There's not much to dislike about Honda's highly touted, high-revving 2-seater. Ever since the day it was released, almost 20 years ago, the S2000 has been held in high regard even by the anti-Honda front. With almost a decade passing since the last few models rolled off the assembly line, the aftermarket and enthusiast demand has only increased. As a result, much like the modified Civic and Accord families, there are as many disasters as there are shining examples of the roadster motoring up and down your local streets.
Ok, so "disaster" might be a bit harsh, but there are certainly a large number of builds that look more like an afterthought than a well-executed plan. This particular AP2 was the result of a well-mapped plan, and as a result didn't take any shortcuts and every addition made over the past few years was an effort to reach a specific vision. Its owner, Marvin Ma, had a bit of an edge when it came to building this car, as it wasn't his first. He explains, "This started from when I had my first S2000 in 2008. I'd always wanted to build the car using ASM and other quality parts." However, Japanese produced specialty parts became a thing of the past when Marvin's S went on the injured list after having spun a trio of bearings.
The original S2000 went up for sale and Marvin, taking the bottom end woes as a sign that it was time to move on, decided to sell the car and focus his attention on a 5th-gen. Civic build. But even with that hatchback taking its fair share of dollars and free time, the thought of that convertible was never completely off of his mind. He adds, "I always regretted getting rid of the first one so I knew I had to get another one later on down the road." That road he's referring to ended somewhere around 2016 when he sourced this 2005 model from a local dealer and his story had all the makings of a rematch.
"The goal for this build was to have a clean, functional car that I could enjoy but that also represented me. Most people that know me know that I love quality parts and I don't care about spending the money to acquire them." The quality parts began arriving in the form of ASM's coveted front bumper and carbon fiber lip and extended to the front fenders matched by the rear over-fenders. The newfound space under the wheel wells meant that a set of 17x9-inch +22 CE28N with Bridgestone RE71R tires would have no problem squeezing in. Add to that a set of HKS Hipermax SP coilovers and a very functional ride height and Marvin saw an improvement in both the look and behind-the-wheel feel of his AP2. Behind those Volk rollers you'll find Spoon calipers up front that clamp down on StopTech rotors that are also used out back.
Looking for a proper balance, Marvin opted for a Wasp carbon composite, chassis-mount front splitter and a J's Racing wing that's perched on iparkharder 245mm titanium wing stands. Just below the carbon wing is a mild Tamon spoiler that sits between Car Shop Glow V1 LED taillights and as your eyes go a little lower, a Spoon rear diffuser occupies the lower bumper space.
The mag blue and silver exterior gets a shake up with eye-searing Jersey Red Recaro Pole Position buckets that play off of the red stitching found on the Spoon steering wheel, custom arm rest cover and shift boot - all surrounded by a Cusco 7-point roll cage.
Popping the vented, carbon fiber hood you're met with more functional pieces that keep this S2000 entirely street-friendly. Bolt-on goods that include an ASM cooling panel that leads to a Koyorad radiator sit under a carbon fiber Mugen intake kit that feeds the 2.2L via the Origin Fabrications pie-cut titanium intake tubing. Renegade's catch can and overflow tank combo occupy the front of the bay while the custom battery and ABS unit covers take up the rear.
Earlier this year Marvin got a visit from an old friend in the form of yet another spun bearing. It was a visit that almost caused him to call it quits. "I contemplated parting the car out at that point but I just couldn't do it. It actually pushed me harder to finish up the car." The rematch with Honda's sporty roadster didn't come cheap and the result of "version 2.5" proves that it was well worth the effort. With the decision to keep the car comes a list of upcoming changes that include new wheels, Project MU brakes along with other updates that we're confident will stay within Marvin's original vision of a functional build that's as fun to drive, as it is to look at.