Honda S2000 Performance Upgrade Guide

Chandler Stark

Meet Chandler

Chandler is an automotive expert with over a decade of experience working on and modifying cars. A couple of his favorites were his heavily modded 2016 Subaru WRX and his current 2020 VW Golf GTI. He’s also a big fan of American Muscle and automotive history. Chandler’s passion and knowledge of the automotive industry help him deliver high-quality, insightful content to TuningPro readers.

The Honda S2000 is a desirable legend of the JDM world. It’s small and sporty nature make it a very enjoyable ride from a handling standpoint. They can also be a lot of fun once you build them up and add a bit more power with some performance upgrades.

With the factory internals capable of withstanding upwards of 650whp, the S2000 has a ton of performance potential on the table. In this guide we’re going to talk about some of the most popular mods: tuning, suspension, forced induction, and wheels and tires.

Best Honda S2000 Upgrades - Modded S2k

Honda S2000 Performance Upgrades

  • Forged Wheels and Upgraded tires
  • Coilovers or Lowering Springs
  • Forced Induction
  • ECU Tuning

1) Forged Wheels and High-Performance Tires

Our number one Honda S2000 mod is upgrading both the wheels and tires. Both the OEM rims and tires leave a lot to be desired, from both performance and aesthetic standpoints. Honda OEM rims are cast aluminum, which means they are porous and not the most durable. They also offer incredibly limited design potential, as the factory options are very limited.

On the other hand, forged wheels offer less porous and far more durable wheels for the S2000. They are cut and compressed from a single billet, rather than being poured into a mold, which makes them stronger and more resistant to oxidation and corrosion. They offer better performance than cast alloy wheels and last far longer.

2) Coilovers & Lowering Springs

Our next Honda S2000 mod once again improves both performance and cosmetics: coilovers or lowering springs. Both of them reduce the ride height of the car, eliminating the unappealing wheel gap and allowing for better handling. However, coilovers are clearly the better option than lowering springs — although they are much more expensive. We have looked at them before in our Ultimate Coilovers Guide, so take a look if you are unfamiliar with what they offer.

Coilovers allow for changes to ride height, stiffness, and overall handling through small adjustments. Lowering springs, on the other hand, only allow for one height and are not adjustable. Typically, lowering springs will have worse ride quality and will wear much quicker than coilovers. Still, they are solid budget options for those looking for moderate handling improvements.

3) Forced Induction: Turbo and Superchargers

Now it’s time to move on to the big guns for increasing S2000 performance: forced induction. The F20C and F22C1 have decent power from the factory for 2.0L and 2.2L engines, respectively, but they are capable of so much more. Yet, just doing basic mods like headers, test pipes, and intakes only offer minimal gains of 5-10hp each.

To really increase power on the S2000 you need forced induction, from either a supercharger or turbocharger kit. Superchargers are generally the preferred option on the F20C and F22C1, because they offer a very linear power curve with great early throttle response. Turbo kits are good options for those looking to run higher levels of boost for the most power possible.

Previously, we’ve looked at what supporting mods it takes to upgrade your S2000 with forced induction in our F20C engine guide. We’ll post them here again before looking at some new recommendations:

  • Upgraded clutch
  • High-pressure fuel injectors
  • Upgraded fuel pump
  • Fuel rail
  • Upgraded engine management system
  • Intercooler and intercooler piping
  • Performance spark plugs
  • Upgraded exhaust component

4) ECU Tuning

Our final addition to our 5 best Honda S2000 mods guide is ECU tuning. Proper ECU calibration will give your car safe increases of power, with or without modifications. Even stock cars see good horsepower gains, and for anyone going the forced induction route tuning is a necessity to make sure the car runs safely.

With an engine management system, users can either tune the car themselves or have custom tuning done by a professional. Tuners can adjust parameters like air-to-fuel ratios, ignition timing, fuel trims, and boost tables for cars with forced induction. Proper adjustment of these are crucial for making sure the F20C and F22C1 make reliable power for many miles.

Summary

Overall, the Honda S2000 is a great tuner car that truly has limitless possibilities for customization. The internals of the engine are capable of running some serious power, and seeing 500whp daily drivers with lots of mileage is not uncommon. With proper tuning and upgrades, the F20 engines can handle above 650whp on the factory internals.

Coaxing more horsepower out of the F20C and F22C1 is a very common goal, which makes superchargers or turbochargers great Honda S2000 mods.

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