Honda S2000 tuning guide.

"A roadster on steroids."

The S2000 was originally launched in April 1999.

Right from it's launched it cut a niche following of loyal fans and has established itself as a fun reliable sports car.

Honda engineers needed to come up with this special car to commemorate Honda's 50th anniversary.

The two seater roadster features a powerful 2 liter engine with rear wheel drive layout hire a six speed gearbox. (Some countries had the additional choice of a 2.2  liter engine and there was also a hard top version available.)

The Engine is carefully balanced and tuned allowing it tol freely rev to 9000 RPM and produce an astonishing 237 BHP.

Since its launch, the S2000 has won a large number of awards for best car, best engine and most reliable sports coupe.

Enjoy your S2000 to the full with our dependable modification pointers - do the right mods in the right order.

Check out our video introduction to Honda Tuning, all you need to know about mods and upgrades on your Honda.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


When you drive an S2000 you appreciate the thought and technology that has gone into producing one of the best driver's cars in recent years.

The handling and balance second to none, and the engine makes a rewarding scream on the VTEC cams which just urges you to press a little harder.

The interior of the car is sporty and modern, with a futuristic digital dashboard display.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are high on most peoples lists for the S2000.

We found that most S2000 factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out for cornering or toe in for stability, -0.8 to 1.3, and some negative camber will dramatically benefit your cornering and handling.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 26mm - 39 mm and fit uprated stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

The S2000 is a fantastic car, both reliable and with the most powerful NA (naturally aspirated) engine in its class.

Power mods.

Tuning the S2000, requires that the tuner improve on what is considered by many to be a perfect car.

Many TorqueCars S2000 owners complain of the lack of low end power, and this will be the motivation for many to start tuning their engines.

We now have a full tuning guide to the F series engine.

The obvious modifications will be a sports exhaust and induction kit followed by a tune/remap to alter the VTEC kick in points, but you will still suffer from the lack of low end power.

This list of the stages and motorsport kits are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get going.

Getting the best modified mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Remap.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, Power/Sport clutch, Ported and polished head, high flow fuel injector, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Sports gearbox, Engine balancing, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Competition cam, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger).

Peak power is nice in motorsport but for a daily driven car you need a wide power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give a little insight into the world of the best upgrades for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance mod.

A fast road cam will be one of the best NASP power mods you can do with a single part fitted to your engine.

The exhaust & intake durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic.

You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a tune/remap for the best performance gains.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and surges after your uprated modifications you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Bigger injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned S2000's uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Contrary to popular belief there is often a small if any power gain to be had by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

For most S2000 engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of needing cold air.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Your clutch can fail as the power goes up if it starts to suffer and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 43%. Fit a competition clutch to avoid power leak through the transmission.

The best mods we recommend for your S2000 are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

It is worth noting that the head is optimized to perfection. I have yet to find anyone who has managed to work the head (polishing and porting) to produce a better flow rate without resorting to a spiral flow. One weak spot in the head is the retainers and valve springs which can wear alarmingly.

We would recommend that all S2000 tuning projects include some attention to the valve train, installing upgrade springs and retainers (TorqueCars rate Ferrea springs for the S2000).

A compression test will help to determine the state of the engine and highlight the possibility of excessive wear. Any loss of over 20% should be investigated more fully.

A 3 angled valve head will improve flow, (4 or 5 angles are better but there is insufficient room to do this effectively on the S2000 head).

Ignore cams as the standard cam does a very good job and you need to keep as much low down power as possible. For more substantial power gains you will need to look at forced induction.

It is possible to add a supercharger or turbo conversion to the S2000, but the 11:1 compression ratio will force you to run a pathetically low boost, unless you perform some extensive engine modifications to lower the compression ratio (aim for around 9.5:1), and you may see power figures approaching 350bhp.

When making radical changes like this to any car you will need to provide alternative engine management and uprate the fuelling.

A lower ratio gearbox will improve your acceleration times, and weight reduction will also help to improve performance. If you may also want to increase the size of the 300 MM ventilated brake disks, and upgrade to an 18 inch wheel set.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include lowering your unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. We can't go into too much detail here about tires but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice. directional tread pattern tires work well on S2000, and make a big difference over budget tires. The downside to large alloys on your S2000 is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a negative effect on acceleration and performance.

With this in mind try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases not going above 18 inches.

Please feel free to join our Honda discussion forum to meet and chat with other S2000 owners. You will also want to read our in depth tuning articles and see which modifications yield the best power gains.

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