Chris Luansing first sat in an S2000 back in 2003. The impressions made at that moment were so profound they would carry the La Crescenta, Calif., native on an odyssey that ultimately led to the custom creation you see here. But his was not a direct flight, and there were ups and downs along the way.
"My previous car had just got stolen," Luansing says, in a still-grieving voice. "I was looking for another car. I was at a dealership and there was a used Silverstone S2000 in the lot. I had seen S2000s before and loved them, but they were always too expensive for me to even consider. So I ended up buying another car. Fast forward two years to 2005 and S2K prices had dropped considerably. I found a '00 Grand Prix White S2000 that had a black-and-red interior and only 19,000 miles. It was the exact color and interior I wanted so I jumped on it."
Now in the position of not having to fantasize about S2000 mods, Luansing showed restraint. "I didn't want to change the aesthetics too dramatically because I love the lines already." Luansing added a Seibon carbon-fiber hood, trunk, and lip and proclaimed phase one complete.
There is a lot to like about this Honda. We asked Luansing what revved his engine. He was quick to respond, "The three favorite things on my car are my wheels, the turbo kit, and the hardtop. I love Work Meister S1 two-piece rims. They were the first mod I made. I had never seen an S2000 with red rims before and I thought that it would flow well with the interior. I knew I was taking a risk with these wheels. You either love them or you hate them, nothing in between. I believe that wheels are the most important aesthetic feature of a car. I am glad I made the right choice."
He continued, "I knew I wanted to go turbo right from the start. I did not make any other engine upgrades before the kit to not waste money buying parts that would be replaced. Picking a kit was not hard at all. I wanted something reliable with good power so dropped my car off with Myles, Jonathan, and Allan over at Rev Hard and they turned my car into a street monster. Then I took it over to Church Automotive Testing for tuning and it was all set." The tuning sessions at Church's resulted in 322 whp, 202 lb-ft of torque and a supremely driveable power curve.
"Lastly," quips Luansing, "the hardtop was a must. If they made an S2000 in a coupe version I would have bought it. I don't like the soft top and hardly drive with the top down. I was so excited when I got my Mugen hardtop from Chuck and Rocky at Showstoppers USA that I took it over to Francis at Donlyson Auto Body for paint right away. Once I put on my Mugen FRP hardtop it made my car look totally different. It made everything on my car look better. The fitment of the Mugen hardtop is perfect and it just sets my car off."
Other items setting off Luansing's ride include Toda Racing cams, Spoon valves, Toda retainers and springs as well as an HKS 3-inch exhaust and a truckload of engine dress-up parts.
"The biggest challenge I had to overcome during the build up of my car was transportation," Luansing said. "The S2000 was, and still is, my only car. Sometimes I went weeks or even months without my ride. I work close to home so I started walking to and from work. And even though I have my car now, I still walk. School was harder because it was about 25 miles away. I would either carpool with a friend or borrow a friend's car to go to school. I also couldn't go out as much with my friends or other things. I was pretty much stuck at home."
Well Luansing can fly the coop at will nowadays and he reports that rolling the S2K is plain amazing. "I am not the type of driver that mashes through all six gears all day long. I drive pretty conservatively, but if someone starts something on the freeway I won't back down. The car idles perfectly and drives smoothly like it came out of the factory with a turbo, which is a testament to the tuning. The handling is like nothing I have ever driven. It was great stock, but with the Mugen NZ coilovers and all the other suspension mods it handles like a dream."
"In the future I am going to completely remove the soft top and motor to save weight. I also have a JDM Navigation unit that I picked up and I would really like to build my motor but I don't have the money for that right now. There are also some other top secret things I have planned...haha."
Living in highly competitive Southern California, Luansing knows it takes a Herculean effort to roll a car that truly stands out, especially one wearing the Honda badge. But he is confident that his S2K has attained that next level status and Luansing hopes to keep refining his masterpiece.
Bolts & Washers Chris Luansing's 2000 Honda S2000PropulsionThe F20C has been boosted with a Rev Hard turbo kit featuring a Precision GT35-R ball bearing turbo, trick Rev Hard turbo manifold, a Rev Hard FMIC, Vortech blow-off valve and 38mm Tial wastegate.
Other underhood tidbits include Koyo radiator and radiator cap, HKS oil cap, Carbing catch can, ET Performance KrankVents, Mugen reservoir covers, Mugen thermostat, Mugen fan switch, Seibon CF Cooling Plate and an Earl's Oil Cooler Kit. Power application is streamlined with a J's Racing 4.44 final gear, an ACT street clutch and lightened flywheel, a 2-way Mugen limited-slip differential.
Stance The car's Mugen NZ coilovers are joined by Spoon front strut bar, Spoon rear lower tie bar, Spoon X-Brace, Cusco rear strut bar, Mugen front sway bar (25.4mm), Mugen rear sway bar (30mm) and J's Racing aluminum fender braces. A complete bushing transplant replaced the OE offerings with Mugen bushings at the Steering Gear Box, Front and Rear Control Arms, Upper Arms, Rear Differential, Lower Damper, Spring Mounts.
Resistance Stopping power has been enhanced with Project Mu pads and Endless swivel brake lines.
Rims & Rubber The S2K feels the road with Work Meister S1 two-piece wheels with an adventurous red face and polished lips. Falken Azenis rubber, 225/40s up front and 265/35s out back, wraps the S1s, 18x8 in front and 18x9.5 in the rear.
Fashion Outside:The Honda's simple body tuning scheme is pulled off with a Seibon CF front lip, Seibon CF hood, Seibon CF trunk lid, JDM headlights, JDM side markers and a Mugen FRP hardtop.
InsideThe cabin features Recaro Pole Position seats, a Momo Competition steering wheel with Mugen horn button and AutoMeter CF Series: boost and air/fuel ratio gauges. Other custom touches include '00 Black/Red door panels, '00 red carpet, NRG quick release mechanism. HKB short hub and a Honda Titanium shift knob. An HKS Type 1 turbo timer provides proper cool-down.
I.C.E When it comes to in-car entertainment Luansing runs a stock head unit, stock Honda 6-disc CD changer and the factory EQ set-up. He is also not running any aftermarket amplifiers. What he has done is upgrade the front speakers with Alpine SPR-17LS units; that's it. It would seem that the spooling turbo is the system's center channel.
Props Luansing would like to thank his friends and family, Jasper at Options Auto Salon, Chuck and Rocky at Showstoppers USA, Myles, Jonathan and Allen at Rev Hard, Shawn Church at Church Automotive Testing, and Reggie and Parnell from his crew, Kosoku, for helping him out with everything.