Over the last four or five years, we’ve been lucky enough to get a very close look at a number of S2000 and NSX builds by ScienceOfSpeed during our annual Tuner Shootout event, including last year’s Overall and RWD class-winning turbocharged NSX. As a result, we can attest to the fact that head honcho Chris Willson and his obsessive-compulsive staff builds the cleanest, meanest, and most bulletproof rear-drive Hondas we’ve ever encountered in the wild.
Clearly not the types to rest on past accomplishments, the SoS team recently unveiled this mind-blowing Unlimited class (NASA TTU) S2000 project at SEMA, a build that takes their famous OEM-like integration of the highest-quality performance parts on their NSXs and transfers that same approach to this AP2. As the general manager and SoS founder further explained, “While built to be competitive, the primary purpose of this car is for the development and testing of a number of new forthcoming products by ScienceOfSpeed for the Honda S2000. From powerplant to suspension, each product is being developed and put to the test on this rolling test bench in the most demanding environment we can think of, the racetrack.”
At the heart of this prototyping process is SoS’s new TS-MAX twin-scroll ball bearing turbocharger system, a kit that has been in development for a year. As Chris explained, “This is the only twin-scroll turbocharger system designed for the S2000 that requires no modification to the engine bay, retains the factory heat shielding, retains the oil filter on the engine, and requires no scavenge pump or modification of the oil pan or girdle. It uses a Garrett-based turbocharger (GT30-35) that flows enough for 400-500 hp at the engine. In race trim, limited by NASA TT’s weight/power rule, we produced 435 whp at 16 psi on the factory engine running E85 fuel. What is particularly impressive to me is the boost response due to the twin-scroll turbocharger and manifold design. As a driver, that response makes the car incredibly easy and drama-free to drive.”
Of course unless you’re lucky enough to actually drive this pristine white beast, what you’re inevitably confronted with first is its stunning visual presence. To call its J’s Racing Type-GT wide-body aero package “aggressive” would be an understatement akin to calling Red Bull space jumper Felix Baumgartner “kinda ballsy.” As this nine-piece aero package’s name implies, it is very much a GT-inspired design, with functional aerodynamics built into every single panel (only the doors and trunk remain unchanged).
Add SoS’s DTM rear wing, and you’ve got an S2000 capable of making serious downforce to go along with massive amounts of mechanical grip, thanks to über-sticky Yokohama A005 racing slicks mounted on perfectly offset Gram Lights 57Extreme 18-inch wheels (9.5-inch wide up front and 10.5-inch wide out back). Its tires are kept in optimum contact with the tarmac thanks to a set of JRZ RS Pro double-adjustable racing dampers, along with a number of new ScienceOfSpeed goodies, including roll center adjusters, bumpsteer joints, urethane suspension bushings, and rear noncompliance toe arms.
Efficiently converting almost 400 lb-ft of torque into forward motion isn’t just a matter of sticky tires and a well-sorted suspension, though. For starters, you need a clutch that can hold that much twist, which SoS has addressed with one of its own billet twin carbon clutch and flywheel kits. You also need a differential with aggressive enough lockup to direct power to the tire with the most grip, and for this, SoS has gone with an OS Giken SuperLock 1.5-way clutch-type LSD.
Speed, and the science of it, is also derived in part by mass, or how fat your ass is. If that just confused you, chances are you suck at physics but may still understand that less weight has real advantages when accelerating, cornering, and braking. To that end, the team at SoS reduced this AP2’s curb weight from the factory rating of 2,835 pounds to 2,635 pounds for as competitive a weight/power ratio as possible. As Chris told us, “The majority of weight savings came from removing the interior and seats, removing the HVAC system, gutting the doors, and simplifying the wiring.”
To that end, the retractable soft top has been replaced by a lighter and more rigid factory hardtop, and everything but the dash has been removed from the cabin to save weight and make room for the custom SoS rollcage. What’s left is all business, including a Recaro Pro Racer HANS seat, a Sparco 350mm steering wheel, an SoS rapid shift knob, a fire suppression system, and a whole host of Race Technology electronics, including a DASH2 digital display, a DL1 data logger, and AEM and GoPro interfaces.
The SoS team always emphasizes balance in their builds, and if you’ve ever done any racing yourself, you’ll know just how critical braking is to turning consistently fast lap times. Peer beneath those gorgeous Rays wheels and you’ll notice the StopTech Trophy big brake kit front and rear, featuring full-floating mounting hardware that eliminates pad knock-back and extremely stiff forged calipers that resist flex and thus deliver consistent and confidence-inspiring pedal feedback.
It might be tempting, given its SEMA debut and impossibly clean presentation, to conclude that ScienceOfSpeed’s new Unlimited S2000 project is actually a show car disguised as a race car. But you’d be wrong. Wonderfully, delightfully wrong, as evidenced by SoS’s track test video at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway back in December. Jump on YouTube and search ‘ScienceOfSpeed at Chuckwalla’ for three minutes of tasty HD evidence that its S2K is in fact the total package, capable of delivering blisteringly fast lap times while turning heads with its incredible visual appeal.
Specs & Details
’04 Honda S2000
Engine Modifications ScienceOfSpeed TS-Max twin-scroll turbocharger system, V-mount radiator and intercooler, and fuel surge tank system; Injector Dynamics 2,000cc fuel injectors
Engine Management AEM EMS and inline UEGO
Drivetrain ScienceOfSpeed billet twin carbon clutch, flywheel and axle spacers; OS Giken SuperLock LSD
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Rays Gram Lights 57Xtreme 18x9.5’’ +22 (f) and 18x10.5’’ +12 (r) wheels; Yokohama Advan A005 250/650-18 (f) and 280/650-18 (r) racing slicks; Stoptech Trophy ST40 (f) and ST22 (r) BBKs; Carbotech XP12 (f) and XP10 (r) brake pads
Suspension JRZ RS Pro shock absorbers; Hypercoil linear rate springs; ScienceOfSpeed bumpsteer joints (f), roll center adjustable joints (f), noncompliance toe arms (r), rigid urethane bushings, and billet aluminum shock reservoir clamps
Interior ScienceOfSpeed rollcage and rapid shift knob; Recaro Pro Racer HANS seat; Sparco 350mm steering wheel; Honda NSX Type-S steering wheel horn kit; Race Technology DASH2 display; DL1 data logger; AEM serial interface, and GoPro interface; Fire Bottle Safety System FE-36 fire suppression system
Sponsors Yokohama Tire, Rays, StopTech, J’s Racing, UMS Tuning, OS Giken, JRZ