LOS ANGELES — “Yo, now that I’m executed with the images, I’m going to push the automobile on the drive again by way of the switchbacks,” I say over the walkie-talkie. It’s half assertion, principally probing query despatched with hope from the motive force’s seat of the roadster. Contemporary from the unveil occasion, nobody has actually beat on the prototype S2000R, apart from on the dyno.
“Copy,” crackles again Mike Chang from the passenger seat of the trailing digicam automobile, the co-founder of Evasive Motorsport and the mastermind behind the Honda. Tony Kwan, the opposite co-founder and gracious digicam automobile operator for the day, is driving the SUV I simply completed taking pictures rollers from. “Have enjoyable with it,” says Tony.
I flip left off the coastal street right into a twisty strip of asphalt that connects the Palos Verdes peninsula to the remainder of Los Angeles. I shuffle from first to second gear, and my proper foot goes heavy. A uninteresting suction sound shortly sharpens to a high-pitch whistle because the turbo spools close to instantaneously, sucking within the briny ocean air by way of the carbon fiber Mugen consumption and Evasive S2000R consumption manifold. The increase propels the Honda uphill uncharacteristically. With the naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter F20C engine present in manufacturing facility S2000s, it’s important to wail the revs above 6,000 rpm with VTEC at full music for any type of modest acceleration on the mildest slopes. Not so with Evasive Motorsports’ construct.
Heading towards the primary switchback, I shift early into third, letting the 306-horsepower engine from the previous-gen FK8 Civic Type R take full benefit of the 23.2 kilos of compressed air. The SUV, together with Tony and Mike, fades from the mirrors. I stab the pedal to the upgraded Brembo six-piston entrance and four-piston rear brakes that chunk with confidence and clumsily blip the throttle with the again of my foot and shift again to second — I really want to brush up on my heel-toe sport.
I rotate the Momo steering wheel counterclockwise and switch into the primary switchback, making use of the upgraded chassis braces, sway bars, bushings, bump steer package and the KW Clubsport coilovers. I jab the throttle a bit too aggressively and the rear wheels get skittish from the spooling turbos. My sphincter tightens. The metallic guardrails really feel mighty shut. I modulate the throttle and the OS Giken limited-slip differential does its job of distributing the facility to the output shafts. The customized Motec show blinks deep into the 6,000 rpms in a fraction of a second, forcing a fast shift to 3rd.
Two extra switchbacks in, and I already really feel it. Rattling, this automobile is sweet.
When Honda launched the S2000 again in ’99. It was lauded by journos and the general public alike. The sculpted rear-wheel-drive roadster with its clear strains boasted shiny Y2K tech like a digital cluster and push-button begin (that also required a standard key, however was contemporary for the time). Regardless of it being a convertible, the S2000 with its closely braced chassis was extremely adept, reaching 50/50 weight distribution. The two.0-liter F20C engine screamed to a 9,000-rpm redline, producing 240 hp. It was nearly excellent.
What the Honda lacked was torque. At 120 hp per naturally aspirated liter, the engine’s output was extraordinary, setting a manufacturing automobile report. It might take the Ferrari 458 Italia to finest that effort years later. Torque output, alternatively, was 153 pound-feet. A 2000 Chevy Cavalier wrung out 155 lb-ft, so sure, revs had been the reply.
Sitting at a pink gentle within the ridiculously baller Recaro Podium carbon fiber seats of the S2000R, the roadster sounds inventory at idle minus the tenor coming from the customized titanium exhaust. Carbon fiber door panels and Alcantara-wrapped trim items encompass the cockpit, together with the dashboard, slicing the setting solar’s glare. Interact first gear, and the Clutch Masters clutch is a bit grabby, however below gentle throttle, the automobile feels like every regular Honda, which, for an engine-swapped automobile working a Motec M142 ECU, is the best of reward.
Cruising in fourth gear, the suitable lane is about to finish, and a handful of automobiles are within the left lane. As an alternative of downshifting two gears to overhaul in VTEC as you’d in most Hondas from the period, I pour on the throttle. The boosted 2.0-liter motor zips previous the visitors, effortlessly. Though the journey is a bit stiff for my middle-aged liking, the automobile is extremely easy for having been constructed by a store that’s extremely regarded for its tuning capabilities.
Who’s Evasive to motorsports?
Tuner is a time period that’s bandied about within the aftermarket. Folks have been referred to as that for bolting on exhausts and decreasing springs. Evasive Motorsports, nevertheless, embodies the truest sense of the phrase. Since opening in 2002, Mike Chang and Tony Kwan, longtime associates turned cofounders, have constructed automobiles tuning not simply the engine, however the suspension as nicely. Stability is their philosophy. Within the early years of their enterprise, time assault, a circuit competitors that focuses on clicking off the quickest lap time, was burgeoning within the JDM scene. Suppose F1 qualifying periods.
Evasive minimize its enamel within the sport, constructing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, Toyota 86s, Nissan GT-Rs and, in fact, Honda S2000s. Time assault class wins and information had been set. Notably, Evasive Motorsports’ purpose-built S2000RS put down a blazingly fast 1:41.2 lap time at Buttonwillow Raceway’s 13 clockwise configuration, making it the quickest S2000 on the circuit, if not the nation. For context, a sub-2-minute lap time is respectable at Buttonwillow. A brand new Porsche 911 GT3 runs a 1:54.8 at Buttonwillow, and a million-plus greenback McLaren Senna stops the watch at 1:43.48. Mike and Tony’s little Honda roadster beats each of them with room to spare.
Parlaying their observe expertise, Evasive Motorsports started campaigning on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2013. Their group took first within the Limitless Class in 2020 with a Toyota 86 and completed because the quickest EV in 2022 with a Tesla Model 3, each with Components Drift Champion, Dai Yoshihara, behind the wheel. The S2000R is the fruits of their expertise.
R for restomod
It began as a wild concept over dinner with Mike and his good friend — what should you took a contemporary turbocharged K20C1 engine and stuffed it right into a 2,800-pound S2000? The hypothetical of a Kind R variant of the S2000 changed into a three-year lengthy R&D pursuit for him and the store crew.
“Of all of the automobiles we’ve constructed, the S2000R has been the trickiest,” mentioned Mike Chang. “It’s not the Civic Kind R engine swap, tuning the Motec to make all of it run proper, or checking out the chassis that’s arduous, we’ve executed that earlier than. It’s stripping the donor automobile to its naked shell, portray it and placing all of it again collectively so it feels prefer it got here from the Tochigi manufacturing facility. Chasing down each squeak and rattle from each new alternative OEM half and getting the match and end of the customized S2000R items to be excellent have been plenty of work and numerous hours of troubleshooting.”
These customized items embrace Evasive Motorsports S2000R carbon fiber entrance lip and 25mm wider entrance fenders paired with a Honda twentieth Anniversary Version S2000 entrance bumper with bespoke bumper extensions. The S2000R rear wing, hood and trunk lid are all carbon fiber, and Spoon aero mirrors exchange the manufacturing facility models. Your complete automobile has been sprayed within the iconic Honda Championship White, and a set of solid 18×9-inch EVS Tuning 52R wheels shod in 255/35R18 Yokohama AD09 tires end off the look.
Pricing hasn’t been set, however Mike estimates the S2000R will begin at $250,000. He’s nonetheless calculating the prices and staffing required to construct the manufacturing models, however he plans on asserting the value on the website quickly. Fans would possibly balk at that determine, however an incredible quantity of labor goes right into a ground-up restoration, full paint job, new Kind R engine from the manufacturing facility, Motec ECU, carbon fiber components, and chassis and suspension enhancements developed from 20 years of observe testing the S2000. Contemplating what Mine’s costs for a restored Nissan Skyline GT-R or Singer for certainly one of their impeccably constructed 911s, the quantity is sensible. Extra so contemplating S2000 CRs are going for $110,000 at auction.
The solar is waning as I close to the rendezvous level the place I’m supposed to fulfill up with the Evasive boys. It’s arduous to consider any automobile as excellent, however the S2000R is perhaps it for me. It’s so well-sorted and extremely enjoyable whereas additionally being partaking to drive. For the Honda fanatic who appreciates each the previous and new efficiency automobiles it creates, the S2000R is a deal with that spans these generations and brings them collectively in an completely superb sports activities automobile.