1,200+ Horsepower S2000 Blows Roof Off at 190 MPH
Racers unintentionally find the limits of aftermarket hardtop in wild fashion.
I can’t be the only one who has wondered how fast you have to go before the top blows off a convertible. Of course, whether it be the factory soft top, or a fixed hardtop, I didn’t think someone would actually get to the point of finding out.
However, when you have a purpose-built drag racing S2000 that clicks off low 7-second passes down the quarter mile, you can expect to test and break and a few things along the way. That is exactly what happened to this driver, after crossing the quarter mile at over 190 mph, he reached for the parachute release, and instead found himself reaching at open air. The aftermarket carbon fiber hardtop lifted and shattered under the intense pressure and force of 190 mph wind speed.
First, let’s back up. How did the car get to this point? Well, Kings Performance, renowned builders of things that go fast down the quarter mile, built this 2003 S2000 for a customer. The original goal was 7.90s, a number which the managed to crush. As is the way with speed seekers, the customer wanted more and Kings Performance was happy to oblige. So, this AP1 is back with a few tweaks to the chassis, and the engine to shoot for a 6-second pass.
Let’s talk about the powertrain. It’s never clarified if this is the original F20C engine or if it’s F22C-based engine. However, previous history on this car is floating around the Internet. From King’s own website, the car has their “KP1300 power package” which is a fully-built F2xC motor. Additionally, the video headline is a bit misleading as it states the car makes 1,500 horsepower. The guys at Kings said the setup made an under-stressed 1,200-some wheel horsepower on the dyno before coming out to play. Who knows how much headroom they left in there. The Precision 8685 turbo they put in the car is rated to upwards of 1,400 horsepower.
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Looking past the engine details, the rest of the driveline is equally stout, and equally nutty. Getting that monster power to the ground comes courtesy of a G-Force clutch-less 5-speed transmission and “a (Ford) 9-inch” rear axle. All of which works with the big Mickey Thompson 28.0/10.5-15 drag slicks.
That combo seems to work, too. This S2000 gets out of the hole like you wouldn’t believe. Cutting 1.10 60′ time leaving the line sideways, this car wants to boogie. The larger Precision turbo helps the team find a bit more top end speed down the 1320. By the end, the car was hitting trap speeds touching 195 mph. Yowza. Despite the wild launches, the car eventually whittled down the time to a blistering 7.165 pass. Can you believe they referred to this S2000 as a street car build? What a time to be alive.
For the number-crunching stat nerds out there, of which I am one, here’s a fun tidbit to digest. Basic drag racing math says that for every 10-15 horsepower you add to your setup, you can expect an additional MPH in trap speeds. Now, on the car’s old setup, with the smaller turbo it was trapping between 185-185 MPH at the big end. Now it’s trapping 195 MPH. Sounds like that turbo upgrade is doing work. Also, that 1,500 horsepower number tossed around might be closer to reality than expected, especially when the engine is dialed in to “kill” mode at the strip.