Honda S2000 Goes Drifting
This man's method of going sideways in a Honda roadster involves very few stock S2000 parts.
Why don't people drift S2000s? Well, people have tried but met with less-than-spectacular results. The problem, it seems, is that Honda designed their sports car to stick to the road in the twisty bits. They did their job too well. Everyone loves the supremely-capable engine, and people drift cars with lesser powerplants all the time, but the S2000's chassis is so balanced it resists all urging to break loose. Keep urging and it will finally do your bidding but the transition to oversteer will be a lot more sudden than it would be in a car that carries most of its weight further frontward.
That brings us to Dennis Häggblom, owner of Dennis Häggblom Motorsport, who recently took his S2000 drift car to its first outing at Sweden's Gatebil motorsports event. Onlookers who witnessed Dennis' S2000 on Gatebil's Mantorp Park circuit were surprised by the smooth transition from grip to smoke it exhibited. So surprised in fact, that some mused aloud that they thought it likely there was an S13 floorpan lurking somewhere underneath.
Requiem for an F20
The answer to the question you've been dying to ask is, sadly, yes. The F20C is history. Dennis opted for a Toyota 2JZ built by Valtonen Motorsport, he had the room—which we'll get to in a minute—and didn't mind the extra weight over the front wheels. It also didn't hurt that the Toyota engine uses a sizable Holset turbo to push the 2JZ's output into the 850 hp region. Sacrilege? Maybe. But a man's got to do what a man's got to do to go sideways!
What's Under There
The real secret to the drifting heavy lifting is in the chassis. To get the tail out, Dennis needed to get the weight in the right location—forward, or at least more forward than in Honda's S2000. He cut the mass of the car overall to make any shift in balance carry more... weight. As you can see from the photos, in addition to the chassis-stiffening roll cage, custom tubular subframes were added to position the new powerplant exactly where Denis wanted it, and to keep the entire structure rigid.
At the Corners
Dennis has talented friends, and he tapped his pal Sebastian Sundfors to help plan and execute a totally new, heavily-adjustable, suspension system for the S2000. Sebastian utilized FEAL coilovers adapted to his own custom tubular pieces.
Odds and End
A casualty of the lightning campaign was, predictably, the interior. Notable survivors include the Haltech digital dash, OMP wheel, and Sparco racing seats. What's the verdict? Well, in Dennis' words, "I can only say that it's a challenge to get an S2K dancing in slow-mo, cause it has massive grip and always wants to go fast and straight. Since I love challenges and to do crazy things, we decided to give this badly named car in drift culture a second chance and I love this journey." So, in the end, even drifting is about the journey. It's not where you are going, but how sideways you can get there.