In case you haven’t noticed, Honda isn’t making anything resembling a sports car these days. The NSX is long gone, a Type-R badge hasn’t seen American soil for more than a decade and the S2000’s 10-year production run came to an end in June of 2009. All we’ve got these days is a hybrid pretending to be a distant relative of the CR-X and a Si-badged Civic that lacks the soul-stirring 8000-rpm redline and lightweight tossability of its predecessors.
Honda may have (at least temporarily) lost sight of its performance heritage and enthusiast fan base, but in the meantime we’ve got companies like Spoon Sports and owners like Aaron Badis keeping the home fires burning as we (impatiently) wait for Honda to awaken from its go-fast slumber and bring us another true driver’s car. In Aaron’s case — a professional valet at a high-end restaurant in the Charlotte, NC, area — it was his older brother, Eric, and his modified Hondas (having built a number of them, including a supercharged ’05 Acura TL that was recently featured in Honda Tuning) that inspired and helped shape this Storm Trooping S2K.
Like a lot of us, Aaron fell hard for the S2000 back in the spring of 1999 when it was launched globally in celebration of Honda’s 50th anniversary, but he wasn’t old enough to drive back then, let alone afford one (and as some of you will recall, the first S2Ks sold were going for well over list price). When Aaron was finally able to afford his first car in 2004, he opted for the boxer growl of an ’02 bug-eye WRX, a car that’s remained his daily driver to this day (and is pumping out an impressive 380 whp). But the heart wants what the heart wants, especially after going for an epic mountain blast is his buddy Brad’s AP1, so in the summer of 2007 Aaron plunked down the required cash-money to claim this ’07 Grand Prix White beauty as his own, coincidentally taking delivery of it exactly 18 years after the United Airlines Flight 232 plane crash he and his family miraculously survived (four of the 185 survivors on a fully loaded DC-10 en route from Denver to Chicago, but made an emergency crash-landing in Sioux City, IA, after the rear-mounted engine suffered a catastrophic failure).
As you might have guessed — given how long Aaron had to plan his S2000 build — it didn’t take him long to start modifying it. As Aaron told us, “The first time I saw a fully kitted Spoon S2000 in a catalog, I knew I had to do the same to my car. So I got on the phone with Opak Racing and started the process by ordering the front and rear bumpers along with a few other parts like cross-drilled rotors and a rear lower tie bar. Over the next year or so, I continued to source parts to complete the exterior package, though it took me three years to get the car to the point it’s at today. I got the front and rear fenders from A&J Racing, bought the hood from a fellow member on the S2Ki.com forum, and got the hardtop and GT wing last. The funny part is, I’d immediately install the parts as they arrived, so the car went through some stages where it looked kind of weird. A friend told me the rear bumper looked incomplete, but I knew it would look hot once the diffuser was mated to it.”
Once all of the Spoon exterior parts had been installed and a fresh coat of Grand Prix White applied to them, Spoon Sports certified it as chassis #798 and Aaron turned his attention to other areas of the build. For starters, he really wanted a Spoon Kevlar racing bucket seat, especially since he’s tall enough that the extra headroom would be appreciated. His Spoon addiction continued inside, with the addition of a steering wheel and titanium shift knob. The gunmetal metallic powdercoated Cusco 6-point rollcage Aaron found on eBay, having thrown what he considered a harmless lowball offer in that ended up winning him the auction.
Building the car for both show and go, Aaron was determined to give his S2K the performance required to match its super-aggressive, GT-style aero package. Under the hood there’s a ScienceofSpeed supercharger kit, built around a Paxton centrifugal blower that pumps up the F22C to 360 whp at a very safe and reliable 8.5 psi of boost. For bark to match its supercharged bite, Aaron also bolted up an ASM header, Invidia 70mm test pipe and a T1r 70mm single exhaust, while the Spoon clutch and flywheel were installed as added insurance when directing power all those extra ponies to the 255/40R17 Nitto NT05s out back.
Corner-carving and stopping abilities weren’t overlooked, either. TEIN Flex coilovers flattened out the already impressively responsive S2K chassis, and Spoon big brakes completely eliminated any risk of brake fade when beating on his roadster at nearby Virginia International Raceway. The 17-inch Volk Racing RE30 wheels aren’t just for show, either — these are some of the strongest and stiffest wheels in the business, not to mention some of the lightest.
“I’m pretty much done with the build at this point and I’m very happy with the way it’s turned out,” Aaron says. “I just put an Imperial Storm Trooper sticker on the gas door because I like the white and black theme so much, and I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I’m definitely going to keep it long term, but I may actually tone things down a bit so it’s more comfortable on the street. I’m planning to put reclining bucket seats in and replacing the 6-point cage with a 4-point rollbar.”
We can’t argue with Aaron’s plan to keep his AP2 for the long haul or to tweak his setup so it’s a bit more street-friendly, especially in light of the fact that we may have a long wait before Honda sees fit to bring us another sports car as focused in design as the S2000.
Specs & Details
'07 Honda S2000
Engine 2.2-liter F22C inline-4
Engine Modifications ScienceofSpeed supercharger kit w/ aftercooler (Paxton 1220 centrifugal blower); Spoon Sports venturi throttle body, Kevlar intake snorkel & oil cap; RC Engineering 650cc injectors; Okada Projects coil packs; ASM header; Invidia 70mm test pipe; T1r 70r-em 70mm single exhaust
Drivetrain Spoon Sports street clutch disc/pressure plate & 9-lb flywheel
Engine Management Hondata reflash Wheels, Tires & Brakes Volk Racing RE30 Diamond Black 17x9" +35 (f) & 17x9.5" +28 (r) wheels; 255/40R17 Nitto NT05 tires; Rays blue extended lug nuts; Spoon Sports BBK
Exterior Spoon Sports front bumper, front fenders, rear overfenders, rear bumper, hood, hardtop, carbon-fiber diffuser & GT wing; MRacing carbon-fiber sideview mirrors; Agency Power short antenna
Interior Spoon Sports driver-side Kevlar bucket seat, steering wheel, steering boss & titanium shift knob; Mugen driver-side seat rail; F1 Spec type 1 Kevlar bucket passenger seat; Buddy Club passenger-side seat rail; Takata 4-point harnesses; Cusco 6-point rollcage; Innovate wideband gauge
Suspension TEIN Flex coilovers; Spoon Sports front zero bumpsteer kit, front lower x-brace & rear lower arm bar
Numbers 360 whp at 8.5 psi
Special Thanks My brother Eric for the guidance & inspiration; my mom & dad for saving my life; & my employer Royal Parking Inc. (I love my job and I have a super cool boss); all my friends & of course the haters!