AMUSE­MENT RIDE

NZ Performance Car - - Contents - WORDS: RENE VER­MEER PHO­TOS: ADAM CROY

TODA 2.2 NI­TROUS-EQUIPPED HONDA S2000 TEAR­ING UP AUCK­LAND’S CBD

Jacky Tse dusts off one of the most in­sane Hon­das in New Zealand, a car that has been in stor­age for the last three years

Jacky Tse, owner of Jtune Au­to­mo­tive, is no stranger to the pages of NZPC due to the many fea­ture-wor­thy cars rolling in and out of his work­shop. So when he up­loaded to Face­book a photo of this al­most-forgotten Honda relic wear­ing its new shoes, we jumped on the phone straight away. What Jacky posted was the Amuse GT1 wide­body-kit­ted Honda S2000 that Jacky built back in 2009, which had seem­ingly van­ished from the public eye be­fore we had a chance to fea­ture it.

Rewind the clock six years to when Jacky was work­ing for Honda, and had a very good friend (who shall re­main name­less), who owned the S2000 you see be­fore you. Orig­i­nally it was a low-km stock stan­dard car, with noth­ing much in the way of mod­i­fi­ca­tions, un­til the day the en­gine gave up the ghost. This is when this wild aero-mon­ster build was born.

Jacky was en­listed by the car’s owner to fully rebuild the en­gine at home in the shed, and this is where things got se­ri­ous. You see, Jacky’s friend was not the kind of guy who opts for a sim­ple rebuild, no — this friend wanted all-mo­tor au­ral good­ness.

No­body in the world builds an an­grier VTEC en­gine than Toda, so it came as no sur­prise that Toda com­po­nents have been used through­out, in­clud­ing the ex­tremely vi­cious VTEC-killer cams which elim­i­nate the VTEC func­tion en­tirely. The idea was to re­duce the oil fluc­tu­a­tions that oc­cur dur­ing VTEC en­gage­ment, to en­cour­age more con­sis­tent lu­bri­ca­tion in the en­gine’s bot­tom end. The VTECkiller cams have a much larger du­ra­tion and lift than a stock ver­sion. Given the cams’ du­ra­tion and lift are more suited for high-rpm du­ties, it wouldn’t have made much sense to run with a con­ven­tional in­take

set-up, as this would have been a ma­jor re­stric­tion point, and power would have been se­verely hin­dered. In­stead, Toda rec­om­mended in­di­vid­ual throt­tle bod­ies be used to make the most of the 305-de­gree, 13mm lift camshaft. With VTEC out of the pic­ture, the cam and throt­tle-body set up put a huge dent in midrange torque and re­sponse. To com­bat this, Jacky de­cided upon Toda’s 2200cc stro­ker kit, which aids torque pro­duc­tion and bumps com­pres­sion up to 12.5:1. “Although the en­gine is a 2.2 litre, it still revs well past 9000rpm — even as high as 9500rpm — and it just doesn’t lose power,” Jacky ex­plained. Be­cause this is New Zealand and you can get away with cer­ti­fy­ing crazy builds such as this, the S2000 had to have a few cru­cial mod­i­fi­ca­tions in or­der to re­main legal. The ex­haust sys­tem, a cus­tom Jtune unit, con­tains a se­ries of res­onators and ti­ta­nium mo­tor­bike muf­flers to keep things muf­fled – we all know how loud Hon­das can be with three-inch stain­less steel sys­tems. A power tally of 190kW at the wheels was achieved with this set up, which would be enough for most, but Jacky’s friend de­cided upon a ni­trous ox­ide sys­tem to make things more ex­cit­ing at the track. Both a 50hp shot and a 120hp shot can be used, bump­ing power up to 230kW and 260kW at the wheels, re­spec­tively. All of this is con­trolled by the HKS F-Con V Pro ECU and mon­i­tored by the HKS AFK unit (air/fuel ra­tio and knock mon­i­tor­ing). “The 50 shot is a ma­jor in­crease in mid-range and top-end power, but when you hit the 120 shot, the car be­comes wild; al­most like an an­i­mal. We’ve done a few top speed tests with this setup, and it will ex­ceed 260km/h with ease, which is the limit of the fac­tory gear set,” Jacky told us.

“The 50 shot is a ma­jor in­crease in mid- range and top- end power, but when you hit the 120 shot, the car be­comes wild; al­most like an an­i­mal. We’ve done a few top speed tests with this setup, and it will ex­ceed 260km/ h with ease, which is the limit of the fac­tory gear set”

Now the S2000 was mak­ing some se­ri­ous and re­li­able grunt, it was time to make the S2000 ap­pear as beau­ti­ful as the open trum­pets sound on full song. Sure, a set of wide wheels, a low stance and a wing would have suf­ficed, but not to th­ese crazy tuners. The duo wanted to make an im­pact on our lo­cal Kiwi car scene, so they de­cided on an Amuse GT1 wide­body kit. “We knew we wanted some­thing Ja­panese, and the J’s Rac­ing wide­body kit was off the cards as they aren’t avail­able to pur­chase, un­less you take your car to their shop in Ja­pan. This was ob­vi­ously not an op­tion. We did a bit more re­search and de­cided the Amuse kit would look nice and also unique in New Zealand. With a price tag of $15,000 landed we were a bit hes­i­tant at first, but made the pur­chase re­gard­less,” Jacky ex­plained. With the wing and wide­body ar­riv­ing around the same time, they set to work mak­ing the re­quired mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the body pan­els in prepa­ra­tion for the new aero. The kit was then sent off to an af­ford­able panel beater to have

“Dur­ing one of our high- speed ni­trous runs, one of the stain­less sup­port lines came off the wing re­sult­ing in the wing los­ing all of its rigid­ity. Do­ing well over 200km/ h, this caused the arse end of the Honda to sway vi­o­lently, some­thing which we were lucky to back out from”

the sil­ver and black paint laid on be­fore the fi­nal fit­ment. The new wide­body is 65mm wider ei­ther side, re­sult­ing in a car they can no longer get on their car trailer. Stock S2000 front guards are al­ready quite flat, wide and ag­gres­sive in ap­pear­ance, but with this ex­am­ple parked up next to Jtune’s other S2000 track car, the dif­fer­ences in girth are stag­ger­ing. The wing, which was also im­ported from Ja­pan, was orig­i­nally de­signed for an R34 Sky­line, but a few mea­sure­ments later con­firmed it would fit the S2000 with ease. “Dur­ing one of our high-speed ni­trous runs, one of the stain­less sup­port lines came off the wing re­sult­ing in the wing los­ing all of its rigid­ity. Do­ing well over 200km/h, this caused the arse end of the Honda to sway vi­o­lently, some­thing which we were lucky to back out from,” Jacky told us.

To­day we are spoilt for choice when it comes to wide, low off­set wheels, but in 2009 when they pieced the car to­gether, th­ese types of wheels were few and far be­tween and com­manded price tags that were out of many peo­ple’s price range, so they set­tled for a set of much smaller Volk wheels. When Jacky dusted off the S2000, chang­ing the wheels was high on his pri­or­ity list. He opted for a set of 18 by 10.5-inch Enkei RPF1s wrapped in 265/40 Hankook rub­ber, but once the S2000 starts see­ing more track du­ties, some stick­ier tyres will be cho­sen. Spoon four-pot monoblock calipers com­bined with cross-drilled front ro­tors cre­ate the re­quired amount of clamp­ing force to pull the S2000 up un­der attack ses­sions, and up­graded pads and stain­less lines down the back keep the brak­ing neu­tral. “The next thing for us was to find a suit­able coilover unit, and as Redline Au­to­mo­tive is just next door, we made use of them and or­dered a set of BC Rac­ing coilovers with ex­ter­nal reser­voirs — BC’s top unit,” Jacky ex­plained. Un­for­tu­nately, once the spring rates were tested in the spring ma­chine, the BC springs were found to be quite in­con­sis­tent, so a set of 16kg all round Swift springs were sourced from Ja­pan to com­ple­ment the 50/50 weight split the S2000s are blessed with from the fac­tory. The re­sult is an ex­tremely neu­tral car, which throws off rookie driv­ers who aren’t used to the per­fect weight split. Ikeya For­mula arms are used through­out for fine-tun­ing sus­pen­sion set-ups, and the Cusco sway bars front and rear take care of any un­wanted body roll.

The time attack theme was car­ried through into the cabin, with a pair of Bride Vios III seats, Takata har­nesses, a ti­ta­nium gear­knob and a four-point MSNZ-spec roll bar to keep the soft top S2000 safe in a rollover sit­u­a­tion.

Un­for­tu­nately, it was go­ing to prove too ex­pen­sive to send this mon­ster back to China where the owner planned to live, so Jacky has been left with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of tak­ing care of this weapon in New Zealand — a weapon Jacky plans to use, he told us: “I plan on con­test­ing the ve­hi­cle in nu­mer­ous time attack style events around the coun­try and show­cas­ing what we can do as a tun­ing com­pany. I’m ex­cited to see what it can do com­pared to our cur­rent shop S2000 Colin Abah drives.” We are all for more time attack ve­hi­cles hit­ting our lo­cal cir­cuits, and we hope Jacky’s S2000 be­comes one to beat, with peo­ple all over build­ing ve­hi­cles to chal­lenge him with. We can’t wait to see what Jacky has in store for us next.

“I plan on con­test­ing the ve­hi­cle in nu­mer­ous time attack- style events around the coun­try and show­cas­ing what we can do as a tun­ing com­pany. I’m ex­cited to see what it can do com­pared to our cur­rent shop S2000 Colin Abah drives.”

022

The Vol­tex 3D wing that was orig­i­nally de­signed for an R34 Sky­line looks right at home on the back of the S2000. The braided stain­less lines add a huge amount of rigid­ity to the wings struc­ture which keeps the wing rigid at high speeds.

Di­rect port ni­trous is the most ag­gres­sive type avail­able. With a change in noz­zle size, both 50hp and 120hp shots of ni­trous ox­ide are avail­able. The 120 shot makes the F20C en­gine sing to 9500 rpm and pro­duce 260kW at the wheels.

The pre­vi­ous Volk SE37K wheels were too small for the S2000’s wide guards, but as Jacky ex­plained to us, back when the car was built six years ago large wheels were too ex­pen­sive and hard to find. Now, the S2000 sits on 18x10.5-inch (+15) Enkei RPF1’s which fill the wide­body guards per­fectly.

The Amuse GT1 wide­body kit, which you might rec­og­nize from Gran­Tur­ismo, is much wider than the al­ready staunch stock S2000 guards. Mea­sur­ing in 65mm wider than stock, there is plenty of room for the ex­tremely wide Enkei wheels with a wide semi slick. Both essen­tials for any time attack event. The rear dif­fuser isn’t just there for looks, it pieces up to a car­bon un­der­tray which then matches up the the front split­ter, re­sult­ing in an ex­tremely flat un­der car­riage

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.