There are many people out there who feel the Honda S2000 is played out, washed up, and old news. We're here to tell you those people couldn't be any more wrong. The two-seater, rear-wheel-drive roadster was a favorite among not just Honda enthusiasts, but driving enthusiasts as well. It was light, agile, and powered by a high-revving inline-four VTEC F-series engine. More than 60,000 S2000s were sold in America between the years of 1999 and 2009, and it's considered by many to be a future classic. You're already witnessing this today, as low-mileage and mint-condition models are jumping up in value on the used car market. And just when you think they're all looking the same, builders are pushing the envelope year after year with different color changes, new combinations of parts and wheels, and wilder forced-induction upgrades and engine swaps. Quite honestly, we're far from getting bored of 'em; you can take last year's Honda issue as a prime example, which featured Schmuck Built's J-swapped, twin-turbo monster as well as Rywire's Mugen-themed masterpiece. For this year's Honda Issue, the S2000 is once again in the spotlight, this time featuring a purpose-built road course warrior developed by Southern California's Evasive Motorsports.
Evasive is one of those shops that if you've followed the industry for a long time, you know what it's all about. The crew hasn't really altered their business model, but instead continued to excel in what they do best—sell high-quality parts, offer exceptional mechanical service, and build race-proven cars. Breaking ground in 2002, founders Mike Chang and Tony Kwan started off with a tiny operation and an e-commerce website. In 2004, they picked up their first S2000 and began to tinker with the car and prepare it for local track events. In 2008, things really kicked into gear when they launched the service side of the business and campaigned their first competitive Time Attack car—a Mitsubishi Evo that commanded Super Lap Battle records at Buttonwillow Raceway for many years. We also can't forget Evasive has competed at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb four years in a row and has brought its insane Scion FR-S to race at Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, something not many North American shops can claim. Simply put, motorsports are embedded within Evasive's DNA, as demonstrated by this S2000 nicknamed "EVS2-V4."
"We kept the same formula and kept building Time Attack cars to showcase the shop's know-how regarding parts and service," Mike explains. "The S2000 was a very big part of our success. Reason being, it's a driver-focused car. We were able to extract a lot out of it. It's an underdog in the Time Attack world, and from that, we built awareness around how this car is and started a movement toward tracking your S2000. It's one of those cars that's so different and unique, new cars won't replace it. There is always going to be people tracking these cars, and people are still invested in them even after 20 years."
This is Evasive's fourth officially branded S2000. The first was painted blue as well, however, it was an AP1 model. It held its own at Super Lap in the Street Class for several years, basically resetting the class record each time it competed. The second vehicle was a rebuilt version in red that also captured records at Super Lap. The third belonged to a customer, and Evasive customized this particular blue S2K to a higher specification with pistons, rods, more advanced chassis tuning, and more aggressive aero. Then we come to this fourth example... It was debuted at last year's SEMA Show, and now we're months away from seeing how it'll stack up at this year's Super Lap. And judging by its looks, we have another record-setting contender on our hands.
"Visually, the aero is extreme as it gets it," Mike continues. "It's a Voltex kit derived from the Top Fuel S2000, which has been competing in Japan for a while—the fastest S2000 in the world. Voltex has done so much research with wind tunnel and track testing, and it's made many refinements throughout the years. Our kit is a toned-down version of the Top Fuel kit. While theirs is built for 800 to 900 hp, ours is built for 500 hp. It's designed to not have as much downforce with the least amount of drag."
Identified as the Circuit Version 3, the dry carbon kit includes a full front bumper replacement, widened fenders, rear diffuser, gigantic chassis-mounted rear wing, plus a full flat-bottom undertray. The complex aero package was installed by founder of Voltex Akihiro Nakajima himself. The Evasive crew didn't mind the helping hand, as this was the first kit sold outside of Voltex's own R&D car in Japan. Mike credited his healthy 10-plus-year relationship with Voltex for the opportunity to showcase such a breathtaking and functional body kit on the S2000. We should also note, Evasive is responsible for pushing Voltex to make products for the S2000 over the years. While it's a sports car that was manufactured and sold in Japan, the S2K doesn't quite have the hard-core following it does here in the States.
This EVS2-V4 is a culmination of previous Evasive demo cars, with aspirations to become one of the fastest S2000s in the world. With that said, we don't expect many folks to be going out and buying this kit anytime soon. It's listed at $29,500 (gasp!). Mike joked that Evasive offers financing, but in all honesty, we're content with this car being the one and only Circuit Version 3 example outside of Japan for now, and we give the Evasive team props that it will follow the footsteps of its previous Time Attack challengers.
Beyond the Voltex aero, there are plenty of other noteworthy modifications that shouldn't be overlooked. The mirrors are modeled off race cars you'd typically see on Le Mans prototypes and will be something Evasive offers its customers later this year. The entire vehicle was also designed around being as light as possible. While the dry carbon Voltex kit weighs next to nothing, J's Racing composite doors, an Evasive-made carbon trunk, and a fully gutted interior ensure overall curb weight is minimal. "Anything that has been replaced has been replaced with lighter material," Mike reiterates.
While all the upgrades might appear out of reach to the average S2000 owner, virtually all the parts are accessible and have been tested by Evasive on the track, such as the Moton suspension, AP Racing front brakes, Advan wheels, Wisefab spherical uprights and links, as well as the ball joints and bumpsteer kits developed by Evasive.
To our surprise, the current 295-series tires might be one of the hardest things to get your hands on—a Japan/Australia-exclusive Yokohama Advan 050 R Spec. These particular R compounds would position the EVS2-V4 in the Unlimited Class at World Time Attack Challenge; however, Evasive will be switching to a different rubber when it runs Super Lap later this year.
As far as the engine goes, this F22 setup is something completely new to the Evasive team. The previous V3 car did have boost, pistons, and rods, however, this version features a Toda stroker kit to increase capacity, a prototype HKS blower exclusive to this build, and a full Port Flow head package with Ferrea valves. A final tune is in the works, but Mike estimates power to be rated at 500 whp and 360 lb-ft of torque. The seven-speed sequential transmission is also brand new from Japan, and, according to Mike, it's the first OS Giken sequential dogbox installed outside of OS's own R&D car.
"This S2000 doesn't have the highest power, but at Buttonwillow it has a chance. We're shooting for the fastest we've ever gone," Mike concludes. With Evasive's history of campaigning Evos, GT-Rs, and other record-breaking S2000s, we're excited to see how the story of the EVS2-V4 unfolds. Chances are, there will be rear-wheel-drive competitors on the track with 200 to 300 more horsepower than Evasive's S2000, but something tells us Evasive knows what it's doing and it doesn't mind being the underdog.