/Honda NSX rear calipers with 323mm rotor

Rollers 18-inch HRE C21 wheels; Bridgestone RE01R 255/35R18 (front) and ADVAN Neova 255/35R18 (rear) tires

Outside Spoon Sports front and rear bumpers, hood, hard top and front and rear fenders

Inside Defi water temp, oil pressure and oil temp gauges; Spoon Sports steering wheel

Ice Carrozzeria DEX-P01 II head unit, XDV P70 CD/DVD unit, DEQ-P01II digital processor; JL Audio 500/1v2 Amps (classic D monoblock subwoofers) x 2, W7 subwoofers and ZR two-way component speakers; Gathers navi

By Taro Koki
14 Articles

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