Forget camping. Put away the board games. Burn that deck of cards. If families that play together stay together, then Chris and Cherie Lue have discovered the ultimate method of keeping the family bond strong: building two bad-ass Hondas that not only pull street duty but also serve as their track-day weapons of choice.
For big-brother Chris, the tuner bug bit when he noticed his college friends getting into cars, all of them opting for sporty machines with manual gearboxes. This motivated Chris to get his first car, having driven his dad's old Toyota 4Runner up until that point. As Chris put it, "My best friend was studying to become a mechanic and was building a race car of his own. I went to him to help me decide what used car I should look for. I wanted something that was quick, reliable, handled well and was fairly unique. I ended up with a '91 MR2 Turbo. I loved it to death. I started to learn more about it on the forums, which led to me joining the local MR2 club and going to my first track day. It was an amazing feeling, pushing my car to what I believed to be its limits. I later got a ride with an instructor and, man, was I blown away. He told me about car control, practice, better tires and driving schools that would all help me go faster. This led to me modding the crap out of my little MR2; 500 hp later, I had an amazing track car, but not a very good daily driver."
This led to Chris eventually shopping around for something a bit (OK, a lot) more reliable for the daily grind, but with at least as much fun factor while carving corners at the racetrack. According to Chris, "When I saw the S2000, it was love at first sight. I ended up with a brand-new '06 and started to track it immediately, where I recognized what this car was designed for: grip. The chassis is so stiff and I love the way it responds to my every thought. This would basically become my philosophy when modding the car — enhancing its already amazing reflexes and handling, rather than worrying about power." Sure, Chris has made a few subtle mods to the engine, opting for Mugen's gorgeous carbon-fiber intake along with a header and exhaust from the same legendary Honda tuner, paired with a Hondata reflash to maximize their effectiveness. He also shortened up the gear ratios with a J's Racing final drive and tightened up power delivery to the rear tires with an ATS two-way carbon LSD, but his focus has otherwise been purely on grip, both of the mechanical and aerodynamic variety.
Starting with KW Variant 3 coilovers, Honda CR sway bars and a sticky set of Yokohama A048R DOT track tires wrapped around 18x10.5-inch Volk CE28Ns on all four corners, Chris then set about enhancing chassis stiffness with a full complement of high-quality JDM braces and tie bars. Up front, there's an ASM GT front strut tower bar, under the belly there's an ASM floor brace and out back there's a J's Racing rear strut tower bar, along with a Spoon lower tie bar and X-brace. But what really sets this AP2 apart from the crowd is the stunning Amuse widebody aero kit, along with a Mugen hard top and a Voltex Type 2 wing. Add it all up and you've got a S2000 that generates enough grip around a racetrack to rival a full-blown race car, yet Chris still street drives his AP2 on the regular.
His sister Cherie drives her RSX Type-S even more because it's her daily ride. Not unlike her brother, when she got her license and started car shopping, she wanted something sporty and attractive, but didn't know how to shift gears manually. After some lessons in Chris' old MR2, Cherie soon gained the confidence to place an order for her Type-S. As Cherie put it, "I originally wanted to pick up a white one, but there was a two-month waiting period (which seemed like forever), so I had to settle for my second color choice, silver. For the next few years, I just used the car as a means of transportation to and from school and was pretty content with driving it stock. That's when my brother really started to put a lot of work into his MR2, which didn't go unnoticed. I started to become intrigued by the idea of personalizing a car and wanted to start a project of my own. I've always looked up to my brother for everything, and I knew he would be the person to help steer my build in the right direction."
Starting with the usual intake, header and exhaust bolt-ons, Cherie turned her attention to the DC5's appearance. "At one point, my car was 90 percent covered in decals," Cherie says. "You definitely could not miss my car on the streets. In 2006, I entered it in Importfest and walked away with the title of Baddest Graphics and a little bit of cash to boot. That really got me pumped, and after seeing so many modded cars at the show, I really wanted to step up my game and discover the potential of what my car could become." That's when Cherie found her inspiration, having seen the J's Racing DC5 Integra Type-R for the first time. According to Cherie, "That's when shopping for handbags, clothing and shoes took the back burner and the majority of my money was spent on buying the full J's Type-S aero kit, rear wing and more performance parts — not an easy sacrifice to make for a girl!"
Just like big brother, Cherie focused her build on the grip side of performance tuning, equipping her RSX with a sticky set of Dunlop Star Spec Z1 tires mounted on Advan RS rims. TEIN Flex coilovers along with J's Racing sway bars and a full complement of its tie bars and braces round out the suspension upgrades, with Spoon calipers and JDM Type-R 4.7 final drive and helical LSD helping dial in brake pedal feel and power delivery to her liking. As Cherie put it, "I've been tracking my car for the past two summers and I'm loving the fact that I can actually push my car to new limits and get full use out of all the mods. This year I'm looking forward to honing my driving abilities even more by visiting new tracks."
Having grown tired of waiting in line in pit lane at overly busy lapping days, Chris, Cherie and a friend began organizing their own lapping events at Mosport's Driver Development track, just a half hour or so from their home base in the greater Toronto area. "We decided to set up our own track days for people who wanted as much track time as possible," Chris says. "We organize our events with a max of 10 cars and an entire day of lapping, which is pretty much unheard of. If you happen to live in the area, check us out at clubonetwonine.com." Once Chris and Cherie convince their parents to come to the track and turn a few "quick" laps in the family 4Runner, the old adage "families that play together stay together" will ring even truer for the Lues.
Specs & Details
'03 Acura RSX Type-S
Engine 2.0-liter K20A2 iVTEC inline-4
Engine Modifications Mugen air intake, T1R header & 60mm exhaust; J's Racing engine torque damper, oil cap & rad cap, JDM Type-R valve cover
Drivetrain JDM Type-R 4.7 final drive & LSD; Buddy Club short throw shifter
Engine Management Mugen HOA ECU
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 17x8.5" (f) & 17x7.5" (r) Advan RS wheels, 245/40R17 (f) & 225/45R17 (r) Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tires, Rays lug nuts, Spoon monoblock calipers (f), Mugen active gate brake rotors
Suspension TEIN Type Flex coilovers; Mugen strut tower bar (f) & mid bar (r); J's Racing strut tower bar (r), C-pillar bar, lower arm bars (f/r), side fender braces, upper arm set (r) & tie rod set; JDM Type-R antisway bars (f/r)
Interior Bride Brix II gradation seats, ARC shift knob, JDM Type-R shifter boot
"I'm loving the fact that I can actually push my car to new limits and get full use out of all the mods."
Specs & Details
'06 Honda S2000
Engine 2.2-liter F22C iVTEC inline-4
Engine Modifications Mugen carbon-fiber intake system, header, exhaust system, oil cap & rad cap; J's Racing carbon-fiber radiator plate & oil catch can
Drivetrain J's Racing 4.4 final drive, ATS carbon 2-way LSD, AP1 flywheel
Engine Management Hondata Flash Pro
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Volk Racing CE28N 18x10.5" (f/r) wheels, Yokohama Advan A048R 265/35R18 (f/r) tires, Rays aluminum lug nuts, Spoon monoblock calipers (f), Mugen active gate brake rotors, Endless CC RG brake pads, Endless brake lines
Suspension & Chassis KW Variant 3 coilovers, S2000 CR sway bars, ASM GT strut tower bar (f) & floor brace; J's Racing strut tower bar (r), bumpsteer kit, roll center adjusters, camber ball joints & rear diff spacer; Spoon Sport lower tie bar & X-brace; aluminum diff bushings
Interior Bride Gias seats, ARC shift knob, NSX R shifter boot & steering wheel
"I ended up with a brand-new '06 and started to track it immediately, where I recognized what this car was designed for: grip."