Honda S2000 240 WHP 180 LB-FT Of Torque
Shortly after the annual Long Beach Grand Prix race weekend, we got in touch with competitors A&J Racing to get the scoop on their track star, this white S2000. Having just clocked in at barely over 1:38 in the Limited FR class at the Super Lap Battle event of the weekend, we were all too curious to find out what made this Honda tick.
Sporting all-motor power and scalpel-like precision, it's been making quite a name for itself in recent years. In 2007, it took home First Place at the aforementioned Super Lap Battle. It also finished First and Second Place at the Super Street Time Attack challenge in 2006 and 2007, respectively. At the famous three-mile-long Buttonwillow Raceway, the car has steadily been cutting 2 seconds off its own record each year. In 2007, it ripped around Buttonwillow's 13CW configuration in just 1:54.888. The year before, it finished Second in class, losing to none other than a twin-turbo Porsche GT2. Suffice it to say, this is one serious contender.
While it's clearly no stranger to the track, this S2000 was once a daily driven car. Owned by AJR President Ben Leung since he bought it new in 2003, this machine has been lovingly and painstakingly converted into the dedicated racer shown here. Built entirely in-house at AJR, this car was made possible with the help of Spoon Sports, J's Racing, Type One Racing, and many other sponsors.
At the heart of this car is the venerable F-series motor. It makes its surprising power here without the help of a turbo or supercharger, just as it was born to do. At the wheels, the car puts down 240 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque.
Displacement has been squeezed up to 2.2 liters (a 10 percent increase from the stock motor) by using a stroker kit from Spoon. The crankshaft and block components have been fine-tuned and are counterweighted, balanced, blueprinted, and micro-polished. The Spoon pistons produce a lofty compression ratio of 12.3:1, but the forged internals are up to the task. A Spoon oil pan and catch can helps keep a reliable flow of oil circulating through the delicately tuned motor. By replacing the drive pulleys with lightweight versions from T1R, they reduced the rotating mass, further improving the motor's performance.
Sitting atop the block is an equally worked over head and valvetrain. The cylinder head itself features a full port, polish, and three-angle valve job. The valves themselves have also been polished, with all machine work being done in-house at AJR. Spoon camshafts work the valves as they suck in air through the J's Racing intake and Spoon throttle body, and spent gasses are sent through a T1R header and 70mm exhaust.
Aftermarket parts abound in this S2000's drivetrain. The transmission itself benefits from a lower final drive ratio of 4.46:1, quite a bit livelier than the stock's 4.1:1. It connects to the engine via a twin-plate carbon clutch from Exedy, and sends power to a Mugen two-way clutch-type limited-slip differential via a reinforced Spoon driveshaft. To further reduce the risk of a worn-out driveshaft due to the altered placement caused by the lower ride height, AJR also installed a pair of T1R driveshaft spacers to correct the geometry. To be extra safe, a Spoon magnetic drain bolt helps remove various metallic particles from the oil.
The AJR crew knew what they were doing when they went to town on the car's chassis and suspension components. Capable of over 2g's of peak lateral grip, this S2000 can out-handle nearly any car it's competing with. At all four corners, CRUX coilovers from J's Racing keep the springs set at a rate of 16kg/mm. Front tie rods from J's Racing replace the stock units, and maintain proper suspension geometry. Other chassis mods include an inner fender bar, bumpsteer kit, roll center adjusters, cross-members, and strut tower brace, all from J's Racing. Spoon provided gusset plates to reinforce the front upper-arm brackets, and a front crossbeam bar to reinforce the subframe. The motor and differential mounts were also replaced with Spoon units, helping them function more like structural components and further stiffen and reinforce the chassis.
The brake system is from J's Racing as well, and features 332mm (front) and 320mm (rear) rotors, and six-piston floating calipers up front. Endless provided stainless steel lines to improve system pressure and pedal feel. The 17x9 Volk RE30 wheels are wrapped in 255/40 Yokohama Advan A048 rubber.
Externally, this is a race vehicle and it looks like it, with aerodynamic parts and carbon fiber nearly everywhere. It is sporting a J's Racing Type-S body kit, which includes the bumpers, side skirts, and fender flares. Also equipped are ASM wide fenders and Craft Square mirrors. Underneath, a Super Taikyu carbon rear diffuser from Spoon improves aerodynamics, as do the Spoon Super Taikyu hardtop and J's Racing 3D GT high stay rear wing and carbon-fiber canards. A carbon-fiber hood from Mugen helps further reduce weight and lower the car's center of gravity.
Inside the cockpit, it's all business. Spoon carbon seats and Takata harnesses keep the occupants firmly in place inside a Cusco four-point rollcage. The stock steering wheel has been replaced in favor of a Momo Veloce unit, and a Stack ST8100 instrument panel takes the place of the stock digital display and feeds the driver the car's vitals. A titanium shift knob from T1R and a Zoom Engineering carbon rearview mirror round out the interior package.
Not only have Ben and the AJR crew created an impeccably tuned and highly successful race car, for years their shop and Web store has been a blessing to customers wishing to build up their own cars. The AJR crew is proud to be a one-stop shop for any performance requests, and their project cars prove they have the know-how to help any customer's needs.
Spoon 2.2L stroker kit (12.3:1 compression)
Spoon oil pan and catch can
Spoon head gasket
Spoon valvesprings and retainers
Spoon throttle body
Spoon radiator kit and thermostat
AJR three-angle valve machining
AJR balance and blueprint
AJR port and polish
AJR valve cover
J's Racing intake
J's Racing heatshield
J's Racing ECU
T1R 70RT header-back exhaust
T1R pulley set
GReddy e-Manage Ultimate
Exedy twin carbon clutch
Mugen limited-slip differential
ATS final drive gear
T1R driveshaft spacer
AJR custom propeller shaft
J's Racing distance collar and differential bolt
Spoon magnetic drain bolt
J's Racing CRUX coilovers
J's Racing fender bar
J's Racing bumpsteer kit
J's Racing front tie rod
J's Racing roll center adjuster
J's Racing cross-member
J's Racing pillow-ball mount (upper)
J's Racing differential mount
Mugen suspension bushings
Beatrush front lower-arm bar
Spoon front crossbeam bar
Spoon gusset plate
Spoon engine mounts
Rays Engineering Volk Racing RE30 Wheels (17x9, +40 offset)
255/45 Yokohama Advan A048
J's Racing six-pot big brake kit
J's Racing rear oversized brake kit
Seido-Ya N1500 brake pads
Endless stainless steel brake lines
J's Racing Type-S aero kit with carbon canards
J's Racing GT wing
J's Racing carbon-fiber trunk
Mugen carbon-fiber hood
Spoon Super Taikyu hardtop
Spoon Super Taikyu carbon-fiber rear diffuser
ASM wide fenders
Craft Square carbon-fiber mirrors
2004 AP2 conversion
Cusco four-point rollcage
Spoon carbon-fiber bucket seats
Takata five-point harness
Momo Veloce steering wheel
Stack ST8100 dash display
T1R TI82 titanium shift knob
Zoom carbon-fiber rearview mirror