Year 10: Popular modifications for the S2000
Each of us differ in how we want to personalize our S2000. When we decided to put together a list of 10 popular modifications for the S2000, we knew it was not going to be an easy task and many were going to be left off the list. We ended up listing below the most frequently discussed modifications within the S2000 community – a list we are sure Suki would approve of. 😀
Radio cover and center console replacement: This is an easy and very common mod to refresh the interior of the S2000. In 2004 Honda upgraded a lot of things on the S2000. Apart from exterior changes with new redesigned bumpers and fresh wheels, Honda made a lot of changes to the interior of the S2000. Although a vinyl trim underneath the center console was included in the 2002 facelift, a new redesigned center console was introduced in 2004. The black radio cover turned into silver, adding a nice S2000 logo on it. At a later stage, the CR radio cover was introduced through the CR S2000 giving it a nice carbon look. Additionally, a variety of aftermarket products with different trims and colors are also available.
Soft top replacement from plastic to glass window: This has to be one of the most popular mods for the 2000 and 2001 models. It is an upgrade that Honda introduced in the 2002 model. It is no surprise that many owners of the 2000 and 2001 models have this mod in their wish list. That plastic rear view window is delicate and has a reputation of being quite the scratch magnet. If not meticulously maintained, it tends to get scratched and blurry and could eventually crack.
Forced Induction: This mod includes super or turbo charging. Interest in turbo setups has increased lately. A super charger was one of the most common bolt-on solutions to increase power and torque in the S2000. The difference in horsepower that can be produced by forced induction is phenomenal as your butt dyno will attest to.
Shorter final gear: This mod is considered to be among the top “most bang for your buck” mods. It has been described as the cheap alternative to adding a super charger. Although you don’t get the same effect and feeling as forced induction, a shorter final gear really changes the way the car behaves under acceleration. The disadvantage of this mod is that the S2000’s top speed is reduced. Depending on the gear ratio, this mod will give you a certain benefit on the circuit by dropping your lap times. However, if you go through various discussions in the forums, some claim that if you go too short, you might be as close as a stock S2000 on the drag strip.
Front lip spoiler (with a twist): The S2000 was never equipped with a front lip spoiler from the factory, until the CR. If you look at the S2000 from the side, you will notice that without a lip the front is higher than the side line. It seems a little off-balance. Apart from the OEM front lip spoiler, there is a great selection of aftermarket front lips to personalize the front of the S2000. You may wonder why we have added the “with a twist” comment. This has to do with the DIY part of the story. Many owners, instead of purchasing a front lip spoiler, build a home-made splitter out of wood, plastic or aluminum. Other owners are just adding the splitter underneath the front lip spoiler. This is also a common DIY that our racing fans build and fit to their car before racing.
Wheels: The one mod that can make or break the look of the S2000. If you were to go through the S2000 Gallery, you will not find too many cars in stock condition, especially the AP1’s. Honda made big changes with the 2004 model year, upgrading to 17″ wheels. Since then, Honda has redesigned the wheels of the S2000 twice. However, from the first day of production of the S2000, it was no surprise that many owners upgraded them with lighter and stronger aftermarket wheels.
Exhaust: Although the S2000 has one of the best exhaust notes, this mod is popular among most owners of the car. The list of aftermarket exhausts to choose from is endless. There are so many factors to decide which exhaust you desire. Sizes vary for each application and you can have a choice of a dual or single exit. Stainless steel or titanium the materials of choice, lend to a lighter exhaust system to the S2000.
Hardtop: We don’t know if it is fair to call this a mod, but we cannot neglect the fact that there are many S2000s with hardtops out there. From stock to aftermarket hardtops, each one gives the S2000 a unique look, with their own design and build and based on the materials used – wet or dry carbon fiber, fiberglass or aluminium. Apart from looks, hardtops also lend to lesser road noise and also improve the aerodynamics of the car. The Mugen hardtop was the first aftermarket hardtop that was developed using a wind tunnel.
Suspension: Originally, we thought we’d just write about springs, since a nice drop is always welcome in the S2000. However, it is confirmed fact, that after a while, a complete suspension upgrade follows for all those that purchased springs as a mod. This could very well be one of the most favorite upgrades for track junkies. The stock suspension is great for your daily driving but not the best setup for track. There is room for improvement and the hunt for the best suspension setup begins either by replacing springs and shocks, or by installing a complete aftermarket coilover set.
Brakes: The most controversial mod for the S2000 in our humble opinion. If you were to go through brake upgrade related topics, you will notice that there are owners who believe that a brake upgrade is not necessary, while others feel the S2000 is incomplete without it. On the one hand we have owners who desire the bling effect that a BBK offers, and on the other, those that feel the S2000 needs a BBK to improve braking performance on the track. Yet another group of owners exist, that believe all that is needed are a set of aftermarket brake pads and stainless steel brake lines to optimize braking on the car. The truth however lies somewhere in between these options and it is up to you to determine the best course through trial and error.
NOTE: S2KI welcomes the opinions of its members on the S2000 and on all topics related to the S. Should you feel the creative urge to pen a few words then by all means do so and PM Energetic, Aashish2 or Onehots2k OR send us links to what you would like us to write about and we will feature you (or your community) on the S2KI Home Page.