If you consider the number of S2Ks that have graced the physical and digital pages of Super Street, Honda Tuning and Import Tuner over the last decade or so, coming up with a "Top 10 Honda S2000 features of all time" list would seem incredibly difficult. Opinion, personal bias and undoubtedly forgetting a few by accident would cause far too many headaches—so instead, we let the numbers decide. Using the magic of analytics, we pulled the top 10 most frequently viewed S2000 features of all time.
Honda's celebratory convertible was a major shakeup to the brand's lineup, which up until the late '90s had relied almost entirely on FWD vehicles other than the NSX and a few utilitarian AWD offerings stateside. The roadster would burst onto the market and wow media and early adopters, often serving as a dream car for many Honda enthusiasts, who up until that point had been enamored with assorted Civic, Integra and Prelude offerings. The sporty two-seater would go on to introduce many long-term Honda fans to RWD while simultaneously bringing newfound fans to the Honda brand, and with so much interest from the younger crowd willing to spend money to modify, the aftermarket's churned out countless parts over the years for the high-revving DOHC F-series and AP1/2 chassis.
Swapping in Honda's K-series Workhorse
We've done a few of these lists before with other chassis but this is the first to start things off with a technical story rather than a vehicle feature spotlight, and it wasn't even close in terms of views. The article on Kevin Nguyen's home-built K-swap blew the rest of the list out of the water and in 2010, when this story went to print, it was the first K-powered S2000 swap that we'd ever encountered. Kevin's actual S2K feature would also grace the cover of Honda Tuning in 2010.
Today, K-series S2000s are quite a bit easier, given the engine mount and adapter plate options that are now available for purchase, but back then he did it all at home inside of his one-car garage. He even helped us out by breaking out the pricing on a cost sheet, which was included in the article. Thanks again, Kevin!
Mild on the Inside, Wild on the Outside ... With a Purpose
Timmy Megenbier was competing behind the wheel of a VW in the Jetta TDI Cup, followed by a one-year stint in Germany for the Scirocco Cup, well before he built this S2K alongside his father. Engine mods are mild, but the work put into the body and aero changes certainly aren't.
The goal was a well-balanced machine that could support Timmy's skills behind the wheel and wring every ounce of performance from Honda's roadster without resorting to extreme power mods—something rarely seen these days.
Boosted, Mugen-equipped and Covered in Laguna Seca Blue
If you're trying to build the ultimate S2000, David Tran's AP2 might be a good point of reference. A Full Race turbo kit brings power delivery up to 400hp with over 300 lbs.-ft of much needed torque and it's been topped off with authentic Mugen attire and a healthy slathering of classic Laguna Seca Blue paint work—a recipe for one badass S2K build.
Pop the hood and the nicely sized Garrett turbo is staring you dead in the eye with a pair of TiAL wastegates on deck. Everything is still intact, including A/C and cruise control for the ultimate street car.
Completely Reinventing a Long-term S2000 Build
Eight years prior to its SS feature, Jackie Law's AP1 appeared in the pages of HT in 2010. At that time, it was naturally aspirated and still wearing its native silver paint, long before he completely revamped the car. A change to Moonrock Metallic paint, a process that started with him learning hands-on how to prep a car for paint, was the biggest visual change.
Take a peek under the hood and the original F20C that he'd blown up years prior has been replaced by an updated F22 that sees boost by way of a Sheepey Built turbo kit.
Homebuilt and V6-powered
Years ago, Chris Dornon did some side work as a freelance photographer, regularly contributing features to Honda Tuning. In one of our email exchanges he'd mentioned he was planning to drop a J-series into his S2000. In all honesty, I thought it was a pipe dream he was tossing around aloud, but months later he forwarded me photos of the finished product, which he had not only done on his own at home, but actually engineered quite a few of the parts himself to make it all work.
Today it's become somewhat more common, but back then it was a completely custom mystery and one that Chris was able to figure out on his own, and it's not the hack job you might expect—he made sure the overall look, fit and finish was on point.
Clean, Mean and Supercharged
We see a large number of supercharged S2000 builds but rarely do they consist of HKS' GT supercharger kit. Matt Hamilton opted for the Japanese-bred blower with a 15psi pulley that, with help from a few bolt-ons, equates to 411hp under the command of an AEM EMS V2.
Carefully chosen Voltex and J's Racing aero pieces covered in Audi Nardo Grey round out a clean and mean AP1 build.
The Next Big Rywire Build
Based on its SEMA track record, you can count on Rywire Motorsport Electronics bringing something big to the table at the annual Las Vegas aftermarket specialty event. In 2017, it was this 2000 AP1 for a customer that had already been heavily modified but was entirely reworked by Rywire and completed just before the big show. The star of the build is of course the engine bay, which starts with a 14.5:1 Bisimoto-built 2.5L long block topped with a Rywire-spec Kinsler ITB setup that features a drive-by-wire conversion. It's the sort of clean and functional engine bay treatment you'd expect from Rywire, but the exterior is certainly up to par as well.
Authentic Mugen front and rear bumper were modified to match the Casale Design widebody and custom side skirts, and even the three-piece Mugen wing was chopped for a one-off look.
Two Turbos and a V6 Make for Perfect S2K Symmetry
When a fabricator as talented as Jason Schmuck takes on a build, you expect some well thought out touches and slick fab work, and his cover-worthy '06 S2000 definitely delivered. A set of mirrored Garrett GTX3576 Gen II turbos sit on either side of a J32 swap and everything inside of the bay is carefully placed for a picture-perfect, one-of-a-kind layout.
Obsessive? Perhaps, but the result of his carefully balanced bay makes this one of the most unique S2K builds you're likely to ever encounter.
The Supercharged Comeback Build
Tae Min Chang's AP2 is another build that was featured in HT (2012) and later rebuilt and appeared in Super Street (2017). Rather than using a more popular bumper option, he went with a Sorcery front combined with J's Racing Type V hood and Spoon fenders for a unique look that, along with the TE37s, made for a mean yellow and black combo that was a nod to his original build.
Under the hood is a polished Vortech V-3 supercharger that sits front and center with a J's Racing header and GReddy SE exhaust taking care of outgoing gasses.
1,000+HP Roadster Terror
Number 10 on the list does away with the F-series entirely and opts for high-boosted 2JZ-GTE power. That's right, Zach Leitzke, owner and fabricator from the PNW, had gone through countless setups with his AP1 before deciding to go all-out with a built 2JZ that puts down a cool 1,250hp with around 900lbs-ft. of tq.!
The high-quality craftsmanship can be found on every square-inch of this one-of-a-kind S2000 build.