Last month I reintroduced Super Street's AP1 that served as the guinea pig in the 120 Hours, Week to Wicked video series last year. After a round of mods found their way to the roadster in just a week's time, the car sat for quite a while, until I decided to bring it back out in order to make some changes - the first of which centered on cleaning up the rough edges from the car's previous life.
Like any used car, the scrapes and bruises are to be expected, but in the case of this 2001 S2000, they were driving me a little crazy. The cracked and split bumper, the fender dings and the overspray that showed up all over the front end were the first things on my list. With the new @seiboncarbon fiber half-bumper fitted and @evstuning fenders in tow, I delivered the car to @signatureautobody who promised to have the new front-end and trunk painted, and the doors blended within just a few weeks. Like clockwork, just two weeks later they called to let me know it was ready for pick up!
Signature had no problem fitting the EVS Tuning fenders, but they did have to remove the Seibon lip I installed in order to fully prep and paint the entire OEM bumper underneath for a seamless match. In addition, both the hood and the trunk, provided by Seibon, were produced in ultra-lightweight dry carbon and required additional prep before being sprayed to ensure an even appearance that wouldn't cause problems in the future.
Behind those fenders, the paint on the doors was expertly blended, so much so, that unless you knew about this build beforehand, you wouldn't be able to spot the difference. The rear quarter panels, side rocker panels, and rear bumper kept the original paint, untouched.
Rather than painting the entire lip and bumper, I worked with Signature to mask off the lower portion, leaving Seibon's signature carbon fiber exposed—sort of like an integrated front lip. The Signature staff offered a number of options to choose from with various angles until we found the most natural flow.
The new front lip adds a whole new look to the S2K's front, while the wider, vented fenders add a touch of aggression without needing add-on bumper extensions because they meet the factory bumper perfectly and grant an additional 30mm of clearance.
Out back, Seibon's dry carbon fiber trunk was also painted along with an aftermarket, slim trunk spoiler that was donated to the build, which I also had Signature mask off to keep the bottom carbon exposed to match the front lip and a set of used carbon side diffusers that will eventually make their way to the flanks, though I'm holding off since the car will be up and down frequently over the next few months while I continue working on it.
While the car was getting a facelift at Signature, I ordered a new set of wheels through Mackin Industries. You know Mackin as the official, exclusive importer of high-end brands like Rays Wheels, Project Mu, and, in the case of the S2000, Yokohama Wheel Design, or Advan. I knew going into this that I wanted a black wheel with a polished or machined lip, especially after tagging along with Loi Song of Sportcar Motion, who recently added a set of Advan's to his ITR time attack build in the same color combo.
I crossed my fingers in hopes that Mackin would have a 17x9 or 9.5 in stock and they did! 17x9-in. +35 in "machining and black gun metallic." This size would allow a healthy 255/40 tire and because the EVS Tuning fenders offer additional clearance, I'm able to run the square set up I was after without having to completely rework the factory fenders to a paper-thin stretch.
To bolt the Advans in place, Mackin also provided a set of Muteki SR35 forged steel lug nuts and locks from Wheel Mate Performance. These were made using a cold forged process that allows them to keep a compact size which is perfect for fitting neatly into place with no fear of scratching the wheel during installation and removal.
Each piece also features a knurled end so even with oil or grease on your hands, you're able to easily grab and start them on your studs without issue. The lock included for each wheel is also a welcome addition, offering an additional layer of security.
Speaking of tires, I've been dying to try Falken's Azenis RT-615K+ for quite some time and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I've used the RT-615K for years and the introduction of the "plus" is a progression of the ultra-popular tire. As Falken stated during the tire's debut, "the PLUS encompasses an all new digitally-engineered, nanotech-formulated compound for superior grip and excellent handling." The car's previous tires were Falken's FK510 in a staggered configuration and they were great. They offered a nice, grippy feel, were quiet and, on the one occasion the car actually saw some rain, wet traction was no problem.
With the RT-615K+, we're stepping into a different realm in the sense that the sidewall is considerably stiffer and the handling more aggressive. Add to that the fact that the S2K is now relying on 255/40s on 17x9 -in.wheels at all four corners and the difference is very noticeable. At speed, the sound of the RT-615K+ is certainly more pronounced than the previous tires and that's just fine by me, as these tires beg to be pushed. The newfound footprint that includes the now wider fronts offer a whole new experience behind the wheel. With the AST coilovers in place and having stiffened up the adjustable damping a few clicks, the AP1 is simply a blast to drive, especially with the midrange kick offered by the small turbo in the @greddyperformance turbo kit.
Our Quickjack @quickjackusa had the AP1 up in the air in no time to fit the new wheel and tire package.
Lowering it back down, the difference between the original wheel set up and the newly installed Advan RG-D2 and Azenis RT615K+ combo is drastic under the new EVS Tuning fenders.
Just a few days after I bolted on the new wheels, the car was due for a visit to @meguiar's for a complete round of detailing in order to get the car's original paint to have the same look and feel as the new painted portions. It was a long process but absolutely worth it in the end. Here's a behind the scenes look at some of the processes used by the crew at Meguiar's to make the AP1 look the best it's ever looked.
With the exterior looking cleaner and a little meaner, I'm getting started on pulling out most of the GReddy turbo kit components to get them coated, along with the valve cover, intake manifold, a new catchcan/overflow combo and some other small pieces to give the engine bay a mini-makeover and clean a few things up. Stay tuned, there's more to come from the #SSAP1 revamp.