Northern California's Angel Ramos knows his way around an S2000. The Internet is already friends with it. The magazines know it intimately. So when it came time to reinvent a car that by most accounts was already perfect, he did the only thing he could do: ship it off to renowned wiring specialist Rywire for a head-to-toe reawakening.
Flawless Honda builds and paying attention to every little detail are synonymous with the folks at Rywire. They have to be if you plan on turning an already capable and show-worthy AP1 into something you are going to debut at SEMA, the most scrutinizing of all stages. "I think I slept [one or two] hours a night that whole week leading up to SEMA," Rywire's founder, Ryan Basseri, says about the project's final days. "It really was a blur looking back at it."
The blur started with an S2000 you'd be perfectly happy with being torn down and overhauled by Ryan and company. The most notable of modifications are its electronically driven Kinsler throttle bodies featuring staged fuel injection—more than one injector per cylinder—by way of Injector Dynamics and AEM's Infinity 8h ECU. It's all a part of Ryan's prescription for extracting everything possible from the Bisimoto-built F-series. About that Bisimoto-built F-series... Away went the 2.0L engine's rotating assembly and in went the Ontario, California-based engine builder's smorgasbord of forged pistons, shorter connecting rods, and a reworked stroker crankshaft to accommodate them, resulting in 2.5L of displacement. A Portflow-modified cylinder head and Bisimoto's own camshafts make sure all of those extra cubic inches' worth of displacement weren't done in vain.
Ramos' AP1 goes beyond the masterfully built F-series underneath its hood. Like anything SEMA-bound, it has to. So instead of just fitting it with things like a pair of regular rare Mugen bumpers, Casale Design in Pasadena, California, was appointed to widen and reshape them to still look like how Mugen intended them but also make way for an impending set of 18x10" front, 18x12" rear Volk ZE40s. The automotive design firm went on to customize things like the S2000's side skirts and quarter-panels, and in a subtle sort of way, not to mention shaving the fuel door so the rear fenders look seamless on both sides.
"The main hurdle was the decision to debut the car at the 2017 SEMA show in the Toyo Tires booth," Ryan says about the project's utmost challenge. "This put extreme pressure on the paint and body guys." Pressure that led to a series of events that ultimately left Ryan and his team with just six days to finish the car before its Las Vegas delivery.
"This is the final stage of the car," Ryan says about this S2000's years-long buildup, and as far as cutting corners goes, there are none to speak of. "We built a jig for the chassis and stripped it down to a bare shell," he says about the sort of extreme measures Ramos had Rywire take. "Every bolt and grommet was replaced and upgraded. Not a single aspect of this car was left alone. We did a full buildup on this thing and gave this low-mileage car a total rebirth."
But that reincarnation took far longer than the six days leading up to SEMA. The whole thing was a culmination of events that started seven years ago, after the car got some magazine time, starting with a rollcage and, according to Ryan, "snowballing" into what you see now, and all for good reason. "Angel wanted to be able to take the car to occasional track days and have an overall better experience, adding safety and power," he says about the impetus for the overhaul, which goes beyond the car just showing face for a week at trade show.
With track days in sight, Ramos went on to pair the sort of parts to this AP1 that won't, well, crack, strip, or break once subjected to things like racing. For that, he looked to capable suspension bits like KW's V3 coilovers and oversized brakes all around by way of StopTech. There's also a custom radiator setup, the highest grade motorsport plumbing Rywire offers, and CSF oil cooler up front to ensure the J-Series can hold up to a proper beating. "We'll hand the car over to Angel soon," Ryan says, who points out that, aside from testing, the car's finished, "and let him enjoy [it and] take it to weekend Buttonwillow track days as he sees fit." "I believe the car is done," Ryan sums up. "Driving her into the [SEMA] show for Sunday staging, I knew we had a piece of rolling art on our hands."
Staged Fuel Injection
Talk about introducing more than one fuel injector into an engine's cylinders and you're talking about staged fuel injection. Here, two injectors are typically matched to each cylinder—a primary injector that allows for the sort of fuel atomization you need for good driveability and acceptable fuel economy, and a secondary injector that meets the demands for the sort of power you want.
Although typically most common within motorsports circles, OEMs like Mazda have successfully implemented staged injection with select 13B engines. In the case of engines with individual throttle bodies, mounting the second set of injectors above the throttle bodies helps with fuel vaporization.
With conventional fuel injection systems that rely on a single injector per cylinder, oftentimes the larger-sized injectors required for peak horsepower production aren't able to properly spray the sort of smaller quantities required for things like idling or low-speed operation. A successful staged injection system starts with the right ECU. Here, it's the computer's job to figure out how much fuel both sets of injectors ought to spray and is usually represented as a percentage; as such, each set of injectors is matched with its own fuel table within the ECU's software.