The relationship between a man and his car is an ever-evolving one. When you're a young gear head and first get into the hobby your car is everything. You spend every waking moment tinkering with it, thinking about it and slaving away just to buy parts and modify it. But as you get older, things change. You develop other goals to work toward besides just having a nice car. School, a job and "being an adult" come into play. If you're fortunate enough, you still get to enjoy your hobby and have the opportunity to further your build. You may not have as much time as you did before, but like every good relationship, your car should grow with you and not be a hindrance. If you have to find specific routes to get to a job interview so you don't get stuck on a driveway or you find yourself unable to make it to work because your engine swap is no good, well then, you may need to reconsider your relationship with your modified vehicle.
Sas Lari, owner of this complete Spoon Sports-themed S2000, is a man with goals. He originally bought this AP2 as a daily driver but had long-term plans for it from the start. "I wanted something that I could drive around and have fun in for a few years before I turned it into a dedicated track car," Lari says. "My vision for the car was to build what I thought a track-inspired S2000 should be—similar to what Porsche had done with the GT3 and the GT3RS. I wanted to improve the car by finding the right balance of modifications: reducing weight, increasing traction, strengthening the chassis, building the proper suspension and aero."
Sas had a long list of ideas for his S2000 but he could not put those plans into motion right away because he still needed the car to get around in. Nine years ago when Sas bought the car, he had just started grad school while also working full-time at an advertising agency in Culver City, California. His commute in L.A. traffic was not an ideal one so it was important to be in a car that was fun to drive. As he explains, "I needed something that I could look forward to after those very long days. It was great to just be able to get into the car and drive. Going into it, I knew it would live two completely different lives at different stages of my life. The first half of its life would be my commuter car that I could occasionally take to the track, and the second half would be the full track car that would be ever-evolving, which is where it is at currently."
From talking to Sas, we could immediately tell that he was a man of high standards. Seeing his S2000 in its current state makes that obvious, but even in its early stages of development his daily S2K was already better than most full show car builds. The car had a nice set of Prodrive GC-07Cs, Mugen hardtop and an array of high quality suspension pieces to help maneuver the car around the track. As he progressed in his career, he was able to put his plans in motion for the next phase of his build. For that, he turned to Tony Fuchs at Mid Valley Auto Repair, Betos Auto Body and Evasive Motorsports to help transform the daily driver into what you see on the track today.
The outside of his AP2 is a cornucopia of authentic Spoon products from Japan. The bumpers, front fenders and rear blister fenders are all from Spoon's S-Tai aero package. The Spoon Mooncraft Remix hardtop by Bulletproof adds modified side windows. Mounted to it is a carbon GT rear spoiler with wings stands made of titanium. Downforce carbon diffusers add aggression to the sides of the S2000 while matching the styling of the Spoon carbon rear diffuser. One detail touch that you probably wouldn't notice at a glance is that both the hood and trunk itself are carbon-fiber replacements that have been color-matched to the car. Underneath the widened Spoon fenders are a square set of 17x9" Volk Racing CE28 wheels. The additional room created by these fenders allow for Lari to run a beefy 255-wide Toyo R888 tire front and back.
Under the hood is a collection of parts to bump up performance of the motor while not sacrificing the reliability of it. Sas opted to keep his 2.2-liter naturally aspirated, unlike many who typically run a Vortech blower or turbo it. Keeping the car N/A just makes it that much more fun and is less worry-some. The factory intake sees more airflow with a Spoon intake snorkel and air box modification. A J's Racing header replaces the OEM piece and drives exhaust gases out through a Berk test pipe and one-off prototype GReddy exhaust.
Making this Spoon S2000 a nimble beast around the circuit is a collaborative effort of quality suspension components. Spoon Rigid Collars and a Whiteline X-brace help to stiffen the chassis while J's lower arms enhance the torsional rigidity of the vehicle. KW Clubsport coilovers with Swift springs enhance the handling of the car but what is mounted to these dampers is a little unconventional for most track vehicles. Lari enlightens us, "Once I had all my aero installed, the drivability of the car became an issue. The front bumper, splitter and rear diffuser made it hard to get the car around. I wasn't daily driving the car anymore but I did continue to drive it on the street. Simple things like getting into gas stations became a huge challenge so I had to do something drastic. I came across a company called Umbrella Auto Design, which offered a variable ride height system that works in combination with my coilovers. Their VRH kit added a cup to my KWs that allowed me to get the car up and down quickly without compromising my track alignment settings. Unlike most air suspension systems where there is no spring, their kit adds a cylinder and piston that fits on top of the suspension's coil spring without adding unsprung weight."
Lari's S2000 has seen quite a bit of changes in the nine years he's owned it. One motivating factor in his build is that he's never had to ask for anyone's help. He's worked hard for the parts on his car. You won't find any decals or stickers because he has no sponsorships to fulfill or any obligations. His AP2 is no longer a daily driver but he has no plans of ever selling it. As mentioned earlier, these types of relationships only work when the car is a mutual partner and not a burden. The S2000 got him everywhere he needed to be when he was a student, working a nine-to-five, and now, they meet on the track for some fun-filled, spirited driving.
Tuning Menu2006 Honda S2000
Owner Sas Lari
Hometown Los Angeles, CA
Engine J's Racing stainless exhaust manifold, engine torque damper; GReddy prototype exhaust; Berk test pipe; Spoon Sports intake mod, snorkel, valve cover, spark plug cover, Type F radiator cap, magnetic oil drain bolt; Setrab oil cooler; Koyo aluminum radiator; Samco Sport radiator hoses, intake hose; Blacktrax baffled oil pan; AB Speed oil catch can/coolant overflow tank; Alloy Craft heat shield; custom cooling plate; Miral battery; titanium radiator stay; Mugen fan switch, thermostat
Drivetrain TODA Racing flywheel; ACT clutch, pressure plate
Engine Management Hondata Flash Pro with EVS Tune
Footwork & Chassis KW Clubsport coilovers; Swift 12k/10k springs; Umbrella VRH front and rear lifts; ASM GT front strut tower bar; Spoon Sports driveshaft spacer, Rigid Collars, Zero Bump front steering kit, rear roll center adjuster; J's Racing front camber joint L1 with roll center adjuster, pillowball rear control arm; Comptech adjustable front sway bar; Whiteline X brace
Brakes Spoon Sports Monoblock front caliper set; Hawk HP+ brake pads; Centric premium slotted brake rotors; LHT master cylinder brace; ARP extended wheel studs; custom brake cooling kit
Wheels & Tires 17x9" +35 Volk Racing CE28 wheels; 255/45-17 Toyo R888 tires
Exterior Spoon Sports S-Tai front bumper, front wide fenders, rear bumper, rear diffuser, hard top, GT wing with titanium wing stands, wiper blades; carbon-fiber trunk and hood; Downforce side diffuser; MRacing carbon-fiber mirrors; custom carbon-fiber/kevlar front splitter; Challenge tow hook
Interior Mugen Racing III steering wheel; Works Bell Rapfix QRS steering hub; ARC titanium shift knob; Password:JDM dry carbon-fiber center console; Recaro SPG seats; Nagisa Auto double lock seat rail; Buddy Club Racing Spec seat rails; Schroth Profi 2 harness; Hard Dog rollbar; GReddy Multi-Gauge; Sparco battery kill switch; Vbox
Thanks You Tony Fuchs at Mid Valley Auto Repair in Winnetka, CA; Eddie at Betos Auto Body in Fullerton, CA; Tony, Kelvin and everyone at Evasive Motorsports