Love at first sight. That's what Mike Wasser experienced when his eyes ran over the smooth body lines of the Honda S2000 for the first time. Overwhelmed by the Honda's appearance and potent 240-hp VTEC engine, Wasser didn't flinch when he purchased his new S2K in 2001.
Mesmerized by the S2000's flawless design and content with its performance, Wasser had no intentions of modifying his car. How many times have we heard this one? Soon Wasser began researching a number of manufacturers and local shops in his hometown, hoping to come up with a concept never before seen on the streets of Virginia.
With the speed gremlin nipping at his heels, Wasser contacted Jeff Shi of Evolution Autosports located in Chantilly, Va., for some sound advice. Shi came highly recommended due to his vast knowledge of the S2000's inner workings and his ability to execute high-horsepower upgrades on the roadster's F20C powerplant. After some serious brainstorming, they decided to unleash a Vortech supercharger kit-one still in the R&D stages at Vortech-on the engine.
In the coming months, while waiting for the supercharger to arrive, Wasser began massaging the Honda's exterior. With JDM styling in mind, Wasser searched for hard-to-find products from Japan and had them shipped over, piece by piece. A full C-West body kit adorns the once-factory skin, while a Feel's rear spoiler adds flair out back. Once the body kit was installed, Jack's Auto Body of Arlington, Va., sprayed the sheet metal with multiple layers of pearl. JDM clear headlights, alongside a set of JDM side markers, supply the J-spec look. Final touches include a Fiber Images carbon-fiber hood.
It took a year of waiting for the supercharger kit to clear R&D and to ship, but Wasser claims it was well worth the wait and says the blower setup has exceeded all expectations. On a chassis dyno the roadster was able to stamp out 311.4 whp and 206.5 lb-ft of torque without the aid of nitrous. The graph below shows the F20C flirted with 200 lb-ft of torque from 5300 rpm to redline.
On the intake manifold side, a Hondata intake manifold gasket helps minimize intake temperature, while on the hot side a DC Sports SS header works in conjunction with a Veilside Teardrop Titanium exhaust to expel spent gases. A Nitrous Express EFI system complete with purge kit, remote bottle opener and electronic pressure gauge was installed as added insurance for those unexpected signal-to-signal confrontations.
With a significant horsepower increase comes the need for more intense braking power. Wilwood four-piston caliper brakes provide the necessary clamping force, while stainless-steel brake lines firm pedal feel.
Honda pushed the envelope when designing the S2000 by implementing an X-Bone Monocoque frame and mass centralization for exceptional weight distribution, which is why the roadster has such mean handling characteristics. Wasser decided to keep suspension modifications to a minimum, figuring the S2K's already impressive handling characteristics only needed minor tweaking. Tein CS coil-overs are nestled between the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. Up front, a Spoon Sports X-brace is mounted in the engine compartment to increase overall rigidity.
Transferring all 311 hp to the tarmac can be quite a chore. Wasser enlisted a Clutch Masters Stage 4 unit mated to a Toda Racing flywheel, while a set of Volk Racing GT-N (18x7.5 and 18x8, +49 offset) wheels wrapped with Toyo Proxes T1-S ensure unparalleled traction.
Inside, the engine is monitored by 60mm A'PEXi boost and temp meters enclosed in custom-molded gauge pods. An A'PEXi VTEC AFC, A'PEXi RSM and A'PEXi turbo timer round off the interior's electrical upgrades.
Recaro SPG buckets, matched to a pair of Sparco five-point harnesses, keep Wasser nestled snugly in the interior. Creature comforts are provided through a full audio system consisting of an Alpine CDA-7875 head unit with XM satellite radio sits up front and two JL Audio 300-watt amps power a complete lineup of Boston Pro Series components and JL Audio subs.
"I had one goal in mind," Wasser says. "It was to exceed everybody's expectations on what an S2000 could be." Wasser thanks Jonathan Blanco and Reggie Durem, who spent countless hours in the garage with him wrenching and prepping the car for its transformation. This serious S2K has addressed all the right component systems, resulting in an upgraded car that retains the seductive balance that makes the Honda S2000 one of the best droptop drivers on the road.