Daily Slideshow: S2000 Powered MKII Escort is Quite the Build
Take a tour of this part TVR, part Ford, and part S2000 build that cuts no corners.
Cye Hayes’s shopmate said that Cye probably has more measuring tools than most people have tool tools. That's probably because Cye is an engineer at heart, and that passion for precision drives all his builds—from racing cars to speedy boats. This particular build combines an engine from an S2000 with the chassis from a TVR and the body of an English MkII Ford Escort.
The Honda Part
Starting with the part most S2000 fans are most eager to delve into, the F20c is running 11.9:1 compression, features mild porting, the stock valves, and Jenvey direct-to-head 50 mm individual throttle bodies with 90mm velocity stacks. The engine benefits from a low-mass TTV flywheel and lightened balanced pulleys. ACL bearings are lubricated by a Race Engine Developments dry sump, fed by a MoCal oil cooler.
Around the Front
Let's back up to that exhaust for a minute. The entire system is custom Maniflow, including the header, and exits passenger-side (driver-side on this car since it lives in the U.K.) as per usual, but then runs forward, in front of the engine, then turns back again and gets routed through the car via a dedicated tunnel, going from 4 to 2 to 1 as it does. Cye swears that the wide grille opening provides so much airflow that the exhaust doesn't heat soak the engine or pre-heat the intake charge, despite passing a few inches from it. The things people will do to shift with their left hand...
It may not look like it at first but the Escort keeps the S2000's six-speed transmission, though now its custom shift lever is combined with an AP Racing paddle clutch and a Tilton concentric slave cylinder. The gearbox sends the power through a lightweight driveshaft back to a Cosworth Bara Motorsport differential with 4.4:1 gears. From there power is transmitted through rifle-drilled halfshafts—contrary to popular belief it's not for lightening purposes, drilling the axles increases the overall surface area of the shafts thereby strengthening them.
Part TVR, Part Cye
As mentioned previously, the bones of the car are TVR, the British maker of light fiberglass-bodied sports cars founded by Trevor Wilkinson, and come from a TVR Tuscan Challenge car. Cye narrowed the chassis to enable the Escort body to fit over and around it. He also designed every piece of the suspension and built it around centrally-mounted Lead Race Coilovers, Heim-jointed aluminum double A-arms, and fully-adjustable links.
The front shock tower bar is Ford and the steering rack is Tilton, but most of the rest is Cye, including the front anti-roll bar, the addition of an air-jack system, and custom camber plates that are adjusted to provide whopping 4-and-1/2 inches of negative camber.
The Escort rolls on 17″ Image 3-piece wheels and Dunlop rubber, with Cye selecting from his stock of compound and tread depending on conditions. Brakes are AP Racing calipers, discs (330mm front, 280mm rear), and even pads— both front and rear. Cye uses an AP racing proportioning valve to set the bias between the Girling master cylinders.
A custom roll cage protects the driver, and the rest of the interior is just as no-nonsense with a Cyco Automotive racing seat, Titon harnesses, a Sparco wheel, and a Race Technology Dash 2 connected to a Race Technology DL1 data logger. The car has a flat bottom, with the aforementioned tunnel the exhaust runs through getting a measure of cool air fed to it via a cooling duct located in the passenger-side window.
Outside and Trackside
The Escort's custom front flares and Rally Group 4-style front valance give the car the appearance of sitting even lower than it already does. The doors are stock Escort skins with custom aluminum inner-panels, the trunk is fiberglass, and the rear of the car is fitted with a Radical underbody diffuser. Cye reports his hybrid tips the scales with a 51/49 F/R weight distribution ratio but is mum on the overall weight. He does divulge the S2000 engine puts out "around 275BHP," more than enough to move this lightweight around just about any track Cye has the notion to take it to. When asked why he built this intriguing combo, Cye just said, “because I wanted to.” Well, that's good enough reason for us.