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Honda S2000 vs. Acura Integra: Meet the Cars of Driver Battles Episode 9

In the world of automotive enthusiasts, there are a few brands that inspire a level of rabid fandom above others: Porsche, Cummins—and Honda. The disciples of the Cult of VTEC stay loyal to the famous Japanese brand, and more often than not, their next car purchase is another Honda. Thus is the case with our competitors today.

Driver Battles 9 S2000 and Integra racing chuckwalla

Of course, there’s more than Hondas in the Honda fandom, with Acura, Honda’s luxury sub-brand, receiving the same sort of love and attention. In this battle, we’ve put a classic of each up against each other: the Honda S2000 and Acura Integra.

Driver Battles 9 Gina and Meng with Mike

Before watching them duke it out on the track at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, let’s take a deeper dive into what makes people fall in love with these amazing cars, starting with Gina’s S2000.

2006 Honda S2000

Considering how this article was set up, it should come as no surprise that this isn’t Gina’s first Honda. Or her first S2000. Or her first red 2006 S2000. She knows what she likes.

Driver Battles 9 S2000 Gina thumbs up

“The S2000 has always had that ultimate driver’s car appeal, especially for me,” she said. “No matter what other cars I get to drive I always find myself smiling and having the best time once I hop behind the wheel of my S2000. That’s love!”

When looking at this car, the first thing that jumps out at you in the amount of aero that’s been added to it. From Voltex GT wing and rear diffuser to Password canards, Gina’s S2000 is able to stay planted to the track in the turns. Gina thinks that this, along with the tune, is the most impactful upgrade to her car, and we’d have to agree.

Driver Battles 9 S2000 Gina on chuckwalla track

While Gina’s F22 engine and transmission may be stock, that isn’t to say that nothing has been done under the hood. That stock engine has been Hondata flash pro tuned by Dardan to 212hp and 153 lb-ft of torque, giving the light car plenty of oomph. On top of that, she’s added a Password intake and Koyo Racing radiator.

Driver Battle 9 S2000 Engine

Traveling down the car, she’s added an ACT clutch with a flywheel to help her get into gear, along with a few mods to the exhaust system, including a J’s Racing 70rr exhaust and Invidia test pipe.

Driver Battles 9 S2000 Front three quarter

The suspension has seen a bunch of upgrades as well, with Tein Monosport coilovers and a Stop Tech brake system, among other mods. New wheels and tires for style and speed were a part of the equation, of course, with Gina choosing 949 Racing 6UL 17x10 wheels wrapped in 255/40R17 Nitto NT01s.

Driver Battles 9 S2000 wheel and Nitto NT01

With tires that stay consistent all day, Gina was able to pick up an insane amount of time as she learned the track. You’ll have to tune into the battle to see how much—and if it was enough to overtake Meng in his Integra.

Driver Battles 9 S2000 Front

Inside, Gina swapped in a few nice modifications, starting with a carbon fiber Password center console. Buddy Club then upgraded the comfort and safety with seats, a six-point harness and a shift knob.

Driver Battles 9 S2000 Interior

Tuning Menu: Gina's 2006 Honda S2000

ENGINE: Stock F22, JDM Intake, J's Racing 70RR Exhaust, Invidia Test Pipe, Koyo Racing Radiator
TRANSMISSION: ACT Clutch and Flywheel
SUSPENSION: Tein Monosport Coilovers, Stop Tech Pads, Rotors, and Brake Lines, Buddy Club Roll Center, Hardrace Spherical Tie Rod Ends
WHEELS AND TIRES: 949Racing Wheels 6UL 17x10, Nitto NT01 255/40R17
INTERIOR: Ballade Roll Bar, Buddy Club seats and 6pt Harness, Buddy Club Shift Knob
BODY: Custom made Front Splitter for ASM bumper, Voltex GT Wing and rear diffuser, Downforce side skirts, Password JDM canards and carbon console, Seibon hood and hardtop

1995 Acura Integra

Next up is Meng Tea’s 1995 Acura Integra, and wouldn’t you know it, this isn’t his first Honda either. Or his first Integra. Just like Gina, he feels a special pull towards this model. “It has the raw feel of a golden age Honda,” he said. “Nothing else like it.”

Driver Battles 9 Integra Engine tune

His initial plan was to have this car as a cheap, reliable daily driver, but as so often happens, the track came calling. Since he only started tracking it less than a year ago, it doesn’t have as much done to it as Gina’s S2000, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less capable. Remember, the Integra Type R is often considered the best front wheel drive car of all time. Even though this isn’t the Type R version, it’s still plenty fast.

Driver Battles 9 Integra on Chuckwalla Raceway

In that vein, the powertrain has been left fairly stock. The swapped-in B20 engine and LS transmission have both been left stock, and not VTEC, but Meng has added a DC intake, header and exhaust to the equation. It may only make around 140hp and 130 lb-ft of torque, but Meng has another way to beat Gina.

Driver Battles 9 Integra chuckwalla raceway

His advantage may come in the corners. A bit more has been done to the suspension, with DC front and rear strut braces, a Progress rear sub frame base with rear sway bar and Function & Form type 2 coilovers. On top of that, he has added an Integra five-lug conversion to the brakes to allow for bigger brakes and Hawk hps pads. Can he make up enough time in the corners to overcome Gina’s bigger horsepower number? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Driver Battles 9 Integra Engine

Like Gina, he has equipped a set of Nitto NT01s, his 205/50R15 and affixed to 15x8 TE37 wheels.

Driver Battles 9 Integra driver side front three quarter

The interior has seen some racing-focused upgrades as well. He added Recaro SPG seats to help keep him in place in the turns, along with a Momo steering wheel and K-Tuned shifter.

Driver Battles 9 Acura Integra shift knob

Along with Gina, he has opted for some aero upgrades to keep the car planted to the track. A PCI wing and side skirts, carbon fiber lip, custom front splitter and carbon fiber hood all help make the car lighter and give it more downforce. 

Tuning Menu: Meng's 1996 Acura Integra

ENGINE: JDM B20 CRV, DC Intake, header, and exhaust
SUSPENSION: Function & Form Type 2 Coilovers, DC front and rear strut braces
WHEELS AND TIRES: 15x8 TE37 Wheels, Nitto NT01 205/50R15
INTERIOR: Recaro SPG seat, MOMO Steering Wheel, K-Tuned Shifter
BODY: PCI Side Skirts, JDM Front End conversion

After all of this who has the edge? It’s hard to tell. Both drivers have been taking cars to the track for around the same amount of time, Gina three years and Meng four, both have left their engines and transmissions fairly stock while adding a bunch of aero and both are driven by a passion for Honda.

You’ll need to watch the battle to see who comes out on top!

Are you a fan of Hondas? Watch a Civic Type R battle a BMW E46 M3!

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